In the last couple years I’ve learned a couple tricks for at least partially salvaging a run when everything feels like it’s going to hell. I can try and make a pitiful little game out of it and start leaping over cracks in the sidewalk and running on the bumpy grass alongside the trail. I can switch to intervals and do short bursts of sprinting followed by longer periods of gasping, eye-bulge-y walking. I can repeat a mantra over and over in my head until I get past the overwhelming sensation of wanting to stop and hail a cab.

Sometimes there’s nothing that can be done, the body just isn’t feeling it. I don’t know if Serious Running-Type People still experience this, but I sure do. It’s one of the maddening things about running, how one day you feel like you might just have this thing figured out and WATCH OUT BOSTON!—and the next time you get maybe one whole block away before your legs turn into cinder blocks and your lungs say “you know what, fuck this noise,” pull out tiny STRIKE signs, and start picketing your aorta.

Anyway, the single most important factor for me in non-suicidal running (aside from not wearing something that’s sliding down my hips or crawling up my ass) is music. An iPod loaded with newish-to-me tunes will almost always result in a good run.

The unfortunate thing about music is that it only works for a certain period of time. After listening to a song during three or four runs, it starts rapidly losing its magic. It’s the only thing that makes running somewhat of an expensive form of exercise, because I’m constantly trying to refresh my playlists in order to spend my tortuous pavement-pounding time blissed out on whatever’s in my ears instead of fiddling with buttons skipping through the lost-their-mojo songs.

Which is all to say, I’ve started running again and my iPod needs your help. I’ve asked for music suggestions before, and I plan to eventually collect every song that’s been recommended and publish a gigantor master list for everyone’s benefit—but for now, will you indulge me (again) and share your favorite get-up-and-move music? I’m partial to aggressive and/or dance tunes with a high tempo, but really, I listen to all kinds of stuff.

Here’s my running mix from November 2009, and the playlist I used during the marathon last April.

Currently, I’m running to:

Hello (Single Edit) • Martin Solveig & Dragonette
Chocolate • Snow Patrol
Come and Get It • Badfinger
No Man’s Woman • Sinéad O’Connor
Walk Like An Egyptian (Energy Remix + 190 BPM) • DJ ReMix Factory
End of the Line • The Traveling Wilburys
Gavotte from Orchestral Suite No. 3 – J.S. Bach • Various Artists
O Fortuna • Spiritual Project
Pro-Test • Skinny Puppy
Supernaut • 1,000 Homo DJ’s
100 Miles and Runnin’ • N.W.A.
Ready for the Floor (Album Version) • Hot Chip
Bulletproof • La Roux
You’re a Wolf • Sea Wolf
Rococo • Arcade Fire
White Blank Page • Mumford & Sons
We Used to Wait • Arcade Fire
Hey Boy Hey Girl • The Chemical Brothers
Got My Own Thing • Liz Phair
Telephone • Lady GaGa & Beyoncé
Sorrow • Bad Religion
21st Century (Digital Boy) • Bad Religion
Twin Cinema • The New Pornographers
Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo • Bloodhound Gang
Disturbia • Rihanna
So Bad • Eminem
Untitled • Eminem
Crack a Bottle • Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
Furr • Blitzen Trapper
Loud Pipes • Ratatat
Montanita • Ratatat
The Ghost Inside • Broken Bells
Your Man • Down With Webster
Last Resort • Papa Roach
Click Click Boom • Saliva

(Here’s an iMix link of the above list, if you’re interested.)

Okay! Hit me with your best song. My lungs thank you in advance.


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Kris H.
Kris H.
13 years ago

Anything non-ballady by Linkin Park. Bleed It Out has an aggressive beat.

13 years ago

You totally just wrote what is on my mind! I desperately need new tunes for my 1/2 marathon training. Case in point: yesterday on a run I listened to “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne at least 10 times, no joke. It’s the newest one I’ve downloaded and didn’t have time at work to get to others, so there it was: the only song I haven’t been listening to for like, a year.
“Horchata”- Vampire Weekend
“Right Above It”- Lil Wayne
“Eye of the Tiger”- whoever sings that

13 years ago

I like the podcast called PODRUNNER. It’s electronic mixes, each one to a different BPM, each one about an hour long, so you can have them for different exercises. And although I’m not into techno, they are actually really enjoyable, and since all that techno shit sounds the same, it’s tough to get tired of them.

