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The 70 All-Time Best Running Songs To Get You Pumped Up

What better way to get you through that challenging speed workout, 3-hour long run, or hill sprint session than an awesome pump-you-up playlist of the best running songs out there? 

True, we all have different tastes in music, and not everyone is going to love every song on these lists. Still, I hope to help get you through some of those workouts by singing along to these fun tunes!

On days I don’t have a running buddy or group to train with, I bring along my trusty headphones with my pre-made playlists and crank up whichever one goes with my workout for that day. It puts a massive smile on my face as I zoom, or trot, down the road or trail, singing away and having a grand old time. 

In this article, I will break up my best running songs into a few different categories depending on the type of workouts, such as speedwork or hills, or drills to improve form or cadence. I’ve also included what I like to listen to on long runs and recovery runs

Today we will look at: 

  • The Benefits Of Listening To Music While Running
  • The 80 All-Time Best Running Songs 
  • Good Running Songs For Your Long Run
  • The Best Running Songs For Hillwork Sessions
  • Songs To Run Recovery Runs
  • Good Running Songs To Improve Your Cadence 

Ready to sing along? 

Let’s jump in! 

A pair of running sneaks with a pair of headphones on them.

I have to be honest, I was a bit leery about sharing my running playlists as my best running songs choices have some excellent hints pointing toward which decade I grew up in. That’s okay; the cat’s out of the bag now! 

Before we jump into our best running songs playlists, let’s look at why running with music can be beneficial to us.

The Benefits of Listening to Music While Running

For most of us, we know that listening to music while running pumps us up and makes us feel good, right? But why is that? What can music actually do for us?

  • Music can help improve running performance: According to studies, music can help regulate mood and enhance a runner’s motivation and inspiration while running, resulting in a better workout outcome. 
A woman running while listening to the best running songs playlist.
  • Music can reduce stress and distract you: Distraction sounds like a pretty significant benefit when you are trying to push through those last few 400-meter repetitions at top speed or suffering through the last few kilometers of a peak-week long run. Get lost in the lyrics and finish up those final laps.
  • Music can help reduce pain: This statement will vary depending on the study you read, but some state that by reducing stress and anxiety, you can also feel a reduction in pain. Therefore, music helps reduce our stress levels, which will result in less pain.

Even though we already love running, having a little music to help pump us up a bit more, and possibly improve our performance, sounds like pretty great reasons to try it out.

Just be sure and take precautions when listening to music on busy roads and ensure you are always aware of your surroundings. We want to use music as a distraction as an advantage to training, but not completely zone out to the point where the workout can become a risk.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for: the music. Let’s get ready to sing, dance, or both! 

A woman adjusting her headphone while running.

The 70 All-Time Best Running Songs

The following 70 all-time best running songs that I’ve compiled are broken up into four distinct lists. Each list has a purpose to accompany the different types of runs and specific objectives that you may, run into, no pun intended, in your training plan. As the type of run changes, the genre of music I listen to shifts along with it. 

Are you ready for some feel-good pop songs for your next long run?  Here we go!

Good Songs For Your Next Long Run

  1. Shivers – Ed Sheeran 
  2. There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back – Shawn Mendes
  3. Take You Dancing – Jason Derulo 
  4. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 & Cristina Aguilera 
  5. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift 
  6. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj 
  7. Locked Out Of Heaven – Bruno Mars 
  8. Time Of Our Lives – Pitbull & Ne-Yo
  9. Raise Your Glass – Pink 
  10. Don’t Stop The Music – Rhianna 
  11. SexyBack – Justin Timberlake & Timbaland 
  12. Kiss You- One Direction 
  13. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson 
  14. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas 
  15. Like Sugar – Chaka Khan 
  16. On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons
  17. Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
  18. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake 
  19. High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco
  20. Good As Hell – Lizzo
A woman on a track choosing a song from her best running songs playlist.

