If Michael Jackson were alive today, he’d probably be singing to Beat It while doing his morning 3k run. Although images of him occasionally holding his crotch while sprinting may not exactly be too appealing, any serious runner would do well to follow his example- not so much the crotch-holding, but the part on using music to fuel your run.

Just like a soldier marching to cadence, listening to music while running does benefit the runner. For one, music puts one in the mood to be physically active. Once you hear the drum solo intro to a popular song, you just can’t help but lace up those running shoes and go. Music gives you the impression that running- or any type of exercise, for that matter- is fun. It envelops you in this mindset which motivates you to sweat it out while having fun.

If you want to follow someone else’s lead when it comes to picking out songs for your running playlist, you can find a plethora of those on the internet. But if you feel that you’d do better with a customized list of songs, then go ahead and make your own playlist.

When choosing songs to pump you up while running, make sure to steer clear of songs which remind you of a painful part of your past. No matter how upbeat a ditty is, if it brings you to tears, don’t include that in your running playlist. Instead of energizing you, it will only bring you down- and it may even make you hold your crotch!

As you warm up before a run, you can listen to songs with a moderate tempo. They shouldn’t be too fast or too slow. If you get your heart pumping wildly this early on, you stand the chance of wearing yourself out too soon. This is the stage when you psyche yourself up for your run.

There’s a whole world of music out there, and your choice of songs are far from limited. Go be like Mike, and watch those other runners “rock with you”.