Best Running Songs: Our Top Picks For 2020

Best Running Songs: Our Top Picks For 2020

Did you know that music can be an amazing motivator, and can actually boost your workout performance? There are many reasons why music can help elevate your workout to the next level. Let’s dive into how to choose the best running songs, as well as the top picks for workout songs as we sprint our way into 2020.

Picking the Best Running Songs

Have you ever noticed that when you take a cardio class at your local gym, the music all seems to have a similar beat? That is because the “sweet spot” for effective workout music is music with between 120-140 beats per minute.

Slower music is less likely to get you as jacked up as you want to be at the gym. Faster music can actually be discouraging for some athletes, as you feel like you just can’t keep up. Hitting that sweet spot is likely to help you lift a few extra reps or last until the next movement change in your HIIT class.

Experts encourage that you warm-up and cool down to music with an easier and slower tempo than what you prefer for the challenging part of your workout.

It’s Personal

The one thing that exercise physiologists agree on is that outside of the standard cardio classes; music is a deeply personal thing.

What motivates one athlete is not certain to motivate the next. You need to choose music that moves you, literally and emotionally.

First 5K Mix – Songs with Run or Race in the Title

For a first 5K, perhaps a motivational mix with the word run in every song might help. Want some unsolicited advice? Don’t listen to this mix ahead of time.

Download the songs, label it First 5K, and hit play when you toe the line. Just let the music wash over you.

🎵 10 Epic Run Themed Songs in No Particular Order:

  1. Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden
  2. Run, Run Away by Slade
  3. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  4. Run for Your Life by Twisted Sister
  5. Race with the Devil by Girlschool
  6. Runaway by Bon Jovi
  7. You Got Me Runnin’ by Def Leppard
  8. Run-Around by Blues Traveler
  9. Runnin’ With the Devil by Van Halen
  10. Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

🎵 Pumping Up The Jam

According to iTunes, the top ten dance songs of 2020 are as follows, and would make an amazing, spirited playlist for most runners!

  1. Lose Control by Meduza
  2. Happier by Marshmello
  3. Ride it by Regard
  4. Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
  5. Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker
  6. Good Things Fall Apart by Illenium & Jon Bellion
  7. Good Time Girl by Sofi Tukker
  8. Wake Me Up by Avicii
  9. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  10. Turn Down for What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon

🎵 Country Music Playlist

Since music is so deeply personal for many people, and each workout has different goals, many runners may include a country music playlist in their repertoire of necessary music.

Again, according to iTunes, here are the top picks of 2020.

  1. Nobody But You by Blake Shelton
  2. Old Town Road by Lil’ Nas X
  3. 10,000 Hours by Dan & Shay
  4. I Hope by Gabby Barett
  5. The Bones by Maren Morris
  6. One Man Band by Old Dominion
  7. Even Though I’m Leaving by Luke Combs
  8. Hard to Forget by Sam Hunt
  9. I Wish Grandpas Never Died by Riley Green
  10. I Hope You’re Happy Now by Carly Peace & Lee Bryce

🎵 Eddie’s Top 10 Running Favorites

Eddie Denkin

Eddie Denkin is a 58-year-old dentist from North Carolina who likes to listen to music from his teenage years when running. He typically runs 3 days a week for 3-5 miles, unless he’s training for something special. Cross-training for Eddie involves ice hockey and cycling.

  1. Amie by Pure Prairie League
  2. Born to Run by Springsteen
  3. Brandy by Looking Glass
  4. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
  5. Georgy Girl by The Seekers
  6. Me and You and a Dog Named Boo by Lobo
  7. Ramblin’ Man by the Allman Brothers
  8. Runaway by Del Shannon
  9. Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers
  10. Sunshine by Jonathan Edwards

🎵 Speedwork Playlist

Matt Reardon

Matt Reardon is a former United States Marine who proudly runs for Team Red White & Blue. Matt has a unique way to arrange his playlists, creating specific ones for different types of workouts. Matt has lists for tempo runs, for speed work and some specific to easy running.

  1. Yeah! featuring Lil’ Jon and Ludacris
  2. Kill Bill theme song by Wu-Tang Clan
  3. Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch
  4. Win in the End by Teen Wolf
  5. When the Seasons Change by Five Finger Death Punch
  6. What I’ve Done by Linkin Park
  7. We R Who We R by Ke$ha
  8. War by Poets of the Fall
  9. Walk Me Home by Pink
  10. Try Again by Aaliyah

🎵 Easy Run Playlist

  1. Endless Summer Nights by Richard Marx
  2. The Endless Road by John Tesch
  3. Empty Garden by Elton John
  4. Dust in the Wind by Kansas
  5. Don’t Take the Girl by Tim McGraw
  6. Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel
  7. Desert Rose by Sting
  8. Broken by Seether
  9. (Do You Get) Excited? by Roxette
  10. Dalaman by Celtic Woman

🎵 Amy Fitzpatrick Podcasts

Amy Fitzpatrick

Amy Fitzpatrick does not listen to music when she runs, but she does like to keep her brain busy. She is obsessed with serial killer podcasts, as well as podcasts featuring crazy crime dramas. She got hooked on podcasts when commuting back and forth to work and found the distraction to be something she could carry over other running.

A self-proclaimed “nut job,” she will not apologize for her crazy obsession because it keeps her moving! If you’re interested, try “True Crime Bullshit” or “Up and Vanished.”

🎵 Music Choices From a Veteran Runner

Layton Duer (center)

Retired federal prosecutor Layton Duer has spent a lifetime coaching and running. A speed demon in his youth, he boasts a 3:15 marathon PR. You might be surprised by his music choices. His iPod shuffles between an eclectic and diverse group of artists.

House of Pain, The Eagles, Eminem, Sir Mix A Lot, Bonnie Tyler, Waylon Jennings are just some of the artists that keep Layton company as he works out. It just goes to show you never can tell what motivates a person.

🎵 Author’s Top Ten

Author Pam Berg
  1. Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch
  2. Hey Look Ma, I Made It! by Panic at the Disco
  3. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
  4. I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys
  5. Seven Nation Army by The White STripes
  6. Uptown Funk by Bruna Mars
  7. Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden
  8. HandClap by Fitz and the Tantrums
  9. Sad Man’s Tongue by Volbeat
  10. Happier by Marshmello & Bastille

Note on Personal Safety

Rockay cares about its athletes and feels compelled to add: if you enjoy loud music as a motivator, please do it safely. Every runner should be able to hear dangers such as oncoming traffic or someone approaching you with bad intentions.

Running with only one earbud is a great compromise so you can hear the world around you while running. If you are running alone, another compromise is playing the music through the speakers on your phone and listening that way.