20 Songs To Help You Run Faster

Part of me has always wanted to be one of those people who can run in relative quiet, taking in the sounds of her own breathing and the cadence of footsteps. Something about that seems so dedicated — as if being completely tuned in to a run would make me a more serious athlete. But that’s just not the kind of runner I am, so I rely on songs to help me run faster.

When I run, I need to be pumped up by some kind of external force, preferably one coming out of my earbuds (you know, as opposed to being chased). And I’m not alone. Both on running paths and at races, I’ve noticed that now more than ever, the majority of runners wear headphones. The fact is that for many of us, listening to uptempo music is motivating and makes running easier. More specifically, it makes running fast easier. Think about when you’re trotting along and your favorite Beyoncé song comes on. You speed up almost involuntarily.

When putting together awesome workout playlists, I have two rules. First, no sticking to just one genre. Otherwise, things get too repetitive, which makes me zone out and slow down. I like to switch it up. The second rule is pretty obvious: No matter the genre, songs must be upbeat.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a roundup of my favorite songs for running — fast.

1. HOLYCHILD, “Running Behind”


Warning: you may end up attempting parkour tricks along your neighborhood running route. (Or at least, that’s the visual you’ll have in your head as you pick up the pace.)

Download “Running Behind” on iTunes here .

2. Interpol, “All The Rage Back Home”

InterpolVEVO on YouTube

Here’s your requisite rock jam. The fast drumming and lively chorus on this one will propel you during a tempo run.

Download “All The Rage Back Home” on iTunes here .

3. Nicki Minaj, “Trini Dem Girls”

Nicki Minaj – Topic on YouTube

I’m not sure why, but this bouncy dance number makes me feel like I’m at a party on the beach surrounded by Tiki torches.

Download “Trini Dem Girls” on iTunes here.

4. Carly Rae Jepson, “Run Away With Me”

CarlyRaeJepsenVEVO on YouTube

Sometimes, when I know I’m approaching the final stretch of a run, I skip through my iPod just to get to this track. “Baby! Take me! To the! Feeling!” *sprints to the finish line*

Download “Run Away With Me” on iTunes here.

5. Best Coast, “Feeling OK”

BestCoastVEVO on YouTube

If you’re dealing with any minor aches or tiredness, the sunshine-filled chorus on this song will have you convinced otherwise.

Download “Feeling OK” on iTunes here.

6. We Were Promised Jetpacks, “Quiet Little Voices”

WWPJetpacks on YouTube

This one’s for the gotta-go-sweat-out-my-problems runs, which often turn out to be my best.

Download “Quiet Little Voices” on iTunes here.

7. Sky Ferreira, “I Will”

lyriczz104 on YouTube

Of Sky Ferreira’s many energetic electro-pop jams, this is my favorite for running, thanks to its quick tempo and urgent vocals.

Download “I Will” on iTunes here.

8. Major Lazer feat. Wild Belle, “Be Together”

Major Lazer on YouTube

Pretty much any Major Lazer track works, and this happens to be in my current rotation.

Download “Be Together” on iTunes here .

9. A$AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, “Wild For The Night”


Here’s a cross-genre banger that really gets the blood flowing.

Download “Wild For The Night” on iTunes here.

10. Tokyo Police Club, “Tessellate”

Saddle Creek on YouTube

Unless I’m going up an exceptionally steep hill, this jumpy song easily puts a smile on my face.

Download “Tessellate” on iTunes here .

11. Skrillex and Diplo feat. Justin Bieber, “Where Are Ü Now”

Jack Ü on YouTube

If you want to ignore all of my previous suggestions, just go ahead and play this on a loop. Bieber’s collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo is an EDM anthem that’ll have you logging your fastest miles yet.

Download “Where Are Ü Now” on iTunes here.

12. Flume feat. T-Shirt, “On Top”

FlumeAUS on YouTube

This electro-dancehall track almost makes me wish I could breakdance. I’ll probably stick to running, though.

Download “On Top” on iTunes here .

13. Icona Pop, “First Time”

Icona Pop on YouTube

Hyper-catchy dance songs are a must on any and all workout playlists. I think we can all agree that Icona Pop are the undisputed queens of that niche.

