Music Mondays : A Running Playlist

What Music Do You Listen To When You Run?

Running PlaylistI’m not sure where the dividing line is when it comes to music and running but it seems that you are either one of those people who NEEDS to have music to run or you don’t listen to music at all while running. Maybe the dividing line isn’t so linear. I love listening to music when I run but have ventured out without it just to clear my head and get lost in thought. Then there’s  race etiquette. Most races don’t allow you to have headphones on and for practical safety reasons.

If I do run a  race with headphones I have my routine. I keep them out of ears for the start of the race. It’s always a bit crowded and hectic within the first few miles so it’s good to be aware of your surroundings. Once the race thins out and I’m not surrounded by a lot of people I will go ahead in put my headphones on. If there’s a fair amount of people around I will just put in one ear bud.

For those of us that do training runs with headphones on it can be a major boost. It can also destroy your plan. Let’s say I’m doing a slow run and some fast, heavy song comes on. I might be tempted to move to the beat. Certain songs get your adrenaline flowing which, once again, can be helpful or harmful to your workout depending on what your goal is that day.

So my question to all of you is: What’s on your playlist when you run?

For myself I go between 2 playlists. The first I will delve into shortly but the other is a mix of all things RUSH. I am a HUGE fan of Rush and have a “Run Rush” playlist ready to go. I use it for tempo runs, speed drills and when I’m in a slump and need that extra push. I often have had to advance the song “Marathon” because the music, tempo and words really move me and my feet seem to move as well!

The other list has a few staple run songs along with other rock / pop tunes that help the running mood:

The staples:
  • Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd
  • Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  • The Distance – Cake
  • Marathon – Rush *
  • Panama – Van Halen
  • (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding – Elvis Costello
  • The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson *

* These two songs are like a fire under my feet. In some Pavlovian way, I can’t help but to take off and run faster.

Other songs on the mix include a few songs from Muse, The Pixies, Frank Black, NIN.

I’ve recently thought of making different mixes for the different types of runs that I do. For an easy run or my warm up and cool down miles I find that a mix of Beatles and early R.E.M. are helpful. Something where I’m just listening to the music for music sake and not tempo.

For the long runs I might look to add some Prog Rock songs by Yes, Zappa, (Rush) – long songs for the long run. I’m interested in hearing from you. I’m open to any suggestions and hope to “hear” your playlist suggestions.









2 responses to “Music Mondays : A Running Playlist

  1. Here’s a few that always seem to increase my pace…
    Feeling Stronger Every Day – Chicago
    If I Can Dream – Elvis Presley
    Highway Star – Deep Purple
    Song Remains The Same – Led Zeppelin

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