YOUR Favorite Running Songs

Earlier this week I posted MY list of great running songs and asked you to submit your favorite songs to run to.  And did you ever!  I’ve compiled your submissions into the Ultimate No Meat Athlete Reader Running Playlist!  Everybody loves a good revamp of their workout playlist to keep it fresh, so here you’ll find a road-tested, runner-approved list to do just that.  There’s a huge variety of styles here, from old school punk to reggaeton to electronic-rock to teen pop, and quite literally everything in between (with the notable exception of country, for which I thank you).

Here you go, runner/rockers!

Reader-Favorite Running Songs

  • “Police on My Back” by the Clash The Clash - Sandinista! - Police On My Back
  • “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor Fort Minor featuring Styles of Beyond - The Rising Tied - Remember the Name
  • “Idioteque” by Radiohead * Radiohead - Kid A - Idioteque
  • “The Whole World” by Outkast
  • “Starry Eyed Surprise” by Paul Oakenfold * Oakenfold - Bunkka - Starry Eyed Surprise
  • “Lose Yourself” by Eminem * Eminem - 8 Mile - Lose Yourself
  • “December African Rain” by Johnny Clegg Johnny Clegg & Juluka - Work for All - December African Rain
  • “Play Your Part (Pt. 1)” by Girl Talk
  • “Hysteria” by Muse * Muse - Absolution - Hysteria
  • “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You (Remastered) - Start Me Up
  • “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) - I Gotta Feeling
  • “Talk Amongst Yourselves” by Grand National Grand National - Kicking the National Habit - Talk Amongst Yourselves
  • “Run” by Gnarls Barkley Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple - Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)
  • “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
  • “The View from the Afternoon” by Arctic Monkeys Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - The View from the Afternoon
  • “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse Muse - The Studio Album Collection - Knights of Cydonia
  • “Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends” by Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree - Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends
  • “Burn Down the Mission” by Elton John Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection - Burn Down the Mission
  • “The First Single (Cause a Scene)” by the Format The Format - Interventions and Lullabies - The First Single (You Know Me)
  • “Go Girl” by Pitbull Pitbull - The Boatlift - Go Girl (feat. Trina & Young Boss)
  • “Heart of a Champion” by Nelly Nelly & Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble - Sweat - Heart of a Champion
  • “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way (Bonus Track Version) - Can't Stop
  • “Keep the Car Running” by Arcade Fire * Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - Keep the Car Running
  • “I’m Running” by Mistress Barbara *
  • “Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys Dropkick Murphys - The Warrior's Code - I'm Shipping Up to Boston
  • “Troublemaker” by Weezer Weezer - Weezer (Red Album) [Deluxe Edition] - Troublemaker
  • “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy Osbourne - Prince of Darkness - Crazy Train
  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana Nirvana - Nevermind - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey Journey - Journey: Greatest Hits - Don't Stop Believin'
  • “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits - Fat Bottomed Girls
  • “Can’t Take That Plane” by John Mayer Trio
  • “Fuel” by Metallica * Metallica - Reload - Fuel
  • “Chariots of Fire” by Synthesizer Syndicate Synthesizer Syndicate - Synthesizer Syndicate Selected Hits Vol. 1 - Chariots of Fire
  • Theme Song from Rocky Bill Conti - Rocky (30th Anniversary Edition) [Original Motion Picture Score] - Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky")
  • “Somebody Told Me” by the Killers The Killers - Hot Fuss - Somebody Told Me
  • “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus - Party In the U.S.A. - Single - Party In the U.S.A.
  • “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo Elvis Crespo - Suavemente - Suavemente
  • “The New Workout Plan” by Kanye West Kanye West - The College Dropout

It’s funny; as I listened to these songs I noticed that they pretty much fell into two camps: the pump-you-up, feel-your-heart-beat-faster songs that are great for pounding out hill repeats, and the repetitive, sometimes slower but get-into-the-zone-where-you-forget-you’re-running songs that work so well on those 10+ milers.

