Artie Kost—For many, running is a way of life. Others prefer to get their cardio fix in another way; however, both sets of people can agree: a playlist can make or break your run.
While there are those who prefer to listen to podcasts, or even slow, easy-going tunes during their run, many people find that faster, more upbeat tracks provide the boost they need to have the most effective run possible.
From instrumental to pop to classic rock, here are some examples of tracks you can use to build the ultimate running playlist:
1. Beyoncé: “Run the World (Girls)”
This addictive song by pop music’s reigning queen is practically a protein supplement for confidence-building. Sampling a popular Major Lazer track, the beloved Bey’s song can’t fail to energize any listener. Additionally, it sports a military-inspired drum beat, perfect for keeping up the endurance of even a novice runner.
2. Queen: “Don’t Stop Me Now”
This classic gets off to a slow start, but don’t be fooled: soon enough it speeds up, growing in pep as with the speed of the tempo. Uniquely cheerful here, Freddie Mercury’s velvet pipes sweep over rambunctious drums and the clank of joyous piano keys. Infectious, uplifting and unabashed, the song makes is a great one for any day that going for a run is a struggle.
3.Ramin Djawadi: “Game of Thrones Theme”
For those who prefer listening to instrumental music during their run, finding a balance can be a struggle: many classical pieces vary greatly in tempo and style within the piece itself, while scores for films can be too slow or understated. Djawadi’s theme for the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, however, is just the right fit. It provides consistency, allowing you to get into a running rhythm while you appreciate its beautiful construction.
4. The Who: “Baba O’riley”
The classic track frequently—and incorrectly—referred to as “teenage wasteland” is the perfect rock tune for every run. Up-tempo without being overtly fast, it’s a great choice if modern pop and EDM music isn’t your style. Clocking in at just over five minutes, this slightly longer-than-average tune has a slightly meditative air that’s perfect for those long, introspective runs.
5. Diplo ft. Nicky Da B: “Express Yourself”
On the opposite side of the coin from “Baba O’riley” lies, “Express Yourself.” This mesmerizing and frenetic electronic track may have a video featuring a multitude of people twerking, but it’s suitable for running, as well. Lovers of faster, more contemporary tracks will particularly enjoy having this song on their running playlist.
6. Pat Benatar: “You Better Run”
Perhaps an on-the-nose choice, this track will still motivate your run to new heights. Pat Benatar’s strong-yet-soft vocals fit over the staccato instrumentals like a glove, making you feel tough enough to push yourself further, even when you’re feeling a bit drained.
7. Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island: “Everything is Awesome”
Perhaps the best part of 2014’s wonderful The Lego Movie, this track is infectiously fun and positive. Featuring delightfully silly rapping from SNL alums The Lonely Island, this song was performed at the Academy Awards—meaning your run isn’t above its up-beat goodness.
8. Danny Elfman: “Batman 1989 Theme”
One of Danny Elfman’s many collaborations with filmmaker Tim Burton resulted in this sweeping and melodic theme. While it does alternate between big crescendos and softer, more modest moments, the overall track—which clocks in at eight and a half minutes—makes you feel like a superhero running to save the day.
9. David Guetta ft. Sia: “Titanium”
This sweeping electronic track may be seen on nightclub set lists far more than a runner’s iPod, which begs the question: why? Up-tempo, powerful and extremely motivating, this popular dance track also breathes new life and energy into any run.
10. Bruce Springsteen: “Born to Run”
It may be an obvious choice, but this classic by The Boss somehow manages to be both dark and inspirational. Too irresistible to pass up, no one would blame you for belting out, “Baby we were born to ruuuuun,” during your morning jog—well, at least, not deep down.
Ultimately, any track that motivates you and makes you feel strong and capable is a great choice for your run. Use these suggestions as a jumping off point, and create the ultimate running playlist for you and your preferences!
Artie Kost has a background in music tailoring is the marketing director of Flvto YouTube Downloader for Mac.