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Optimizing running with playlists


Historically, I've had a fairly haphazard approach for making playlists for running. They usually start out being cohesive and make some amount of sense, and then I start just adding whatever new songs I discover and they turn into a mess. Then I get bored of songs, start skipping them while I'm running, and then choose podcasts over the playlists. Have you ever tried to maintain a pace while listening to a podcast? Bad idea.

My standards for running have been pretty minimal as well. My goal has usually been to be able to run for an hour without walking, but that totally ignores pace (plodding) and distance (who knows). I'm not out to win any races or anything, but I think working on faster times for shorter distances will help out with my endurance and pace for longer runs.

My old method for training was to start at some level based on my current fitness, like running 40 minutes, then increasing that by 30 seconds or a minute each run. It's worked okay, but any time I skip too many days or get sick, I lose a good chunk of progress. Combine that with my lackluster playlists and it's hard to keep the motivation up.

Here are the problems that I'm trying to solve:

I love solving multiple problems at once, and I think I can do that with a bit of strategy. Rather than having one giant running playlist, I created 7 playlists for different types of runs. The shorter the run, the faster the songs. For longer runs, there are more slower songs or strategically placed medium-to-fast paced songs. I'm also aiming for different average song lengths for each so that each run has a similar number of "units", which should help for the psychological aspect of going for "one more song."

I'm also going to mix it up by more or less randomizing the order of runs, and since each playlist is very finite, I'll be more inclined to swap out songs and re-work them based on my results. Anyway, in case you want to do the same thing, here are some Spotify links, just don't judge my weird and specific taste.

  1. 24 min
  2. 30 min
  3. 36 min
  4. 42 min
  5. 48 min
  6. 54 min
  7. 60 min