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How To Build A Playlist To Get You Through Long Runs

How To Build A Playlist To Get You Through Long Runs

Remember the excitement of making the perfect mixtape? Knowing every song was carefully chosen to create the perfect ensemble… those were the days, right?

Many of us turn to music for solace, inspiration, or cheering up. Whether strummed on your guitar or sung in the shower, the perfect song can brighten your day. The same can be said for your next run: a well-curated playlist can keep you going for miles. Here’s how to get the most out of your running playlist… or mixtape, if you will.

Close up of man's legs mid stride while running.

Find the Mood

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to a running soundtrack. Maybe you prefer Indie in the car but need some heavy metal to keep your feet moving. Some people need high-energy beats to fuel them, while others prefer chilled-down songs to get them through long miles. Find your perfect match by running to vastly different genres and tracking how each makes you feel. You might find yourself preferring a type of music you don’t typically listen to - and that’s okay! Variety can make your run more exciting and you won’t get sick of your running music as quickly as you would if you only listen to your favorite songs. 


When running or walking to music, we naturally tend to sync up to the beat. Carefully choosing your playlist based on BPM (beats per minute) can help you stay on pace. Try a pre-built playlist like Spotify’s Fun Run Playlist to see what BPM range you prefer, then explore on your own. Avoid varying BPM too much on your playlist, unless you’re running fartleks!

Warm Up And Cool Down 

Hold up, speed racer! Don’t forget to add warm up and cool down music to your playlist. Listening to your running playlist in order can help you know when you’re reaching the end and when you need to push without looking at your watch. Including some slower-paced songs toward the end of your workout when you’re cooling off can help lower your heart rate and transition into the rest of your day.

Try A Different Method 

If music isn’t getting the job done, try listening to a podcast or an audiobook. A long-form sound experience can distract you for longer and help time pass by quickly. Before you know it, you’ll have hit your run goal and learned something new. Win-win!

Woman mid stride running up stairs with sand on them.

Some runners prefer the silence of their thoughts, but the rest of us need some tunes to keep us going step after step. We polled our team at Swiftwick and compiled our own running playlist for you to try… or share yours with us on social media! Happy trails!