Running Playlist Must Haves!
By Deborah Rowe
September 21, 2012
A good running playlist is essential for any runner! Music can help a runner overcome fatigue and boredom, and can even serve as motivation with its lyrics. Here at SAFRA, we’ve provided 20 of the best running songs, from rock to electronic, to help take your run to the next level!
1. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (Rock)
The list starts off with a popular song from the Rocky Soundtrack, which is a definite must have for the start of any run. The powerful introduction, with its up-tempo and loud beats, is enough to get your feet moving. Feel yourself slowing down? The motivational lyrics in the chorus will definitely pick you back up and ensure that you finish your run strongly.
2. Burning Heart – Survivor (Rock)
Yet another one of the songs from the Rocky soundtrack, ‘Burning Heart’ is about a battle between the East and the West, which is reflected by the fight in the ring between Rocky and Drago. This song will definitely speak to you, especially the second verse with strong lyrics like “There's no surrender! Though his body says stop, his spirit cries - never!”
3. Alive – P.O.D. (Rock)
Released right before the September 2001 attacks, ‘Alive’ is about looking at the positive side of things in a bad situation. Dubbed as one of the band’s most uplifting songs, the feel good vibes of this song, especially with its motivational lyrics in the chorus, is definitely a song that will serve to push you to give that extra bit more in your run.
4. Metalingus – Alter Bridge (Rock)
Popularized by WWE Superstar Edge as his entrance theme song since 2004 till his retirement last year, the heavy sounds and instrumentals of Metalingus serve to provide a certain kind of aggressiveness and determination that will pump you up and make you run that much faster and for longer.
5. Speed – Billy Idol (Rock)
If you’re one that gets pumped up with a song with lots of heavy instrumentals, this song is perfect for you. This is another song that is perfect for a short, fast-paced run, which ties in with the lyrics of the song: “Speed, it’s what I need!” Use these very words to get your feet moving much faster, anytime during your run.
6. You Can’t Take Me – Bryan Adams (Rock)
‘You Can’t Take Me’ is probably the most motivational track of this entire list. “Got to fight another fight, I gotta run another night” Although it doesn’t offer the hard thumping beats of other songs in the list, Bryan Adams manages to serenade with his smooth vocals. This song is definitely ideal for the latter part of your run, or a slow jog.
7. I Stand Alone – Godsmack (Rock)
Written specifically for the Scorpion King movie, this heart pumping heavy metal song will definitely get you up and running! If this song does not pump you up, I don’t know what will! At 169 BPM, together its lunging beats, guitar riffs and powerful vocals, you better start moving those arms and legs to keep up!
8. Burn it to the Ground – Nickelback (Rock)
Featured on the soundtrack of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, ‘Burn to the Ground’ does not tie in with Nickelback’s usual style, but instead offers a much heavier tune. Popularized for its repetitive guitar riffs and its over the top vocals, this song is great for you should you need that extra boost when you’re feeling lethargic mid way through your run!
9. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand (Rock)
There’s just something about songs with repetitive lyrics that gets you moving that much faster, or at least in sync with the beat. Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ is no different! This dance track serves up a catchy tune throughout the song, and coupled with Alex Kapronos’ electrifying vocals, you’ll definitely catch the running bug in no time.
10. Bounce – Bon Jovi (Rock)
Bon Jovi sings about how one gets up when they fall down, and like many of the songs in this playlist, serve as a motivational boost more than anything. Together with its catchy chorus and the repetitive use of the word ‘bounce’, you’ll get the extra bounce in your running step and finish your run in no time.
11. Stronger – Kanye West (Hip-hop)
Winner of a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Solo Performance in 2008, ‘Stronger’ is a hip hop song with strong electronic beats that is built around Daft Punk’s vocals of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. This unique combination of vocals, together with the electrifying rhythm will provide you with that much needed push to get you running that much harder and faster!
12. It’s A Fight – Three 6 Mafia (Hip Hop)
Running may seem like a battle to some, so what better way to deal with a run than with the inspired lyrics of Three 6 Mafia! ‘It’s A Fight’ talks about dealing with a fight bravely rather than backing down, which is true for any run. The moment you let your mind tell you to give up, your legs will stop too! So keep fighting!
13. Remember The Name – Fort Minor (Hip Hop)
Played as the theme song for the 2006 and 2007 NBA Playoffs as well as the 2008 NBA Draft, this song typifies the life of athletes and sport with its famous lyrics: “This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will. Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain and a hundred percent reason to remember the name.”
14. Hey Ya! – OutKast (Hip Hop)
Named as the 20th most successful song of the 2000s decade, its funky hits and up-tempo tunes will keep you on your toes throughout the song. If you’re thinking about going for a fast paced run, then this song is a must have in your playlist. At 160 BPM, together with Andre 3000’s quirky voice and the song’s lyrics, you’ll be running faster than ever!
15. Can’t Be Touched – Roy Jones Jr. (Hip Hop)
Boxer turned singer, Roy Jones Jr. is the only boxer in history to go on to win a heavyweight title despite starting out in the lightweight category! The heart stopping and adrenaline pumping song, with its hardcore rapping about training hard and not losing to anyone, is perfect for any run, be it fast or slow!
16. Lose Yourself – Eminem (Hip Hop)
The hit song of the movie “8 Mile” was the first ever rap song to receive an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2002. With its hardcore rapping, together with its lyrics which talk about overcoming struggles and adversities to succeed, ‘Lose Yourself’ is a great song to push you during your run, especially when you feel like giving up.
17. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO (Electronic)
“Everyday I’m shuffling!” If you have not heard of these very words, at least in the past year or so, you most certainly are living under a rock. ‘Party Rock Anthem’ was the third best selling single worldwide in 2011. It was probably due to the infectious electronic beats, together with its catchy phrases. A definite must have to pump up your run!
18.Titanium – David Guetta (Electronic)
This popular electronic dance number combines the different genres of pop, house and dance into its track, giving it a distinctive sound and feel that will definitely help in powering your run! Together with its lyrics about inner strength, this is a must have for any run. It’s best if you put this song in the middle of your playlist when you start to feel sluggish.
19. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson (Pop)
We all know the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. We’ve heard the phrase countless times, so what better than to make it into an inspirational song? But Kelly Clarkson? Really?! Before you start judging, let the inspired lyrics of Kelly Clarkson, together with her powerful vocals, do the talking. In no time, you’ll find yourself running to that very phrase.
20. Gonna Fly Now – Bill Conti (Orchestral)
On hearing this song, there is an immediate flashback to Rocky Balboa finishing his climb up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, better known as the “Rocky Steps”. You can never go wrong with this in your playlist, because there is a quiet sense of determination that this song provides that makes you want to complete a remarkable feat, or in this case, your run.
Photos by Scotti Brothers, Atlantic, Wind-up, Chrysalis, A&M, Universal, Roadrunner, Domino, Island, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Capitol, Warner Brothers, Machine Shop, LaFace, Body Head Entertainment, Shady, Aftermath, Interscope, will.i.am, Cherrytree, Panther Records, Virgin, EMI, RCA and United Artists