13 years ago

Lots of great suggestions here!

Kids by MGMT (Love it!)
Raise your Glass by Pink

And for clapping fun while running – Private Eyes by H&O. Yes, I clap. I already look funny running…so why not!

13 years ago

I don’t know if it’s good running music, but you must listen to Katy Perry’s Peacock. It’s funny as hell and cracks me up every time I listen to it.

13 years ago

Thank GOD – I’m glad to know it’s not just me whose legs revolt two minutes into the run. C25K made me run for twenty-five minutes straight in the last session, and about three minutes in I said, out loud, alone on the treadmill in my basement, “I’m never going to make it twenty-five minutes”. Then I switched from my lame playlist of repeatable forgettable songs..and turned on Pandora – Bon Jovi channel…and somehow with the randomness of those songs, I finished those twenty-five minutes.

Songs I can always run to:
Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
DMX – Up in Here
Limp Biscuit – Rollin’

13 years ago

I am so looking forward to a list, and will take some of yours. My workout list is getting old and I’m bored and need some fresh beats. Thanks for asking ;-)

Another White Dash – Butterfly Boucher
F**k You – Cee-Lo
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked – Cage the Elephant
Cupid’s Chokehold – Gym Class Heroes
Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf
Can U Dig It – Pop Will Eat Itself
What Time is Love – KLF
Headhunter – Front 242
Energy Sucker – Luscious Jackson
Put It Down – Mike Doughty
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

13 years ago

And more (not that I’ve gotten into my laptop)

Walking On A Dream- Empire of the Sun
Stay With Me- Faces
I Want You Back- Jackson 5
Virtual Insanity- Jamiroquai
Down- Jay Sean
Feelin’ Alright- Jay Cocker
California Girls- Katy Perry
Up Up & Away- Kid Cudi
American Honey- Lady Antebellum (surprisingly)
Unwritten- Natasha Bedingfield
52-50- OAR
Da Art of Storytellin’- Outkast
Hey Daddy- Usher
Right Now- Van Halen
Crystalised- The XX
Intro- The XX
I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Whitney Houston
Skeletons- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mony Mony- Billy Idol

HAPPY RUNNING! This thread was amazeballs. I took a ton of music from everyone. :)

13 years ago

Okay, this list is all over the place but I think the songs are fun to run to…

Walk this way: Aerosmith & Run-Dmc
Lose Yourself: Eminem
Pump It: Black eyed peas
What’s the frequency kenneth? R.E.M
Baby got back: Prof of Funk
Angel of harlem: U2
Bad reputation: Joan Jett
Beverly Hills: Weezer
Intergalactic: Beastie Boys
Supermassive black hole: Muse
TKO: Le Tigre
Welcome to the jungle: Guns n Roses

Aw man, wish I could go for a run but I’m 8 months pregnant and the size of a small ocean mammal. Have fun!

13 years ago

Have you tried listening to podcasts? There was a whole training cycle where almost every run I listened to a (hilarious) morning radio show – Preston & Steve. They’re engaging enough to take my mind off the boring parts of running, esp. on longer runs, but not so consuming that I can’t watch out for cracks in the pavement or oncoming bikes or whatever. And FREE. Always good.

13 years ago

my body by young the giant

13 years ago
13 years ago

Here are a few of my favorites:

Just Say Yes – Snow Patrol
Animal – Neon Trees
Chasing Pirates – Nora Jones
Breakeven – The Script
Stop for a Minute – Keane
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
We R who we R – Ke$ha
Magic – B.o.B.
DJ Got us Falling in Love – Usher
Like a G6 – Far East Movement
Riding Solo – Jason Derulo
I Like It – Enrique Iglesias
Faster – Matt Nathanson (new single – not out yet… but oh, so good!)

13 years ago

Current faves to get me through the second half of a run when I really need the distraction of some screaming in my ears.

bulls on parade – rage against the machine
killing in the name of – rage against the machine
pokerface – lady gaga
just dance – lady gaga
love game – lady gaga
we r who we r – kesha
your love is my drup – kesha

13 years ago

Anything by The Go! Team or Handsomeboy Technique.

