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Another Mother Runner

Gimme a Beat: Building A Good Race Playlist

A powerful playlist can put a pep in your step when your energy or motivation flags. Here are some pointers for playing your own personal DJ on race day.


Don’t wait until the last minute. Making a playlist is a productive use of the “extra” time you have during your pre-race taper. Aim to compile your music the Monday or Tuesday before the race, giving yourself a few days to make tweaks when you remember a “must-hear” song.


Don’t press play yet. It’s extra-fun to have a fresh, never-played playlist to jam to during the race. Sure, you will have heard the songs before, but never compiled in this order on this day. Save it.




Let your music guide your pace. The adrenaline revving through your body on race day can make you start out way faster than you’ve trained or convince you it’s a good idea to skip your first few walk breaks if you’re a Galloway devotee. To temper your excitement, start out your list with slower-paced songs with inspirational titles or lyrics, like Sarah McLachlan’s “In Your Shoes,” and Aloe Blacc’s “The Man,” before busting out Iggy Azalea, Shakira, or Eric Church.


Contemplate the order—or disorder. If P!nk starts encouraging you to raise your glass at Mile 2, you might come up empty at Mile 11. But maybe you prefer the element of surprise. Either way, make sure you have the “shuffle” feature on your iPhone or iPod set to whichever setting you prefer.


Add some new favorites. Garner suggestions from friends, Facebook pals, Spotify, iTunes store, you name it. Decide what genre gets you moving—perhaps pop, country, or dance music—and start with that as your foundation. Then toss in a few surprises, like some Coldplay in your hot Latin mix or some Katy Perry to go with that Steve Perry.


If you’ve got a topic you’d like us to cover or question—nothing is too basic or TMI—you’d like us to answer, let us know at @TheMotherRunner or on our Facebook page. Thanks and many happy miles!



Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell are the authors of Another Mother Runner and official contributors to runDisney.