5 Tips for Curating a Personal Playlist for Running

David Asch
In Fitness And In Health
4 min readNov 24, 2020

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

Spotify and Apple Music are lousy with high energy, motivational playlists. Runners adopt these adrenaline-inducing playlists hoping to inject workouts with some extra oomph to help power through to the end.

The problem with taking a stranger’s music, regardless of its kick-assedness, is that invariably the listener will like some of the songs and dislike others. There’s no rocket science to taking the songs one likes and producing one’s own playlist; it beats anyone else’s playlist any day.

I’m a COVID-19 runner and biker. In the years before Coronavirus, I forgot about the joy of outdoor exercise and gravitated to gyms and swimming pools. The closure of indoor exercise venues reignited the outdoor exercise craze for lots of us.

Even though many gyms and pools have since reopened, I’m both too freaked out about COVID and too in love with outdoor exercise to venture into the indoor spaces. My reward for waking up at 6:00 every morning, rain or shine, and hitting the pavement is the promise of 100% great music.

I began making my playlist in preparation for a cross-country drive with my wife. Although we can talk for hours and never seem to run out of topics, we reasoned that music, podcasts, and books were required to break up the monotony of 6,700 miles and 120 hours in the car.

The first incarnation of my playlist was 14 hours, which I naïvely believed would carry us through. Midway through our first drive from Washington, DC to Chicago, my wife gently commented on the sparseness of my playlist. I interpreted her message to mean, If I have to keep listening to this tired music, I’ll tear my hair out before we reach Peoria. This motivated me to beef up the playlist along the way when we stopped for the night and had WiFi connectivity. This original cross country trip playlist became the basis of my running playlist.

A trip this long requires a great companion and a very long playlist

A few tips for making a terrific exercise playlist…

  1. Supersize it - Although a run or ride may last an hour or two, a short playlist gets old, fast. Even my favorite songs become tiresome to me when I hear…

David Asch
In Fitness And In Health

Product Development Executive and Founder of https://10xPrinciples.com. Writer of technical stuff, health & fitness, movies, music, and humor.