Finding Your Best Running Playlist to Keep You Motivated

Nothing gets your run boosted like a great playlist bumping in your headphones. You know a good song is playing when you are tempted to break your tempo and raise your pace during a run simply because the beat is a good one. It is somewhat comparable to driving too fast (we all know we do it) because a great song is playing. So what are the best songs for your running playlist? We have a few suggestions for you.

Stagger your Songs

Many runners tend to prefer a blend of eclectic tunes. Some runners prefer to stick with their favorite genre, whether it is rock and roll, hip hop, oldies, country or any other category. Fortunately, there is not short supply of great songs to keep you rockin’ the road. For a decent playlist, I personally prefer a decent blend of old and new music to keep me going. I tend to build a 2 hour playlist, so that I don’t have to hear the same songs over and over again. I have also staggered my playlists for each of my workouts. If I am doing a track workout, I have a series of fast paced hip hop music that keeps me motivated to pound hard rubber.

If I am doing an interval workout, my music serves as a pacing guide for me to keep interval pace. This means that I will have a couple of fast, motivating songs for about 9 minutes of running time, followed by a short, slower song with a decent beat for an interval. I prefer an eclectic mix, so everything from the Rolling Stones to Mos Def can be found on my iPod.

Have a Power Song

I run with a Nike + iPod shoe chip that syncs with my iPod, so that my pace is measured and tracked properly. This nifty little device has a really cool feature that pumps a power song into your headphones when your pace slows down to give you a boost. My power songs alternate between Eminem’s Lose Yourself, Kanye West’s Stronger, Rolling Stones’ Honkey Tonk Woman and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Any time one of these songs comes on, my pace quickens and I find my stride again. Ideally, you choose a power song that inspires you and has a good pacing beat. I am not really much of an Eminem fan, but that song has a perfect beat for foot strikes to hit my 8 minute mile pace when I am on a long training run.

Great Songs to Add to your Playlist

The following list contains ten songs that are hailed by runners around the country as some of the most inspiring tunes to keep them going on their long runs.

  • Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire
  • ACDC – Thunderstruck
  • The Black Eyed Peas – Get it Started
  • Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow
  • Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
  • Eminem – Slim Shady
  • Kanye West – Stronger
  • Madonna – Like a Prayer
  • Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
  • Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock

We at recommend mixing up your music with a blend of your favorites to bring a little entertainment and motivation to your running.

4 thoughts on “Finding Your Best Running Playlist to Keep You Motivated”

  1. Anything BfmV, or A7x.

    MCR – Na Na Na, Dead!, This is How I Disappear, Welcome to the Black Parade… well, anything MCR
    Breaking Benjamin – Into the Morning
    Disturbed – Criminal
    Evanescence – Everybody’s Fool, Bring Me to Life
    Killswitch Engage – Break the Silence, Reject Yourself
    Mayday Paradise – Somebody That U Used to Know
    Rise Against – [take your pick… they’re all good]
    Sixx:AM – Life is Beautiful, Lies of the Beautiful People
    Three Days Grace – [again, anything works for me]
    The Used – Hospital, Paralyzed
    We Came as Romans – Glad you Came [from the Punk Goes Pop, Vol 5], Beliefs

  2. I am going to have to check a few of these out. Here is my most recent playlist for a 10K I just recently did. No sure what this says about me but you can probably guess my preferred genre…

    The Riddle (Five for Fighting)
    She Will Be Loved (Maroon 5)
    Little Talks (Of Monsters and Men)
    Daylight (Maroon 5)
    It’s Time (Imagine Dragons)
    I Cry (Flo Rida)
    Payphone (Maroon 5)
    50 Ways to Say Goodbye (Train)
    Bring Me to Life (Evanescence)
    Enter Sandman (Metallica)

    The cool thing about setting a running playlist is that it will be totally different for everyone. That said I am always looking at articles like this to get ideas.

    • Interesting list…you have a couple in here that I didn’t recognize right off…I’ll have to check these out.

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