If you are reading this article, the chances are you already know we are pretty nerdy about playlists. What you might not know if that some of our team are also very keen runners.
Making The Perfect Running Playlist – Key Ingredients.
In this article we will explore the thought process behind our ‘Run To the Beat’ running playlist. Some of the factors will be looking into include:
- Tempo (BPM) – The tempo the tracks in our playlist and why it’s important to keep this consistent.
- Track Duration – Why shorter tracks can be better for running playlists.
- Song Selection – How we choose the perfect mix of tracks for running.
- Energy! – Why choosing high-energy tracks is such an important part of any running playlist.
- Playlist Length – How long does your running playlist need to be?
About ‘Run To The Beat’
The image above, is a screenshot from our free playlist analyzer tool showing some basic information about the playlist.
The first thing worth pointing out is that ‘Run To The Beat’ is primarily a house music playlist. The reason for this is purely personal, as this is what I enjoy running to. We are actually looking into creating some more running playlists in other genres (including HipHop). Most of the info here will apply to creating any exercise playlist regardless of your genre preference.
The tempo (BPM) of the playlist is very important. We aim to keep this as consistent as possible throughout the entire playlist/run as it can help focus on running at an even pace. We have found that a big jump or fall in the tempo of the music can have an affect on pace and ultimately have a negative affect on performance over a longer run.
In this playlist all tracks are 120-126 BPM. We try to group tracks of a similar tempo and key together to keep the playlist flowing nicely.
Another big factor we consider when curating this particular playlist is the track duration, we try to pick shorter edits of tracks (-4 minutes) and stay clear of longer, extended mixes. The reason for this is below:
Shorter tracks on running playlists:
a. Keep the playlist interesting and stop listeners getting bored or fed up of a particular track
b. Mean less skipping. If a track comes on the runner dislikes or isn’t in the mood for they don’t have to put up with it for long!
When curating a running playlist I aim to find tracks that have some similar characteristics (strong beat, similar tempo etc) but I also look to create ‘moments’ on the run. I like to pick a mix of tracks that feel a bit darker and really drive me to dig deeper and couple them with more vocal or euphoric tracks.
For example, in Run To The Beat we have many tracks with little or no vocals but some big sing-a-long house anthems like Florence + The Machine – ‘Spectrum’ (Calvin Harris Remix) or the Storm Queen – ‘Look Right Through’ (MK Remix) . These kinds of tracks can create real highs on a run and break up the more underground tracks.
The majority of the tracks currently featured are deep or tech house but we will occasionally throw in something completely different so long as it fits the pace and feel of the playlist.
If you are curating your own playlist for running, try to mix tracks you really love and some that are new to you. I personally find it easier to focus on my running when listening to less-familiar music but still enjoy the highs of a track I know and love.
The one characteristic all of the tracks have in common: HIGH ENERGY.
It might sound obvious that high-energy tracks fit running playlists but how often do you really stop and think about the characteristics of a song. High-energy, motivational tracks can give you a big extra boost while working out or running. If we take a look at the data that our track analyzer throws up when we analyse the first track on our playlist you will see the ‘energy rating’ is super high.
Track Analysis for ‘OFFAIAH – Work It Out’
These kind of stats are typical for the tracks featured on our playlist. Very high energy, short duration and in the 120-126BM.
Our running playlist is currently 2hrs 16 long, enough to keep you entertained for a pretty long run. We plan on extending this to around 3 hours in the next few weeks for anyone planning to push it a little further.
If you are curating a running playlist, make sure it’s long enough, it’s pretty frustrating if the music finishes before you do!
Listen to the playlist & enjoy your run!
Check out our ‘Run To The Beat’ playlist on Spotify or Deezer. If you decide to try it out on a run please get in touch and let us know how you get on. We would love to hear some feedback on we could make it even better for you.
If you would like to suggest a track for us to consider adding to this playlist please click here.