Download “First Time” on iTunes here .

14. Grace feat. G-Eazy, “You Don’t Own Me”

OfficialGraceVEVO on YouTube

Almost as good as the original from Dirty Dancing.

Download “You Don’t Own Me” on iTunes here.

15. Bloc Party, “One Month Off”

Bloc Party on YouTube

Guaranteed to get your heart rate up. I’ve never been able to sit still while listening to this song.

Download “One Month Off” on iTunes here .

16. Kendrick Lamar, “Backseat Freestyle”

KendrickLamarVEVO on YouTube

That beat and Kendrick’s skillful flow are undeniable. Taylor Swift agrees.

Download “Backseat Freestyle” iTunes here .

17. MisterWives, “Our Own House”

MisterWivesVEVO on YouTube

Because you’re going to need an indie-pop jam or two (or three).

Download “Our Own House” on iTunes here .

18. Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”

BeastieBoysVEVO on YouTube

A perennial favorite, here’s another for the angst-ridden runs.

Download “Sabotage” on iTunes here .

19. Beyoncé, “Countdown”

beyonceVEVO on YouTube

The counting in this one reminds me that I’m getting closer to the end of my run and to start my kick. As always, thanks for the inspiration, Bey!

Download “Countdown” on iTunes here .

20. Vampire Weekend, “Diane Young”

VampireWeekendVEVO on YouTube

Any song with a chorus that goes “Baby, baby, baby, baby …” gets an A+ in my book.

Download “Diane Young” on iTunes here.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

Image: lzf/Fotolia

Each song featured on this playlist sounds like it was written with runners in mind.

10 Songs For Runners

More often than not, when folks refer to running songs, they’re discussing the sound of a song—quick tempos, lively performances and the like. To complement these attributes, we’ve tried to compile a list of songs with lyrics that suit movement as well. To that end, the tracks below will propel you forward in both body and mind.

The list kicks off with a club collaboration about working toward a goal, and it closes out with a similarly-themed track from the newly re-christened Puff Daddy. In the middle, Katy Perry sings about walking on air and Walk the Moon urge you to put one foot in front of the other. Elsewhere, Jessie J has folks burning up, Major Lazer has folks running up, and Drake is holding on to energy. Whether you’re the sort of person who draws momentum from beats or words, this list has you covered. When you need inspiration, your tunes await below.

ZHU, Skrillex & THEY. – Working for It – 100 BPM

Walk the Moon – One Foot – 100 BPM

Sia – Move Your Body (Alan Walker Remix) – 128 BPM

Jessie J & 2 Chainz – Burnin’ Up (Aero Chord Remix) – 100 BPM

Drake – Energy – 86 BPM

Katy Perry – Walking on Air – 128 BPM

Major Lazer, PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj – Run Up – 109 BPM

St. Lucia – Help Me Run Away – 158 BPM

Janet Jackson & Missy Elliott – BURNITUP! – 124 BPM

Puff Daddy & The Family – Workin – 98 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routine.


Pro Athletes Share Their Curated Running Playlists On Spotify

A 1960s Rock Playlist To Keep You Running Through Time

10 Fast Songs To Keep You Moving On The Run

Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just hitting the treadmill, good music can often make the difference between a rave run and a blown goal. That’s why we’re putting together 90-minute playlists each month chock-full of songs with enough of a beat to keep you moving.

And just like that, a new decade is upon us! For the year ahead, here’s hoping that all runners set attainable set of goals and personal challenges. Figure out your running resolutions, create a plan of action, and be patient with yourself as you accomplish them one step at a time.

Related Story

If music is part of your motivation to crush those goals, how about a fresh running playlist to help propel you forward? These 24 songs will provide a push to pick up the pace, rhythm to run to, and determination to finish what you started.

Here’s to a new year of personal bests!

You can find all our older playlists in the archive.

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Paige Triola Contributing Writer Paige Triola is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado, who covers a range of topics in the athletic and outdoor recreation sphere.

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It’s fine because we’re not held in by the conventional rules of polite society. We’re runners now. We’ll fight til it’s over. The ceiling can’t hold us. Nothing can hold us.

