Feel the Beat

Feel the BeatMadonna once said, “music makes the people come together.” Well, it is also incredibly powerful when it comes to working out, training for or running a race. Think about that time you wanted to be anywhere else but that elliptical machine—and that song comes on—the one that makes you feel like Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. (Side note: Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger is incredibly motivating, and it remains a staple in my gym playlist, but more on that later.) Research shows that music can help increase your effort, elevate your mood, put you “in the zone,” and the beat can even help you keep the pace.

A new study commissioned by music streaming service, Spotify found that more than 60 percent of runners polled reported that music helps them run faster and longer. Music was also found to be more helpful than a workout buddy, trainer, good weather or even the latest workout gear.

In addition, 47 percent of those polled said that music helps runners stay distracted (in a good way), while 39 percent claim that listening to tunes aids them in keeping a steady pace. And almost half (45 percent) of runners report that a great soundtrack is the best way to get through the troublesome “runner’s low”—you know it, that feeling that you have when the thought of taking another step is practically impossible. Music was also cited as the top training tool for races of all lengths—from a 5K run to a marathon.

Spotify recently released the world’s most streamed songs of 2015. The list is a mix of new release and old favorites that can just about anyone’s heart pumping. The 10 most streamed running songs of 2015 were:

  1. Beyoncé – “Run the World (Girls)”    Treadmill & headphones
  2. Sia – “Chandelier”
  3. Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk”
  4. Wiz Khalifa – “See You Again” (feat. Charlie Puth)
  5. Beyoncé – “7/11”
  6. Kelly Clarkson – “Heartbeat Song”
  7. Missy Elliott – “Work It”
  8. TLC – “No Scrubs”
  9. Rihanna – “Bitch Better Have My Money”
  10. Calvin Harris – “Feel So Close”

Group classes are a great way to find new songs that keep you motivated to push forward. SoulCycle and Pure Barre instructors create class playlist that correspond with the type of movement and pace they want the class to keep. And for those songs that you hear during class, but can’t remember the lyrics to Google later—the app Shazam has the answer to your problems. When the app’s auto-tracking feature is turned on—it creates a digital stamp of every song it hears during your class. All you have to do is bring your phone into the studio. After class, you can scroll through the tags to find the songs that need to be added to your playlist stat!

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to curating their training playlist. Some create a specifically timed list to make them aware of how far along they should be. Others change the type of music depending on the type of workout they are doing that day.

As for me, I have a gym-specific playlist on my phone that I am constantly adding to. I enjoy the variety of songs making the soundtrack to each workout unique. The latest addition to my gym playlist is off Sia’s new album This is Acting. The song is quite fittingly titled “Move Your Body.”

What are your go to songs when at the gym or training for a race? Share your favorite running songs or playlists with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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