Also, library CDs + ripping = free loaded iPod

13 years ago

Thanks so much for posting and asking for requests! I’ve been trying to get back into running, but I don’t follow Top 40 music and really need to update my workout beats playlist.
Here are some of my favorites that have popped up on my slacker station:

Giving Up the Gun – Vampire Weekend
Come On, Get In – KT Tunstall
Dog Days Are Over – Florence & the machine
Magick – Ryan Adams
The Moneymaker – Rilo Kiley
Give A Little – Hanson
Zorbing – Stornoway
King of Anything – Sara Bareilles
Enough’s Enough – Jamie Lidell
Gypsy Blood – Jamie Lidell

13 years ago

Pink’s “Greatest Hits…So Far” album is really doing it for me right now.

So What and Raise Your Glass are the songs I go to when I want to boost my pace.

Now if they could only make an mp# player for long distance swimming…

13 years ago

The Remnant by Josh Ritter

13 years ago

I’m a bit late on this but why not kick it old style, like I do? A couple of my favorites:
Twilight Zone by Golden Earring
Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel
Without Me by Eminem
I swear, a little Hall & Oates really lifts my spirits
Evidence by Faith No More

A DJ friend just sent me a remix from Sia called “Clap Your Hands Prince Vince Remix” and I luuuuuuuuurve it. I have no idea where she got it, though.

But, now I’m going to get thee to iTunes and look at the stuff everyone else suggested. I know having good music is *key* to a good run, for me at least.

13 years ago

telegirl, that Sia mix of Clap Your Hands in freakin’ incredible. That keeps popping up one of my pandora stations and I am in love with it every time it comes on. The woman singing on that track has an awesome voice.

13 years ago

I’m a bit late with this I know, but I have the ‘Hello’ song on my running list too so thought you might like some of my others .
Lights on – Katy B featuring Miss Dynamite
Traktor – Wretch 32
Pass Out – Tinie Tempah
Anything by Dizzee Rascal (But especially Dance Wid Me)

This is mainly British rap/grime stuff. I don’t usually choose to listen to this stuff but it’s on the radio all the time over here and bloomin ‘eck it gets me moving.

13 years ago

Making Me Nervous by brad sucks its one of my current favorites

13 years ago

Try Ke$ha’s Sleazy, although you might stop running and start dancing.

13 years ago

wonderful night by fat boy slim

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures

Dog Days are Over by Florence & the Machine

13 years ago

Cazwell – Watch My Mouth

13 years ago

i am obsessed with my Pandora station. it is the only thing I listen to on my distance runs.

some of the stuff played recently:

Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue (yeah, a little old school)
Crazy Bitch – Buckcherry
Lit Up – Buckcherry
Little Sister – Queens of the Stone Age
Steady, As She Goes – The Raconteurs
As Good As Dead – Local H
Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three
Talk Dirty to Me – Poison
Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
Velvet Revolver – Falling to Pieces
Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
A Million Ways – Ok Go

13 years ago

Tesselate, by the Tokyo Police Club.

I’m training for a marathon, and I generally only run with music once or twice a week, but I can’t get through a long run without it.

I’m a runner now partly because of your inspiration, and it turns out I’m not half bad at it (plus I totally love it). I ran a 1:46 half one year after finishing C25K, and I’m running Eugene in 5 weeks. So thanks for the music and running.

13 years ago

Chaya: not half bad is quite the understatement! Talk about an inspiration. Good luck in Eugene!

13 years ago

This is truly an amazing amount of songs – I have quickly scanned them and wanted to add a few I didn’t see – I tend to like songs that build and have a steady beat:

Valkyrie Missle – Angels & Airwaves
Little Bird – Annie Lennox
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen
Hang Me Up to Dry – Cold War Kids
Spotlight (into Twilight) Mute Math
State of Love & Trust – Pearl Jam
Wishlist – Pearl Jam
Paint it black, Rolling Stones
Ecstasy – Rusted Root
Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups
Sweet Dispositin – The Temper Trap
Possum Kingdom – The Toadies
Bittersweet Sympony – The Verve
Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – ACDC
Move Along – All American Rejects
Brian Wilson (live) – Barnaked Ladies
Cannonball – The Breeders
All I’m Thinking About – Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Flathead – the Fratellis
Let Go – Frou Frou
Big Love (Live 2005) – Lindsey Buckingham
How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty
Teenagers – My Chemical Romance

I have to stop there – I have about 500 songs in my ‘Run’ playlist and I just hit shuffle, so I never really know what is coming, and can always skip if not the right fit… is this weird??!

