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How to Choose the Best Songs for Jogging?

Running and fitness have become very popular in recent years, and many music platforms often see sports/running playlists or running FM music programs. Appropriate music can aid athletic performance. Previous BBC data showed that music can reduce people’s perception of fatigue, which means that we can run further while listening to music (a 10% increase).

For example, originally you could only run for 60 minutes, but with music, you can run for 66 minutes – these 6 minutes are the music BUFF bonus. And music can also help you get into the state faster, which can be called a natural stimulant.

But music suitable for running and sports is not just “fast-paced”, “hot-blooded”, and “sounds burning”. Many recommended running playlists are not accurate enough and are not set according to the characteristics of the sport itself. A moment of “burning” can easily lead runners to lose their rhythm.

Some netizens complained on Weibo: “At first, the fast-paced English sounded OK, but suddenly it turned into an ancient style. After the ancient style, another ballad came. I sang the sentence “I miss you” ten times. I almost cried while running. Again. Suddenly I cut a piece of heavy metal…”

So, how should a running playlist be customized, and what aspects should be considered when selecting songs?

The relationship between BPM and running frequency

We need to know a concept first: BPM. The full name of BPM is beats per minute, which is translated as the number of beats per minute of the song. It is a musical unit used to measure the speed of music. To put it in layman’s terms, at many concerts we often spontaneously clap along with the rhythm of the music. How many times we clap our hands in that minute, the BPM value of the song is approximately equal to the number of claps.

The BPM value is marked on some music scores, and we can also measure the BPM of each song through professional software. The BPM of a suitable running song should be relatively close to the runner’s exercise frequency.

In this way, running while listening to music will be more exciting, and on the other hand, you will not be distracted by music that is too fast or too slow. Runners often say that I can’t control myself when I speed up while listening to music! In fact, this is very wrong. Running results that deviate from the plan are often greatly reduced.

The BPM value can be traced back to the Renaissance. Composers at that time usually used one or more adverbs to mark the playing speed and general emotion of the song. For example, in the picture below, “Allegro” not only expresses the fast rhythm of the song, but also With a happy meaning. Then the metronome came out in 1812, and the BMP value finally became popular, and today’s numerical distinctions between music speed and slowness have emerged.

Generally speaking, there are roughly 4 intervals from slow to fast BPM:

BPM <40 Adagio. extreme slowness;

90<BPM<115 medium plate. Most slow songs fall within this range;

168 <BPM Presto. Many sports songs can reach or exceed 170BPM;

200<BPM is the fastest. To take an extreme example, there is a piece of “music” “Max BPM: 999.999999999” that is close to 1000 BPM. Most people will find it… very noisy, right?

Back to running, the BPM of running songs should preferably match our heart rate when running, or be slightly faster.

How should we choose music for jogging?

First of all, when jogging, the heart rate is generally between 60-70% of the maximum heart rate. In terms of heart rate range, it is usually located in the fat burning zone and aerobic endurance zone.

Jogging can be broken down into three stages:

  1. Warm-up phase

Within 10-15 minutes, the body slowly enters a state of exercise, and the heart rate rises steadily from the resting heart rate to around 100. This stage takes about 3-4 songs.

During the warm-up phase, we recommend songs with a BPM value between 90-110, which are more in line with the heart rate requirements that need to be achieved during the warm-up, and also help us get into the state better.

  1. Jogging stage

After determining your jogging heart rate range, choose a song with a BPM value that is about 5% higher than your jogging heart rate. The average person’s jogging heart rate is between 120-150, and the corresponding BPM is about 125-160.

When it comes to jogging, whether the goal is to improve aerobic endurance or lose fat, it is recommended to keep a constant speed as much as possible. Therefore, the BPM value of the song during jogging should not fluctuate too much, especially for those runners who can’t help themselves^^

  1. Relaxation phase

Remember not to stop immediately after running. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to slow down and allow your heart rate to slowly return to normal from exercise, and then perform static stretching and muscle relaxation.

[Slow down-stop-stretch-run completed] This whole process lasts about 15-20 minutes, and the corresponding BPM value of the appropriate music is less than 100.

Based on our approximate jogging time, plus the warm-up and relaxation stretching time before and after, we can roughly know the exercise time and the amount of songs required, as well as their “order of appearance.” These songs help us kill boredom and give us a boost of blood. They also help you stabilize the rhythm and avoid running at a non-uniform speed. This kind of jogging effect is often the best.