Once you get used to running with a BPM optimized running playlist and start building your own playlists you’ll learn that it is very hard to find songs that are at 180 BPM.
The reason for this is that songs with such high BPM are too fast. There are some techno “songs” at that BPM and you can also find sites that create a looping techno 180 BPM soundtrack, but most songs, even the fastest ones, are under that.
You will also learn that there are three types of songs that you can use in a running playlist:
1. Beat songs: Beat songs are songs that simply have a fast beat. When you listen to them, you will go faster because the beat is fast.
Beat songs usually have a BPM of 140 or higher and are usually pop or dance songs. There are a few rock and metal songs with this kind of BPM as well. These songs are very useful in a running playlist when you want to go fast. When you build a playlist, put them into a timeslot where you know you will have lots of energy and you can run to the fast beat.
2. Pump songs: Pump songs are songs that help you chug along during a run. It seems like the Black Eyed Peas for example are very good at these kinds of songs. These songs are usually a bit slower than beat songs, but still fast, and also have lyrics that are meant to get you going. Some examples are “Pump It” by the above mentioned Black Eyed Peas and also “I Gotta Feeling” where they background singers keep saying “do it” in the background all the time.
These songs are great for times you need a beat to run to, but you can’t or don’t want to go very fast to conserve energy, like when you go up hills.
3. Motivational songs: These songs are songs you use for pure motivation. BPM is not very relevant in this case, although a high BPM motivational song is always better.
These songs are very personal, and have lyrics that mean something to you. These lyrics are meant to motivate you and help you get through tough spots during your run. Some examples of these types of songs are “Eye Of The Tiger” (107 BPM, but motivating if you are a Rocky fan), “Don’t Stop Believin’” (120 BPM, but anything by Journey is great and other songs that move you personally. These songs should be placed in you running playlist in spots where you know you might need some divine intervention or where you need to dig deep to find power to carry on.