“I am feeling good,” you begin to think. “Is that crazy? Am I practically an elite runner now? Should I try out for the Olympic team? I could, I’d bet. With like a few more practice sessions, I could be there.”

10. “You Make My Dreams,” Hall and Oates

You can’t full out sprint forever, and as you slowly fall back into your feel-good pace, you start noticing how beautiful the world around you is. The sun is shining, a cool breeze is keeping your body from overheating, and you feel like you’re in some sort of adorable movie montage with ice cream and playing with puppies and bicycle rides in the country. It’s not just the song that’s peppy, you’re peppy!

“I love running! I could do this forever,” you decide. “Ultramarathoners do 100 miles? I could do 500! How many have I done so far, I should check the app. 2.1 miles…. huh. Okay. WELL, THAT’S STILL PRETTY GOOD.”

11. “I’m gonna be (500 miles)” The Proclaimers

You’ve fallen in love with running. This is fun! Why did no one ever tell you this would be so fun! You could run forever. You want to yell it from the rooftops!

And isn’t love the best motivator for doing anything? You WOULD run 500 miles for love.

As a soul cycle instructor in the Hamptons once yelled at me in a room full of women, “Pedal like it’s the weekend and your husbands are on the way to see you.” And man, if that isn’t the most sexist, greatest motivation ever, I don’t know what is. Run in order to stay thin so that your partner won’t leave you when he/she sees you after a week apart. It’s just feminism.

12. “I Believe In a Thing Called Love,” The Darkness

Time to get back to a sprint! Change up any monotony! And this song immediately picks up the speed. It’s motivating, it’s fun, it’s insane. Everything you need to get your energy up when the mid-run slump starts to kick in.

13. “Crazy in Love,” Beyonce and Jay-Z

Mid-run you need something loud, bold, and pop-y. You need a song that is very happy to keep you going. Because let’s face it, things are starting to turn a little. The cool breeze is feeling a tad, warm, the sun, which was lovely a minute ago, is in your eyes, and if a few songs ago you were imagining playing with a basket full of puppies? Well, now, the puppies are still there, but they’ve peed everywhere. And you have to clean it all off the rug.

“I’m getting tired,” you think desperately. “I’m getting really tired. Maybe I should just walk. No. Push through it. Come on!”

14. “Under Pressure,” David Bowie & Queen

This is a time when you need some real motivation. You need someone who knows how it feels, man. And Bowie is there to tell you, “I get it.” The world is terrifying, and running is hard! Slow down for a second, take it to a three, and feel those feelings. Catch your breath, sip your water. Okay. Better? Now let’s snap as you snap out of it. I’m going to get real quiet, okay, okay? You’ve got this. LET’S GO. LA LA LA. Give yourself one MORE CHANCE.

And, against all odds, when you hear “Under Pressure” you start running harder. You keep going no matter how tired you are.

15. “S.O.B,” Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Look, at some point,you’re going to swear and say a bunch of expletives in your own head. This is hard. And it’s okay to get angry.

“S.O.B” will not only satisfy your need to scream, “Son of a bitch, give me a drink!” but its low rhythmic start that builds into joyful outbursts, (and folksy, acapella riffs filled with clapping and stomping) will get you running faster and faster. Yeah, it’s pure venomous anger fueling you at the moment, but you can use that to get you to the top of this motherforking hill.

16. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” The Rolling Stones

Yeah, you’re getting a little despondent. But right now, you just have to keep throwing one foot in front of the other. The Rolling Stones will keep you at a reasonable and steady pace as you do this, and also, will echo the angsty feelings you’re having right at this point in the run. I mean, you’re doing your best. You try and you try and you try. But….at this point you’re just going to assume that all life is meaningless.

But you’re still running, and that has to count for SOMETHING, right?

17. “Die Young,” Kesha

If you’re going to die on this hill, you might as well give this the last bit of energy you have. The electro beat of “Die Young” will push you right past your limits. Do you have that little bit of reserve energy you were keeping inside just in case you were chased by a lion at some point on this run? Use it. You’re going to die anyway. Make the most of things.

“Is this Heaven? Is my childhood dog here? No. Wait. My legs are still moving. I’m still running. How am I still running? It’s like I always have been running and always will be running. I get it now. This is Hell. There is no exit.”

