Best Running Music & Playlist Ever - Top 20 inspirational running songs

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Best Running Playlist - Top 20 songs

Here are the top 20 songs from over 30+ hrs of running playlists that are all either motivational or about running and with faster bpm (beats per minute) to help with your pace. I have a wife who loves to run. I don't, but I do love music. As I can't run with her (OK...she kicks my butt!), I've spent a lot of time researching the best music I can find to help her running. Music can actually increase your performance, especially with running. Don't take my word for it, check out video and links below with many studies proving this fact. The songs below are all between 140 and 185 bpm. There are many tools (see links below) that help you determine the right bpm that matches your running pace. If you run to music that is too slow, you can subconsciously slow down to the beat of the song. Many people love to run to "Eye of the Tiger", but at 109 bpm, it is way too slow. All the songs below are inspirational, about running, or at least fun with a great beat (no "19th Nervous Breakdown", "Loser", "Blister in the Sun", etc.) You can find over 30 hours more of inspirational running music at bold pace music -- running playlists.

I've added bpm and some notes as to why the song was chosen. Enjoy...

1) This Year -- The Mountain Goats (140) : Can easily substitute "marathon or race" for "year" in the chorus "I am going to make it thru this <marathon> if it kills me".

2) Ali in the Jungle – The Hours (142) : Enjoy the motivational lyrics and chorus "Everybody gets knocked down, how quick are you gonna get up?" (you might recognize this from a Nike commercial)

3) The Underdog -- Spoon (145) : As you pass another runner, enjoy singing to yourself "you got no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive"

4) Clampdown -- The Clash (146): One of my favorites by the Clash...enjoy "You don't owe nothing, so boy (substitute "girl") get runnin', it's the best years of your life they want to steal".

5) Come On, Let's Go -- Paul Weller (149): This will be your new running favorite. It's the perfect up-tempo motivational song by the master -- Paul Weller (formerly of the Style Council) "You say where to, I say I don't know, I just need to run, and you need it too, and I catch your eye, and I feel the wind, and it feels so high".  This song is from the album "Wake Up the Nation" which won the "Album of the Year" award by Uncut magazine.  Find on itunes here: Wake Up the Nation (Video Bonus Edition) - Paul Weller

6) Banditos -- The Refreshments (149): Channel your inner geek (ignore any political correctness) and enjoy this chorus "Well give your ID card to the border guard; Yeah, your alias says you're Captain Jean-Luc Picard, of the United Federation of Planets, 'cause he won't speak English anyway" and "Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people, so meet me at the mission at midnight and we'll divvy up there"

7) Born to Run -- Bruce Springsteen (150): OK, so this is an obvious one, but it is still essential. Got have the Boss giving it to you straight.

8) Keep Your Head -- The Ting Tings (156): A great beat...the verse to focus on is "yes, you're gonna see, ten minutes to go and you're keeping it, you're head's up (keep your head up), keep it low, be right, push it... ".

9) Don't Stop Me Now -- Queen (156) : "I'm gonna go, go, go...There's no stoping me!"

10) Never Miss a Beat -- Kaiser Chiefs (158): A fun, sarcastic song with a faster beat to help bring it home..."Take a look at the kids on the street, no they never miss a beat"

11) Hey Ya! -- OutKast (160): Helps you keep pushing with "You think you got it"!

12) Age of Consent -- New Order (165): You're strong, you're an individual, you're a runner! "And I'm not the kind that likes to tell you just what you want me to".

13) End of the Line -- The Travelling Wilburys (168): A perfect song toward the end. Leave it to this true rock supergroup with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison to come up with lyrics like: "Well its all right, if you live the life you please; Well its all right, even if the sun don't shine; Well its all right, were going to the end of the line".

14) Lose Yourself -- Eminem (172): It's on a lot of running lists, and rightfully so. This was from the movie "8 mile" (which was actually pretty good and Eminem can act...or perhaps he was just being himself). Anyway, great motivational song... "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted--one moment--would you capture it or just let it slip?"

15) Fire it Up -- Modest Mouse (172): Time to "Fire it up"...'nuf said.

16) Wolf Like Me -- TV on the Radio (177): "My mind has changed, my body's frame, but god I like it...my heart's aflame, my body's strained, but god I like it"

17) Friend or Foe -- Adam and the Ants (184): Always good for a fun, up-tempo song, Adam Ant stands and delivers with "I want those who get to know me, to become admirers or my enemies". Take a look around and size up the competition..."Friend or Foe"!

18) Strict Time -- Elvis Costello (184): Listen to the King: "Toughen up, toughen up...Keep your lip buttoned up...Strict time"

19) Break on Through -- Doors (185): A classic running song with nice, fast pace down the home stretch reminding you to push your limits and "Break on Through to the Other Side".

20) Happy Hour -- The Housemartins (185): Gotta end w/ a fun song and what could be more appropriate, it's "Happy Hour"...you definitely deserve it!


Comments 5 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Great idea to help runners keep strides consistent/turn over with some awesome music. Thumbs up!


torconstantino profile image

torconstantino 6 years ago from Maryland

Thanks for the suggestions! I just finished the 35th Marine Corp Marathon yesterday and could have used some of those suggestions (ugh) I'm going to be sorer tomorrow! Regardless, great hub!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago

Nice, I think I have about 4 of these songs, and I like that you included your reasons for these!! Thanks!


IJR112 profile image

IJR112 5 years ago

How could this list not include the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Appasionata Sonata? I'm confused. Just kidding, good list.


themotivatedrunner 4 years ago

I really enjoyed this list and used it as a great source to create a list of my own! I compiled 300+ songs organized across the genres of Pop, Rock, Rap, Classic Rock, and Instrumental. Thanks for some of the suggestions!

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