Research suggests that diversification in the tempo and type of music is key. A fast, high intensity song may be great for hard intervals, but a catchy, lighthearted tune is likely better for an easy long run. While every runner has his or her own musical preferences, here are 10 of our top picks.
Born to RunBruce Springsteen 1 of 11
Ranked on many "greatest songs of all time" lists, Born to Run is one you can't help picking up the pace for. At around 150 beats per minute, this critically acclaimed tune is perfect to play during tempo runs.
The DistanceCake 2 of 11
Not only is this song full of lyrics that resonate with runners, it touts a 90 beats-per-minute tempo, which matches the ideal running cadence of 180 foot strikes per minute or 90 per foot. The 1996 hit employs everything from guitar, bass, drums and synthesized sounds to keep you moving forward during a workout or race.
Runnin' Down a DreamTom Petty 3 of 11
This 1989 classic has become a favorite among runners both for its lyrics and beat. It also hits the 180 beats-per-minute sweet spot, so it keeps you on track if you're looking to train for a faster leg turnover.
Lose YourselfEminem 4 of 11
Characterized by hardcore, aggressive lyrics that surround a theme of overcoming obstacles, this one rings true for runners when they hit the wall. The song earned Eminem a whopping five Grammy Award nominations and the Academy Award for best original song.
Eye of the TigerSurvivor 5 of 11
Who could forget this fist-pumping motivational anthem made famous in Rocky III? This is one that will make you embrace the thrill of fighting through a rough moment of a race or battling a rival to the finish line like no other.
StrongerKanye West 6 of 11
Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's words, "What does not kill him, makes him stronger," Kanye West put forth one of the most rousing running tracks in existence. With the inclusion of a sample of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" dropped in, you can't help but push.
ThunderstruckAC/DC 7 of 11
This top pick from the famous hard rock group can't help but leave you feeling thunderstruck. Its aggressive and hard-charging lyrics and sound will get you amped for competition.
Beautiful DayU2 8 of 11
If you're looking for something a bit more lighthearted and uplifting, you'll be hard pressed to find anything that rivals Beautiful Day. This is an ideal track for those early morning runs when you're trying to get your engine started.
Start Me UpRolling Stones 9 of 11
The rhythmic thump of Start Me Up will have any runner moving to its beat. Starting with a classic Keith Richards guitar riff followed by a catchy and persistent back beat, this song can only be described as addictive.
Here It Goes AgainOK Go 10 of 11
If you've seen the incredible treadmill choreography in this music video, you'll understand why it makes such a worthy running song. This snappy hit from OK Go will light a fire under any runner, whether you're hitting the mill, the trails, or the road.