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Running Tips

Songs for your stride

Woman with her arms up and illustrated music notes

Five running playlists that will help you keep moving

Whether it be Ludwig Van Beethoven or Lizzo, music can be an excellent mood enhancer. So it makes sense that playing your favorite tunes could put you in a good head space when you run. But does music actually help improve performance? Some research says yes.

A 2010 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise states that music can improve athletic performance in two ways: it can either delay fatigue or increase work capacity. According to this study, the effects of music lead to “higher-than-expected levels of endurance, power, productivity, or strength.”

Another study about music in the exercise domain, published in the International Review of Sport Exercise Psychology came to similar conclusions. This study found that during repetitive, endurance-type activities, self-selected, motivational, and stimulative music has been shown to enhance affect, reduce ratings of perceived exertion, improve energy efficiency, and lead to increased work output.

Listening to music while running isn’t everyone’s jam, though. Some runners find music to be distracting, and that it interferes with their body’s signals. If you do like to listen to music on the run, you should take special care to avoid headphones in busy areas, on roads, or anywhere that may be dangerous to run without the being able to hear properly.

Press play

We reached out to members of the Run Happy team for their favorite running playlists, and they did not disappoint. Here are five new playlists for you to try on your next run:

Anoush Arakelian | Genre: EDM

Anousha Arakelian running with her arms out

I am an in-studio running coach, so I use these playlists for my classes in Boston. They get everyone sprinting and feeling like they are ready to party at 6am.”

Anoush Arakelian

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Deborah Loreto | Genre: 80s, 90s, 2000s

Deborah Loreto dancing with her Brooks shoe out in front

This is the music that really motivates me to run at a great pace. For example, when “Footlose” starts playing, I just go crazy.”

Deborah Loreto

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Hannah and Jamie Rowen | Genre: Rock, Alt-Rock, Indie-Rock

Hannah and Jack Rowen flexing on a track

As songwriters we liked to get inspired on our runs. Right now this playlist has us rocking out to some awesome girl-powered indie pop/rockers.”

Hannah and Jamie Rowen

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Mandy Carter | Genre: Latin Flair

Mandy Carter on a rocky trail

I labeled this playlist ‘Run Spicy.’ Whenever I need a little pep in my step, these chili pepper-infused tunes get my feet dancing across the pavement. I use the beats to add heat to speed sessions and to give some flavor to familiar routes on long runs.”

Mandy Carter

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Deborah Brooks | Genre: Girl Power Run

Deborah Brooks Profile

These songs make me feel stronger, faster, better, and more able to push myself through a hard run or enjoy an easy-paced run.”

Deborah Brooks

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Make it personal

Music is an individual choice just like training meals, gear, and running routines. Experiment with your playlists to find the right mix of sounds that helps motivate you to keep moving.