At the 2013 Shenzhen International Marathon where I joined the 10K event.

I am bored with my running playlist. I have reached the point where I push the skip button so much that my fingers are now getting more of a workout than my legs.  So, I’ve deleted every song and decided to start anew.

I don’t know if I would be listening to music the entire time on race day. That’s 42 kilometers and that translates to about 5-6 hours of music for me.

A Runner’s World article says that the best thing to do is to NOT listen to music throughout a task but rather to do so only at specific spots along a racecourse.

Read all about the pros and cons of music as discussed by a sports psychologist/coach and sports sociologist/coach here.


As for me, when I go on 5-10K runs around my neighborhood, I usually put on some music. It does help a lot in motivating me and making my workout more enjoyable.

But when I need to do a longer run or when I’m in an unfamiliar place, I tend to forego this habit. I find that I need to really focus on my environment, my breathing and my foot strike.

I am still in the process of compiling around 100 songs. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve started anew and I’m sharing 10 of my favorites from this newly-compiled running playlist.

Some are old and some are new. They range from a variety of musical styles.  Here they are in alphabetical order.

Break On Through (1967) The Doors

Here I’m imagining Jim Morrison as my personal cheerleader when I hit that wall – helping me “break on through to the other side.”

Can’t Stop (2002) Red Hot Chili Peppers

Energetic and funky served up RHCP style.

Da Da Ding (2016) Gener8ion

I discovered this song through an ad by Nike for India featuring women athletes. Girl power inspiration.

Dog Days Are Over (2009) Florence and the Machine

Just listen to her sing these lines “Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers.  Leave all your love and your longing behind. You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.”

Get Your Freak On (2001) Missy Elliott

If that six-note intro doesn’t get you into the zone, I don’t know what will.

Mutant Brain (2016) Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums

Another discovery I made based on TV commercials, this time by Kenzo. It’s frenetic. Guaranteed to make you pick up your pace.

New Thang (2016) Redfoo

When you need to slow down for a while, you’ll be in good company with this catchy song.

Sabotage (1999) Beastie Boys

And when you need to run hard, play this one.

Under Pressure (1982) Queen

Nothing like Freddie Mercury understanding what you’re going through as you run.

Uptown Funk (2014) Bruno Mars

Four minutes of electro-disco-funky fun to help lift your mood.

Do you have other suggestions for me to include in my playlist? What do you consider your “power song?” Let’s hear it!


  1. I used run with Jaybirds until their supposedly sweatproof running buds died under heavy sweating. I learned to run without music and now much prefer it this way, no distraction.

    Spotify’s Running playlist which matches your cadence was the best for me. I particularly liked the Seasons genre, makes you feel like you’re the lead character right in the middle of an inspirational segment of a movie. Downside of Spotify Running, its cannot be run offline.

  2. I have to admit, had to look up Jaybird. They are quite pricey. No wonder I’ve never heard of them. I’m a cheapskate 🙂
    I’ll check out the Seasons genre on Spotify. Thanks.

  3. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up.

    How can anyone not have this song in their playlist? With this song, you run like a bullet. =)


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