WANTED: Running Songs

“I wonder if this would be good for running…”

Anyone who has ridden in a car with me in the past, say, 12 months has heard me say that at least three dozen times.  Any song I hear on the radio that has even a slight upbeat tempo catches my attention. I imagine my legs striding forward in sync to the music, and wonder aloud if it would provide me with the motivation I need to power through my next run.

And that, quite frankly, is because I am bored to death with the “running” playlist I’ve programmed onto my iPod.

I’m very picky when it comes to the songs I can run to – they have to feature a steady, pounding beat to match my pace on the treadmill or the pavement.  I have playlists dedicated solely to biking, lifting, and machines like the cross trainer and elliptical, and none of the tunes included on those compilations quite meets my requirements for a good running song. As someone who spends at least an hour running three or four days a week, I have to really love the song enough to play it over and over (and over and over…) and have it still rev me up for a run.

That’s where you come in.  I’m looking for any and all running song suggestions!  What do you guys listen to when you hop on the treadmill or head to the park for a run?  Please leave me a comment and let me know!

But first, allow me to bare my iPod to you and show you what I’ve got so far.  (Note: I still harbor a soft spot for 90′s music…the decade when I “came of age”).  These are just a few of the songs I find myself playing on loop while I’m running, because they have just the right blend of a strong, repetitive beat and – in many cases – empowering and motivating lyrics.

I will probably regret this later…but here goes nothin’!

“How Far We’ve Come,” Matchbox Twenty

“I’m a Believer,” Smash Mouth

“My Life Would Suck Without You,” Kelly Clarkson

“Fell in Love with a Girl,” The White Stripes

“Dragula,” Rob Zombie

“Hey Ya,” Outkast

“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga

“When Worlds Collide,” Powerman 5000

“Let’s Get it Started,” Black Eyed Peas

“I Don’t Care,” Fall Out Boy

“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” Good Charlotte

“Mr. Brightside,” The Killers

“What’s My Age Again?” Blink 182

“Kryptonite,” 3 Doors Down

“Candyman,” Christina Aguilera

“She Bangs,” Ricky Martin

“Lost Without Each Other,” Hanson

“Original Prankster,” The Offspring

“Objection (Tango),” Shakira

“Rent,” Rent Soundtrack

“Flavor of the Weak,” American Hi-Fi

“Dance, Dance,” Fall Out Boy

“I Wanna Be Sedated,” The Ramones

“Whyyawannabringmedown,” Kelly Clarkson

“Pump It,” Black Eyed Peas

“Somebody Told Me,” The Killers

“Girlfriend,” Avril Lavigne

“The Anthem,” Good Charlotte

“Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard


  1. I’ve just gotten tobyMac’s new CD, and it’s really great. I used to think music needed to fit my mood/the weather more than anything, but I did love the upbeat CD today. :)

  2. That’s awesome! I’ll look into that CD. I’ve tried to run without music before, and I really do have such a hard time staying motivated and pushing myself to just keep going!

  3. I have nothing to add but as a RENThead I adore that you run to RENT. LOL!

  4. I forgot to mention that Mary J. Blige is my other love! Her songs (Work It, I think, and The One) are all really encouraging. Those two are more popular and a great place to start!

  5. Hamiltonmka says:

    I see you have some Black Eyed Peas on your list but have you downloaded their latest album/cd/download? I was hiking over the weekend in a very hilly area and need a good butt kickin’ song to get me up a a big hill. I started playing their latest album and it really helped! They have a song called Rock Your Body that has a good fast beat and really got me pumpin! Their first song on the CD (can’t remember the name) samples an old rap song that starts out “I wanna rock right now….I wanna rock right now….) and gets things hoppin’! There are a few slow songs on that CD but the other ones never fail to get me going.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Hey! The Black Eyed Peas are fabulous for running and the gym – I have a bunch.

    However, I don’t have their latest stuff…so I Googled the songs you mentioned, and they do sound PERFECT for running! Looking forward to adding those to the collection. If you have any other ideas, let me know!

    Thanks again! :)

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