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Best Running Songs: 10 Tracks To Keep You Moving And Motivated
List & Guides

Best Running Songs: 10 Tracks To Keep You Moving And Motivated

From hype rap anthems to hard-rock pick-me-ups, the best running songs are sure to boost your endurance and energise your every stride.

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Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, choosing the right music can make all the difference. From the moment you lace up your running shoes and pop in your headphones, the best running songs can instantly transform a mundane workout into an altogether more exhilarating journey. From pounding the pavement to hitting the treadmill, what every runner needs is a soundtrack to elevate their cardio workouts, keeping them in the zone from the starting line to the final stretch. Here, then, is our list of the best running songs – each one picked to help carry you through every step.

Listen to our Running playlist here, and check out our best running songs, below

10: Jill Scott: Run Run Run (2015)

Limbering up with a flurry of “na-na-na”s and lively handclaps, Jill Scott’s retro-soul cut Run Run Run harks back to a diva-powered era of funky get-up-and-go. Tucked away on Scott’s 2015 studio album, Woman, the song will have you hitting the treadmill hard and fast at 150 BPM, propelling you along with its bouncing groove and no-nonsense pep talk (“Baby, Mama be back in a minute/Gotta hustle and handle my business/I’ll be right back when I’m done/I gotta run run run run, baby”). From fuzz guitar riffs to a Hammond organ breakdown, Run Run Run is one of the best running songs to get your feet moving from the off.

9: The Black Eyed Peas: Let’s Get It Started (2004)

From the moment its walking bassline kicks in, The Black Eyed Peas’ 2004 hip-hop banger Let’s Get It Started is a motivational wonder among the best running songs that will egg you on to prove to your fellow gym-goers that you mean business (“And the bass keeps runnin’, runnin’ and runnin’, runnin’”). A bracing mix of pop-rap and funk-rock, the song’s title alone fires a starting gun in your imagination, almost as if will.i.am, Apl.de.Ap, Taboo and Fergie are all cheering you on to achieve your personal best.

8: Gnarls Barkley: Run (I’m A Natural Disaster) (2008)

A psych-soul collaboration between ex-Goodie Mob rapper CeeLo Green and production wizard Danger Mouse, Run (I’m A Natural Disaster) ups the stakes among the best running songs, encouraging you to make a mad dash as if your life depends on it (“Either you run right now/Or you best/Get ready to die”). With its trippy 60s-inspired hook, it’s a song that’ll trigger a rush of endorphins and activate your fight or flight response, almost making you feel as though you’re a secondary character in a slasher movie, trying to outrun a crazed killer.

7: Foals: The Runner (2019)

If you feel like you’re getting jelly legs and are at risk of taking a tumble, the muscular indie-rock riffs on Foals’ 2019 single The Runner will have you dusting yourself off and pushing past the pain barrier (“Oh, if I fall down, fall down/Then I know to keep on running”). Featured on the band’s sixth studio album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part 2, this track is a spirited and energy-packed rocker that ranks among the best running songs for making you feel as unstoppable as a cheetah racing across the Savannah.

6: Pink Floyd: Run Like Hell (1979)

Following the pulse of its hypnotic bassline, Pink Floyd’s 1979 song Run Like Hell, from The Wall, will help any runner find their natural rhythm. Locking you in with its thumping groove and mantra-like chanting (“Run, run, run, run”), the song will have your body moving with metronomic precision long before keyboardist Richard Wright’s epic synth solo kicks in to push you past the threshold. Easily one of the best running songs, Run Like Hell will have you doing exactly that.

5: Cake: The Distance (1996)

As if soundtracking the 100-metre sprint at the Olympics, Cake’s alt-rock anthem The Distance goes for gold, taking you from the starting blocks to the finish line in no time (“He’s going the distance/He’s going for speed”). With its funky bass riff and singer John McCrea’s rap-inspired delivery, The Distance will fill your head with images of lifting a trophy as you leave your competitors in the dust, making it one of the best running songs to soundtrack your desire for glory.

4: Van Halen: Runnin’ With The Devil (1978)

Switching things up with a hard-rock masterclass from guitar maestro Eddie Van Halen, his group’s 1978 single Runnin’ With The Devil is the perfect pace-setter among the best running songs. As beads of sweat roll down your face as if you’re participating in a relay race in the underworld, there’s a toughness and resolve to this standout cut from Van Halen’s self-titled debut album that will make you feel like you’re in a league of your own, no matter how hot things get.

3: Missy Elliott: Lose Control (featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop) (2005)

Need another big surge of energy? Missy Elliott’s wild and unhinged electro-rap hit Lose Control, from her 2005 album, The Cookbook, is like a big shot of adrenaline among the best running songs, perfect for getting your blood pumping as soon as rapper Fatman Scoop starts barking in your ear. Throwing out rhymes like your very own personal fitness coach (“Everybody here/Get it outta control/Get yo’ backs off tha wall/’Cause Misdemeanor said so”), Missy Elliott will help get those glutes into shape.

2: Iron Maiden: Run To The Hills (1982)

There’s something about vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s electrifying screams on Iron Maiden’s 1982 single Run To The Hills that will put anyone through their paces. With Clive Burr’s galloping drum groove and Dave Murray’s pulse-pounding guitar riffs, this heavy metal anthem, from the group’s pace-setting third album, The Number Of The Beast, is almost like a marathon in itself, sprinting its way into this list of the best running songs like a barbarian speeding into his next battle.

1: Gorillaz: Feel Good Inc. (2005)

Hitting you like a rush of blood to the head, Feel Good Inc., from Gorillaz’s Demon Days album, is a reminder of what we should all be striving toward on our cardio workouts: feeling good is the name of the game, and our body is its own corporate powerhouse. Make no mistake, Feel Good Inc.’s funky bass groove will have you working that treadmill like a boss, as Damon Albarn implores us to “take it all in on your stride”. Thanks to its irresistible beat, Feel Good Inc. transforms your jogging session into an unforgettable adventure, and that’s why it tops this list of the best running songs.

Looking for more? Check out the best workout songs.

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