Listening to music while you run during a couch to 5K training program has multiple benefits. The right song can provide the perfect motivation to push through a tough spot towards the end of your run. It can also provide a welcome distraction and keep you from just thinking about exactly how far you have left to run.

The simplest way to get started is to create a playlist from your favorite songs you already own. It is going to vary from person to person, but most people have success with songs that get you pumped up when you listen to them. If you can find enough of those songs, they can play through your entire run and you’ll have that additional lift the whole time you run. If you don’t want to listen in the exact same order every run, give the shuffle feature on your iPod (or whatever music player you use) a try!

A second option is to create a playlist of songs tailored for the pace & distance you will be running. You will want to find songs with an appropriate amount of beats per minute (BPM) to match your intended run. Done correctly, your stride will match the BPM of the song and you’ll be taking a step for every beat of the music. You’ll find yourself getting into a great rhythm and therefore doing a great job on your run.

One way to do this is to use a site like Jog.FM. You simply enter your goal pace and it will provide a list of popular songs that match the BPM. The downside of this app is that it doesn’t use a list of songs you own to create the list – you might not own any of the songs.

A second way, if you have an iPhone, would be to use an app such as Cadence. After you enter your goal BPM, the app will scan all the songs on your iPhone and create a playlist of appropriate songs. This is a great way generate a playlist as you don’t have to purchase any new music – it works with the songs you already have on your phone. You can easily increase or decrease the BPM as well only the fly if you feel like speeding up or slowing down in the middle of your run.

Another option for music during your couch potato to 5K runs is to listen to a podcast. Some, like JogTunes, will be a playlist of new, indepdent music that makes for a good running track. This is a great way to discover new bands, while at the same time having the appropriate soundtrack to run to. A different style of podcast is Phedippidations. Steve is the host of that podcast, and records his podcast as he runs. He provides interesting insights, tips, and great interviews and guests spots. It’s like having a friend chatting in your ear as you run.

An important thing to keep in mind for any of these is that you don’t want to have your music turned up too loud when you run, especially if you run outside. It’s important to make sure you can still hear traffic approaching and surrounding noises, so you are still aware of what is happening around you.

Give one of these musical methods for the next workout of your couch to 5K program. I bet it will be more enjoyable!

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