You certainly need motivation to hit the treadmill or grab your running shoes in the morning. The good news is that music can be an excellent motivator. Whether you’re singing along or setting a pace to the beat, music can give you a needed boost and increase your performance. According to a TIME interview with Dr. Costas Karageorghis, author of Inside Sport Psychology and a leading expert on the psychophysical and ergogenic effects of music, loading your favorite device with the right songs can help energize your run.
“Music has the propensity to elevate positive aspects of mood such as vigor and excitement, and reduces negative aspects such as tension and fatigue,” says Karageorghis. You can truly trust the man who had created custom playlists for the best U.S. athletes.
If you want to dig deeper into the science behind music’s benefits, check out this incredible article by James Clear: Mozart as Medicine: The Health Benefits of Music
Here are some secrets for the perfect playlist:
1. Pick tracks with energizing beats
This can improve your endurance by as much as 15%. According to Karageorghis, the best “tempo range is 120 to 140 beats per minute”.
2. Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle.
LMFAO said it best, “Everyday I’m shuffling.” Repeating the same music over and over can get pretty boring after a while.
3. Electronically tweak the songs you like
Ok, you need to be a little bit technically savvy for this one, but it can have a huge impact. Increasing the number of beats by one or two per minute can lead to a positive impact for your endurance level.
4. Be inspired by the lyrics
“Barbie Girl” may be catchy, but might not be the perfect song to run to. Try to pick songs with inspirational and motivational lyrics whenever you can. Rap music is often a good choice because of the powerful lyrics and upbeat tempo.
Here are some songs picked by Dr. Costas Karageorghis:
And here is the RunBoosters playlist. It’s a collaborative playlist so don’t hesitate to add your favorite running tracks!!!