My Half-Marathon Playlist

Wow, I still can’t believe I completed my first half-marathon!  Saying the race itself was tough would be a huge understatement, and I’m glad I brought along my iPod shuffle for the 13.1-mile ride.  Although running with music is a hotly debated topic, I find it helps me during my long runs.

Why Listen To Music?

You’ve heard this before:  Several studies suggest listening to music during exercise may increase the speed and length of your sweat session while creating a more comfortable workout environment.  Plus, plugging in and pressing the play button can provide a distraction.  Here’s how:  According to a New York Times article, music has the

“dual ability to distract attention (a psychological effect) while simultaneously goosing the heart and the muscles (physiological impacts) that makes it so effective during everyday exercise.”

Runner’s World also published an article that detailed the pro-con debate, and one expert said listening to tunes reduces your perception of how hard you’re running by about 10 percent.  An external stimulus, music can block some of the internal stimuli trying to reach your brain like fatigue-related messages from muscles and organs.  When these “say uncle” messages fail to reach your body’s epicenter, your perception of exertion becomes reduced, so you feel like you can run farther and faster.  Plus, blasting Usher or Lady Gaga elevates positive feelings (like excitement and happiness) and reduces negative ones (such as tension and fatigue).

Why I Listen To Music

When I run shorter distances—usually up to eight miles—I can stay focused without music.  Running “naked,” or sans iPod, makes it easier for me to listen body, assess my breathing, and adjust my cadence.  However, if I’m having a bad run—mentally or physically—popping in my earbuds helps to silence these negatives thoughts.  Since I completed my longer half-marathon training runs with music, I used music during the race.

My Playlist

Before sharing some of the tunes on my shuffle, I want to set the record straight and say rap and hip-hop are not my go-to jams; my favorite artists and bands include Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, Goo Goo Dolls, Adele, and Florence + The Machine.

Yeah, I’m all about the Kanye and LMFAO during a run, and I also have a soft spot for Pitbull and Flo Rida, but these artists aren’t exactly “easy listening” music.


I haven’t had overnight oats in a while, so I figured it was time to bring them back into the rotation.

Last night, I prepped a bowl with one mashed banana, plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup of almond milk, and cinnamon.  I’m not sure if it was this mixture or if I was especially hungry, but this batch tasted even better than usual.

Question of the morning:  Do you listen to music when you run?  How about during other workouts?  Feel free to share your favorite sweat session songs—I’d love some new music suggestions!

7 responses to “My Half-Marathon Playlist

  1. I always listen to music when I’m running, but all of the tris and marathons and running races that I’ve either done or seen advertised over here prohibit music on penalty of disqualification! No idea how to get around that one – I suppose I could never run with music but then my training would be terminally dull.

    • Only one of the running races I’ve done (the Seneca7) had a rule that prohibited iPods/earbuds during the event, but luckily, it wasn’t enforced. (My team actually decided that worst case scenario, we’d take the two-minute penalty and use iPods because we’d run faster with our music! Ha.) USA Triathlon has a strict no-iPod/music policy, and we’re not allowed to use MP3 players during CNY Tri training sessions either. The thought of tackling a 13.1-mile run (either normal half-marathon or half-Ironman) sans music sounds horrible–I’m definitely not mentally strong enough for that yet!

  2. I also have a soft spot for Pitbull! He gets me to kick up the pace a notch when his songs come on! I have a theory with my running music that if a song is one that you can dance to at a club, I will most likely love running to it!

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  4. We have about a 1/4 of the same playlist – I gotta give you credit for good taste! I love LMFAO and have several of their songs – they’re just perfect to run to! You did make me realize I need to add some more Flo Rida songs. 🙂

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