It's easy enough to play a song that pumps you up for a few minutes, but conceiving a playlist to propel you through an entire run is a trickier matter, especially when you're going long.
"You're building a jigsaw," says Steve Boyett, DJ for Podrunner.com. "You look at [the playlist] as having a structure, almost like a suspension bridge. You're not running for three minutes. You want something that will help you for an hour."
That’s what we had in mind when putting together the latest Runner’s World playlist – designed specifically for long runs and perfect for those training for a spring marathon.
RUNNER'S WORLD Playlist no.4: Long Run Motivation
This mix is designed to keep you motivated and focused over a 90-minute run, using melodic tracks and inspiring lyrics blended together over a mildly variable tempo flow, with most tracks falling into the 120-135 beats per minute (bpm) range – well-matched to your heart rate during the steady state pace of a long run.It’s a continuous mix, but the song choice and sequencing falls into six sections.
At the beginning of a workout, you need to get your muscles moving, set your pace and relax. So you’ll need upbeat songs with a steady bpm, such as Groove Armada’s I See You Baby.
After that the tempo builds steadily for 20 minutes as your heart rate rises and you settle into the run. A 12-minute slower section follows, allowing you to recover and check your pace, before rising again for the longest section.
At the end of a long run, you need to pull out all the stops to keep your tired legs moving, so there are two fast tracks (19 and 20) that push the tempo to 160bpm. Two final songs bring the tempo back down, initiating your cool-down.
So do yourself a favour and download this exclusive RW playlist – it can’t do the miles for you, but it will take a bit of the work out of roadwork.
Now available exclusively on iTunes at runnersworld.co.uk/longrun-playlist.