Whether you’re running outside or just hitting the treadmill, good music can often make the difference between a rave run and a blown goal. That’s why we’re putting together 90-minute playlists each month chock-full of songs with enough of a beat to keep you moving. For even more tunes, check out our list of the best running songs.
It’s October! And while most of the country marks this month as a 31-day spooky season complete with black cats, haunted hay rides, and massive bags of Halloween candy, we in the running community know it’s also marathon season. Towards the end of summer, distance runners around the globe put together their training schedules, eyeing some fateful weekend in autumn when they will endeavor to run 26.2 miles. The training runs get longer and longer, usually peaking in late September or early October before runners begin their anxiously awaited taper period.
With the Chicago and New York City Marathons just around the corner (not to mention dozens of smaller races), your body needs time to recuperate from training before the big day and that means cutting distance and easing off your race pace. No sense in getting injured on a training run a week before marathon morning.
To that end, this month’s Running World playlist is all about tapering. While you might want to listen to your pump up jams on race day or during your speed work sessions, this period is all about taking it slow. I’ve therefore put together a nice and easy playlist full of slow, relaxing jams that will keep you feeling light and breezy as you approach that marathon. Don’t worry—they all still have a good beat (I’m not here to bring you elevator music), but we don’t need EDM-rave vibes either (But never fear, the archive is full of high-tempo race day playlists).
So as you lace up for those chill five-milers that feel like nothing, here’s a playlist to keep you grounded. Let’s get you to that starting line well-rested and injury free. You’re going to be great! You’re almost there!
Matthew Huff is a freelance writer and runner, and he is the author of MARATHONER: What to Expect When Training for and Running a Marathon, published by Rizzoli Publications. His writing has appeared in Runner’s World and BuzzFeed among others, and he is the cohost of “P.S. You’re Wrong: A Pop Culture Podcast.” Originally from Michigan, he now lives and runs in New York City, where he is pursuing a career as an expert chicken tender taster.
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