What Is Running Music?

Many people like to use MP3 players to listen to music while running.
Running music helps keep people energized while exercising.
Music can be a great motivator during exercise.
Handheld MP3 player loaded with running music.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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From the jogger who is moving only a little faster than walking speed to the world-class athlete preparing for a marathon, running is a widely popular international pastime. Even athletes whose sport is not running include running in their exercise regimen. For many who put in the hours running, running music — the tunes of whatever sort that they listen to while they put one foot in front of the other — is an important part of their running routine.

Although running music means different things to different people, the advent of MP3 players and sport kits to make them convenient for runners to carry has made running music more accessible than ever before. With the player securely attached to one’s arm, on a belt clip, or in one’s pocket and in-ear headphones or earbuds the days of having to hold the device in one’s hand in order to hear running music are over.

Tastes in running music differ considerably. Some people like the radio because they always hear something new. This is fine if the reception holds up for your full workout. Others prefer “Golden Oldies” and travel with their mix of old favorites ready to go. Some people like upbeat music to help them stay energized sometimes favoring material from the hip-hop or rap genres. And other people prefer motivational songs, especially for parts of their workout in which they may struggle.


Pandora® free Internet radio is another option for running music. With this online service, the user creates an Internet radio station by choosing a genre or artist, for example. Based on its proprietary analysis of the elements of music, Pandora® then plays similar music that the user is likely to appreciate.

Running music is so important to so many people that it is common for people to share their favorite playlists on the Internet. RunningMusicMix® goes this one better and specializes in running music, classifying songs by beat per minute (BPM). This means that a user can use music not only for motivation but also to help pace their speed.

An alternative means to a similar end is Cadence™, an iPhone® app that allows you to set the BPM you want. The app responds by playing your music to that speed. A desktop version analyzes your iTunes songs for their BPM values to help create a set of running music playlists of the BPM values that suit you.


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