But who’s the winner, you ask?  Who is the proud new owner of  a No Meat Athlete t-shirt?  Well, I listened to every single song (for those who submitted bands, I just chose their most popular song, based on iTunes rankings).  There are lots that I want to run with, but there’s only one winner.  And that winner, the song I’m to get out there and pound the pavement with as soon as I’m finished writing this, is…

…yet undetermined.  But all the asterisked songs above are my finalists, and I’m taking them out for a tempo run right now.  And by the time I get back, I think the winner will be obvious.  To me anyway.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂

Want more?  Check out Mel’s running music, or this cool index of running mixes and songs, organized by genre and beats per minute.  Still want more?  Check out me in my wannabe rockstar days!

Oh, to be young and in love with the drums

[matt playing drums 2]



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  1. Thanks for compiling all of them! There are some great ones in there.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Product Review and Giveaway: Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce =-.

  2. OMG!!! I’m so excited that I made it to the finals!!!!!!!
    .-= Mrah´s last blog ..All Killer, No Filler =-.

  3. I think you forgot to put an asterisk after my song…. Theme Song from Rocky. :-\

  4. What a fabulous list! Thanks for all the suggestions
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..New Family Addition!! =-.

  5. I’m going to have to investigate some of them!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Africa is not for the faint of heart =-.

  6. Yeah! I love learning what other runners listen to during the run. I have founds some awesome running songs through posts like this one. Very nicely done!

  7. Great list – lots of these songs are new to me and I’m excited to put some of them on my workout playlists.
    .-= Tanya´s last blog ..Wake Up and Fight Workout Playlist =-.

  8. Can’t wait to hear about your Tempo run yesterday and the final decision. I’m predicting a great run since you had so many awesome tunes blasting in your ears! 😉

    And yo, I never would have guessed that was you in the first pic!
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..So Damn Hot =-.

  9. Haha rockin!! Were you a drummer? Very cool Matt!
    .-= Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn´s last blog ..I Support Spontaneous Running =-.

  10. I guess I’m a little late to the party, but lately the song that gets me in the mood to run no matter how I’m feeling is “My Girls” by Animal Collective.
    I’m a newly-hatched triathlete and I’ve been reading/loving your blog all summer, but this is my first comment! Hooray!

    • Hey Dana, thanks for reading all summer! Way to step up and leave a comment, I wish everyone would do that :). That’s awesome that you’re a triathlete; that’s my next goal after Boston.

      Looking forward to more comments!

  11. i don’t even remember what song i recommended? haha. hey there is nothing wrong with country – i used to hate it but it’s grown on me. it’s just not upbeat enough to get me going/keep me going!
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..end of the streak =-.

    • Lindsay, I feel bad about dissing country. I actually like some old country music, like Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins. But I don’t like what people call country now.

  12. That’s cool that you’re a drummer. I play piano and guitar and I’ve often wished I could pick up drums, but alas, I lack any semblance of rhythm and coordination! 🙂
    .-= VeggieRunnr´s last blog ..30 Day Challenge Wrap Up =-.

    • Melissa, I bet you could play drums if you tried! I play guitar and a little piano too, but neither nearly as well as drums. If you can understand how notes and rests line up, like with those other instruments (even just the guitar strumming patterns), then you could do it! Coordinating 10 fingers and a foot pedal on a piano is much more difficult than coordinating 4 limbs with drums.

  13. Where r the orginal comments with all of the songs. I wanted to use it as a reference?

  14. Jennifer says:

    I freaking love The Format!

  15. OK, so I *just* found your site, and am constantly looking for new, catchy running songs. It’s tricky sometimes banishing the boredom of the 27th time listening to “Break on Through” by the Doors (which I used to love). Thanks for all your and your readers’ ideas. I’m totally with you on the country thing. I’d love to share some of my favorites that seem to be tunes you might like, based on your original 9: “I Want You Back” by the Hoodoo Gurus, “Lay Me Down” by The Dirty Heads (new), “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars (new), “Someday I Suppose” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “It’s Alright For You”, by the Police, “Tears of a Clown” by English Beat, “Love You” by the Benjy Davis Project (new), “Santeria” by Sublime, “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes, “That’s Just What You Are” by Aimee Mann, “Mystery Dance” by Elvis Costello.

  16. Paramore – Misery Business

    Play it right after Sigur Ros’ Gobbledigook.

    8 minutes fly right by.

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