dmarcoAside from general running playlists, do you have a specific order to the songs that play as you run? What songs do you use for warm up/start, cruising, or finishing your runs or races?
I always have different levels of songs in a play list, especially when I run marathons. Although, I do not listen to music anymore on runs, it did help me qualify for Boston in certain ways.
I created a play list for the marathon I qualified for Boston, and I made sure it had all of the elements needed to get me where I wanted to go. I like many other runners love fast beats, but you have to remember that you are not going to be feeling this way, especially if the race is over a 10k. I started with some music to get my pumped up, the beats were short and fast...you know the music that gets you jumping up and down.
With the beginning of the race you want something more mellow, not slow by any means, but just a subtle difference in beat. This will help you concentrate on breathing and relaxing your body for your race, because we all know the first miles can be killer until the runners high kicks in. As you progress in the race, so should your music, to help you attack any obstacle you come along. Beats should get faster, more powerful music, maybe something in the lyrics that makes you want to move faster.
I still listen to music occasionally on my runs, but much prefer the sounds of the world around me now. Anyways, hope this was a little helpful!