Our Top 50 Picks for the Best Running Songs

Without further adieu, check out our list of running songs to help get you going! We tried to pick out a diverse list of music to cater to all tastes. If you have your own suggestions, let us know!

List Appears in Alphabetical Order:

  • AC/DC – Back in Black
  • Aerosmith vs. Run DMC – Walk This Way
  • Aerosmith – Back in the Saddle
  • Beastie Boys – Pass the Mic
  • Beck – Loser
  • Billy Idol – MonyMony
  • Blink-182 – What’s My Age Again
  • Blur – Song2
  • Bush – Machinehead
  • Busta Rhymes – When Disaster Strikes
  • Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats
  • Crystal Method – Busy Child
  • DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win
  • Da Rude – Sandstorm
  • Eminem – Lose Yourself
  • Foo Fighters – Everlong
  • Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly
  • Green Day – Longview
  • Guns ‘N Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
  • Justice – Waters of Nazareth
  • Kasabian – Club Foot
  • Kevin Rudolf – I Made It
  • Kiss – Rock and Roll All Nite
  • Lock ‘N Load – Blow Ya Mind
  • Meccaheads – Nightskool
  • Metallica – Enter Sandman
  • Michael Jackson – Beat It
  • Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money Mo Problems
  • Offspring – Self Esteem
  • Outkast – Bombs over Baghdad
  • Paul Johnson – Caliente Musica
  • Pendulum – Slam
  • Presidents of the USA – Video Killed the Radio Star
  • Prodigy – Breathe
  • Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
  • Public Enemy – #1
  • Rob Zombie – Dragula
  • Run DMC – It’s Tricky
  • Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway
  • Shiny Toy Guns – You Are The One
  • Slayer – War Ensemble
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
  • Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
  • The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
  • The White Panda – Why a G6
  • U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
  • Velvet Revolver – Spectacle
  • White Stripes – Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine
  • White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

More Thoughts on the Best Running Songs

running song

As another year passes by and the digital music revolution is in full swing, one question is on the mind of every runner and jogger on the planet: What are the best running songs to put on my mp3 player? Despite the popularity and frequency of the question, it’s not an easy question to answer. With literally millions of songs to choose from and more being recorded every day, choosing the best running music becomes more difficult as the days go by. Fortunately there are factors runners can look at to choose the music that best fits their individual tastes, both as a runner and as a music fan. The following factors should give a runner a good idea where to look for the best songs to run to:

  • Music Genre Preference
  • Distance of the run
  • Pace of the run
  • Location of the run

The first factor a runner needs to take into consideration when picking the best running songs for his/her mp3 player is Music Genre Preference. It’s plain to say that if a runner has a strong distaste for a certain genre of music, he/she would not consider any song from that genre to be good running music. There is one exception to this rule, as the following example explains: If John absolutely detests rap music, but the sound of rap music angers him to the point that he gives extra during a run, picking one or two rap songs for John’s mp3 player would not necessarily be a bad idea, and rap might have a few of the best songs for him. This is a rare case, as most runners get motivated more by their favorite genres.

Two other factors a runner should consider are the distance and pace of the upcoming run. Usually, the length and speed of a song reflect the distance and the pace of a run. For a quick paced, short distance workout, faster, shorter songs are the best songs. For long runs, longer songs with a moderate beat tend to be the best running music. While some people really enjoy extremely slow songs, they are not recommended for running or jogging, because they can be boring and demotivating.

One final factor to consider is the location of the run. While running in a controlled area, such as a park, a track, a gym on a treadmill, or anywhere there is no vehicular traffic, music is a great way to motivate a runner, but while running on sidewalks and along roads which cars drive on frequently, headphones can be very dangerous and safety should always be the first consideration.

The Ramones

If a runner is looking for the best running songs for a wind sprint or hill workout, an album to consider is the Ramones’ eponymous, debut album (With the exception of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend). The album is very fast paced, averaging 178 BPM, and the rhythm of each track stays steady and consistent, helping the runner keep a good rhythm with his/her steps. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” at 135 BPM has a much slower tempo and would not be good for sprints, but could definitely be considered for slower runs or jogs. A great workout for any runner is to listen to the Ramones compilation album “Ramones Mania” and adjust his/her pace to the beat of the song being played. The album is an hour and fifteen minutes long and has a wide variety of punk songs, fast and slow, which are easy to run to.

Soundtracks

There are two soundtracks from the 1980s which have been inspiring runners for decades. These two soundtracks helped to define the 1980s and have many good running songs on them. While the younger generation of today might disagree that these soundtracks possess the best workout songs, when listening to these soundtracks while running, even the youth of today cannot deny that many songs from these soundtracks belong on their running playlist. The two soundtracks are for Rocky IV (1985) and the Flashdance (1983).

Anyone who was alive in 1983 remembers the movie Flashdance, and the one part of the movie most people remember is the soundtrack. The image of Jennifer Beals sweating her guts out to Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” lingers everybody’s mind when the movie is mentioned. Well, what most runners, especially these days, twenty-nine years later, don’t realize, is the entire movie soundtrack is a fountain of youth for those who run. While in the movie Jennifer Beals was dancing, the music is just as awesome for running. The soundtrack, like the Ramones Mania, is a great running work out if the runner keeps his/her steps with the beat. The slow songs for the slower part of the run, and the faster songs for the sprints.

In 1985, there was one movie which showed the world what the Cold War was all about. That movie… was Rocky IV. Known by many as “The Rocky when he fights the Russian,” the movie is extremely predictable, but for some reason, every person, man or woman, adult or child, feels it necessary to watch the film whenever it is on television. Why? Because of the great plot? No. Because of the great acting? No. It’s because of the soundtrack. There is something about the music of the movie which makes everyone watch. This is a great example of “inspiration.” The soundtrack is the definition of “Best Running Songs.” Every song on this soundtrack is easy to run to, including James Brown’s “Living in America.” The soundtrack captures the essence of the movie and has motivated runners for over twenty years.

The bottom line is the best running songs for a runner’s mp3 player really depend on the runner’s favorite genre of music, the distance and pace of the upcoming run, and the location of the run. There is really no wrong answer to the question, “What are the best running songs to put on my mp3 player?” With each runner being an individual he/she has his/her own tastes and preferences. Just run, and use whatever motivation it takes, whether it be Boys II Men, DefLeppard, Metallica, Shania Twain, Miles Davis, Megadeth, AmonAmarth, Eminem, Usher, Blink-182, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Hank Williams Sr., Dr. Dre, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, A Flock of Seagulls, Lich King, Depeche Mode, the Gin Blossoms, Journey, Lenny Kravitz, Aretha Franklin, Iron Maiden, the Bee Gees, the Rolling Stones, John Williams, Slayer, or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Jun run.