I’ve seen many blogs debating which are the best songs to listen to while running. There are lists of classic rock running songs, pop running songs and hip hop running songs. There are even websites that list songs according to the BPM (Beats Per Minute) so you can match your pace.
I have a variety of musical styles on my ipod so I’d usually create a playlist with a little bit of everything then set it on shuffle. That way while I’m running I could hear some Dylan go into Earth, Wind and Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer then on to Jimmy Buffet and Springsteen.
But lately I’ve switched to podcasts instead of music. I only take my ipod on longer Saturday runs so each week I download “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” from NPR or “This American Life” from PRI. “Wait, Wait…” is a current events type of show with Peter Sagal as host. It’s very funny if you like politics and news events. “This American Life” is very different each week. There are three stories each week that relate to a theme. They can deal with very serious subjects, “slice of life” topics or human interest. They are usually thought-provoking or educational.
I find that listening to talk shows and dialogue make the miles go even faster than music. Not sure why. Maybe because I know the songs so I know when they’re going to end but the podcast shows and stories are new so I don’t have a sense of the time.
If you only listen to music find a podcast you like and try it on your next long run. It won’t help you keep a certain pace based on BPM but you may learn something or find yourself thinking about a subject you never knew before.