Now, for my hill workouts or some intense, fast speedwork, I want something a bit more, well, loud! The following songs have helped me through some of the most strenuous uphills I have had to face during trail runs and vertical kilometer races and even good old classic speedwork where I need to give it my all. 

The Best Running Songs For Hillwork

  1. The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy 
  2. Sabotage – Beastie Boys
  3. Bulls On Parade – Rage Against the Machine 
  4. Somebody Told Me – The Killers 
  5. Come Out and Play – Offspring
  6. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
  7. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor 
  8. Survivor – Destiny’s Child 
  9. Reptilia – The Strokes 
  10. Misery Business – Paramore
  11. ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem 
  12. Numb – Jay-Z & Linkin Park 
  13. Last One Standing – Bon Jovi 
  14. Music Make You Lose Control – Missy Elliot 
  15. Pump It – Black Eyed Peas 
A man choosing a song from his best running songs playlist on his phone.

After listening to these songs to push you to your max, let’s take a breath, calm back down and listen to some easy-listening but still upbeat recovery-run songs. The following list of songs is for when you don’t have any specific training intervals to do and just need to focus on relaxing, recovering, and enjoying your kilometers! 

Songs To Run Recovery Runs

  1. Trumpets – Jason Derulo 
  2. Drops Of Jupiter – Train 
  3. Lucky – Jason Mraz
  4. Demons – Imagine Dragons
  5. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits 
  6. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  7. Wake Me Up – Avicii
  8. Budapest – George Ezra 
  9. Lego House – Ed Sheeran 
  10. Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 
  11. Life Is A Highway – Rascal Flats 
  12. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something 
  13. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Jack Johnson
  14. 3 AM – Matchbox Twenty 
  15. It’s A Great Day To Be Alive – Travis Tritt
A woman running down the beach with headphones on.

Now, when you do want to worry about pace or work on your stride rate, the following list of running songs will help you out. 

The songs in this next list have a rhythm of 180 beats, or a bit more, per minute. Sound familiar in the running world? Of course, it does! 

Even though this number will vary depending on different factors and beliefs in the running world, 180 has been known as the “ideal” number of steps per minute to take while running. With the following songs, be sure a foot touches the ground on each beat. To sum up, 180 steps per minute. 

This list will not only help you improve your cadence but will also help you improve your running economy in general. Running at a faster cadence will help your running efficiency and limit the amount of unnecessary energy used with each stride. Take a listen and try them out! 

A woman adjusting her earphones.

Best Running Songs To Improve Your Cadence

  1. Hawái – Maluma 
  2. Despacito – Luis Fonsi 
  3. La Bicicleta – Carlos Vives & Shakira 
  4. Burn – Ellie Goulding 
  5. No Diggity – Blackstreet 
  6. Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers 
  7. Demons – Imagine Dragons
  8. Roar – Katy Perry 
  9. Jumpin’ Jumpin’ – Destiny’s Child 
  10. Cheap Thrills – Sia
  11. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias 
  12. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 
  13. Get Right – Jennifer Lopez
  14. Beautiful Liar – Beyoncé & Shakira 
  15. Con Calma – Daddy Yankee & Snow 
  16. Hey DJ – CNCO 
  17. Drive – Incubus 
  18. Renegades – X Ambassadors 
  19. Say Something – Justin Timberlake 
  20. Súbame La Radio – Enrique Iglesias
A woman preparing to run with headphones in.

There you have it! Take a good listen to my best running songs and see if they are right up your alley or if you need to make some changes. The important thing is that the songs you choose to run motivate you, inspire you, and put a smile on your face. If you start belting out the lyrics during your run, even better! 

Charge those headphones; you’re going to need them. 

If you want to look at one of our own Marathon Handbook Playlists for a complete set of high-bpm music, you can see it on Spotify here

A woman running listening to music.

Photo of author
Thomas Watson is an ultra-runner, UESCA-certified running coach, and the founder of MarathonHandbook.com. His work has been featured in Runner's World, Livestrong.com, MapMyRun, and many other running publications. He likes running interesting races and playing with his two tiny kids. More at his bio.

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