18. “Dream On,” Aerosmith

Things have gotten bleak. But you have to find the part of your soul that can still do this. Don’t worry, “Dream On” is here to catch you before you fall. It slows to a crawl at the beginning. And sure, you’re running slower but You. Are. Full. Of. Fire. And. Fury.

“Dream on, dream on, dream on,” you scream to the heavens from the depths of pure despair. “Dream until your dreams come true.” And you build strength as you go. Like the song, you’re feeling very emotional and, you think, you can keep doing this. One minute at a time.

19. “Shake It Off”, Taylor Swift

Look, Haters gonna hate… hate…hate. But Taylor has some damn, catchy songs. They’re perfect to run to! You went to some dark places in this running journey for a few songs, but it’s time to let all of that go. Embrace a pop song, and a new, happier you. Shake it off. Can’t stop, won’t stop… moving! Never!

“God, I’m strong,” you think. “Try harder next time universe! You can’t take me down!”

20. “Stronger,” Kanye West

Imma let you finish, but Kanye has the greatest running songs of all time. I didn’t even know what to choose, do I go with “Power” or what about “Jesus Walks”? And oh! “New Workout Plan”! Classic! I have gotten through so many workouts thanks to Kanye West that he should probably start sending me a personal training bill. Ultimately, I went with “Stronger” because the beat is so dope for running, and I run to it literally, every single time I go out. I have run to this song hundreds of times, and it. Is. Perfect.

21. “Thunderstruck,” AC/DC

It’s time for a song with lyrics that scream the word THUNDER at you. It’s time for some hard rock. No one will help you. You are the change you wish to see in the world. Hardcore change. You are THE CHOSEN RUNNING ONE. This song harnesses all of your power and shoots it into you with the might of a mighty summer storm. You can not run to “Thunderstruck” without a determined grimace on your face. And that’s good, because you won’t just “get through” this run now, YOU WILL MURDER THIS AND EVERY CHALLENGE.

Side Note: Another fun (but less healthy) thing to do is to play this song at a party and make everyone drink a shot of beer every time they say the word “Thunder.” Spoiler: They say the word thunder A LOT.

“This is the final push, baby. Push it to 90 percent. No. 100. I’m so close to the finish line. It’s time. It’s time to give it everything like Nicolas Cage during literally any monologue no matter the subject matter.”

22. “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor

It’s time to push yourself to your absolute limit. You have the runners’ high, and you could run another ten miles at this point because you are filled to the brim with endorphins. You’ve literally never felt so great. “Eye of the Tiger” really recounts the epic journey you just went on, you know? You rose up to the challenge and you’re a survivor. You’re the eye of Tiger. Your eyes are tiger eyes. Real yellow and stuff. Yeah, that’s right, you probably should be checked for liver disease they’re SO YELLOW. Tiger eyes!

“I can’t believe it’s already over! I could run forever! Cool down?! Impossible. I am the world’s hottest human. No one has ever had such a run as I!”

23. “Joyful, Joyful,” Lauryn Hill and various, Sister Act 2

It’s time to bring it f*cking home. When you’re finishing a run, you want a song that doesn’t just make you run, you want it to make you feel. You want a choir to come in at the end and raise their voices to the heavens.

It’s time to cry, it’s time to sing, and it’s time to do an extra victory lap, just because. YOU. FEEL. JOYFUL.

“You did it baby,” you tell yourself. Do you speak in the third person now? Yes. Of course, you do. You’re royalty. “You did it, baby” you repeat, arms lifted in the air in triumph to all the fans who are sitting at outdoor tables at Panera, eating cream of potato soup, and pretending they aren’t excited to see your victory. “Take off your robes,” you scream into the air with abandon as a busser gives you a dirty look because you’ve grabbed half eaten salad off of a plate and are flinging it into the air, sweet sesame-ginger dressing dripping down your powerful fingers. “YOUR TEACHER SAYS TAKE OFF YOUR ROBES!”

You leap into the air, the soggy, flying lettuce framing your glowing face as you vault towards the heavens. You did it!

Freeze frame.

So. When’s our next run?


Nfs the run soundtracks

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