13 years ago

Making my own music works better than anything. Gets me in the moment, which is the secret to enjoying ALL runs. Enjoying each moment is the beginning of the end of crappy runs. I hum, chant, repeat tuneful mantras, sing out loud. Practicing my tenor part for “Three Wise Men,” a Xmas song by my spiritual teacher, REALLY got my endocrine system cracking during a long run.

ALSO, starting slooooooooowly helps a lot. There’s always a BEST pace for the day. When you do the right thing, you feel great. When you argue with your body, you’re sunk.

13 years ago

I have LOVED so many of the music suggestions you’ve made over the years so I just had to delurk to offer:

Young Blood – The Naked and The Famous
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
Uprising – Muse
Satellite Mind – Metric
The Weight – Thrice
I Can Talk – Tourist History
Backfire – MuteMath
Rumour Has It – Adele
Millions – Starfucker
Drumming Song – Florence + The Machine (really anything from that album)
I Want Nothing – Kerli

Happy Running! :)

13 years ago

I’m not a runner, but anything by The Lovehammers can get me motivated to get moving, especially Straight as an Arrow, Hold On, Better Off/Walk Away, and Call of Distress.

13 years ago

Some favorites from my current playlist:

“All These Things That I’ve Done” The Killers
“At The Beach” The Avett Brothers
“Dog Days Are Over” Florence & The Machine
“Drink Your Whiskey Down” Reckless Kelly
“I Feel Lucky” Mary Chapin Carpenter
“Oxford Comma” Vampire Weekend
“Surrender” Ben Lee
“Walk of Life” Shooter Jennings
“Love Struck Baby” Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
“F!&$ You” Ce Lo Green

And yes, this list is totally random. :)

13 years ago

I love that The End of the Line so much. What. I had a weird inappropriate crush on every dude in that video when I was TEN. I feel like this somehow influenced my taste in men in a really weird way.


The ENTIRE Awolnation album is good for running.


Architecture in Helsinki – Contact High

13 years ago

Oh and Daylight by Matt and Kim.

13 years ago

“My Body” – Young the Giant

That’s a sure-to-get-your-butt-moving song.

Thanks for this massive collection of tunes. I’m always on the hunt for new music.

13 years ago

Hashpipe – Weezer. Hands down my favourite running song.

13 years ago

Although this is days old by now, who could deny a flying unicorn more gas for her tank?

Trouble Comes Running- Spoon
What Part of Forever- Cee Lo Green
Bum Like You- Robyn
Just Like Zeus- Jenny and Johnny
Fee Da Da Dee- The Guggenheim Grotto
If I Ever Feel Better- Phoenix
The Belle of St. Mark- Sheila E.
Life in Technicolor- Coldplay
Let’s Get Out of This Country- Camera Obscura
Lloyd I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken- C.O.
If Looks Could Kill- Camera Obscura
Tall Boy- Har Mar Superstar
Dead Disco- Metric
Fun, Fun, Fun- Pharrell

Hey, could you publish some of your new playlists? THANKS!

13 years ago

Ida Corr : Let Me think about it

Needs to be on your playlist.

13 years ago

I’ve found Kanye’s newest album to be running magic! Especially Power, All of the Lights, and Lost in the World.
Neon Tiger – The Killers
Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National

13 years ago

My favorite new-to-me band is Volbeat, which has an awesome blend of a little country but mostly really upbeat (at least in terms of rhythm, the lyrics aren’t always “uplifting”, so to speak). Great example: Guitar Gangsters and Cadiallac Blood

13 years ago

I have to have good music to work out, too.

A couple favorites from the “workout” playlist:

Uprising – Muse
I Love to Hate You – Erasure

13 years ago

Don’t know if anyone else has already said this – but ditch the ipod and try the Pandora app on your phone. Its the best for working out and gives you a fresh list of music and I always find myself thinking “Damn! I love this song, havent heard it in forever!”


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