Part of me has always wanted to be one of those people who can run in relative quiet, taking in the sounds of her own breathing and the cadence of footsteps. Something about that seems so dedicated — as if being completely tuned in to a run would make me a more serious athlete. But that’s just not the kind of runner I am, so I rely on songs to help me run faster.
When I run, I need to be pumped up by some kind of external force, preferably one coming out of my earbuds (you know, as opposed to being chased). And I'm not alone. Both on running paths and at races, I've noticed that now more than ever, the majority of runners wear headphones. The fact is that for many of us, listening to uptempo music is motivating and makes running easier. More specifically, it makes running fast easier. Think about when you're trotting along and your favorite Beyoncé song comes on. You speed up almost involuntarily.
When putting together awesome workout playlists, I have two rules. First, no sticking to just one genre. Otherwise, things get too repetitive, which makes me zone out and slow down. I like to switch it up. The second rule is pretty obvious: No matter the genre, songs must be upbeat.
Keeping that in mind, here's a roundup of my favorite songs for running — fast.
1. HOLYCHILD, "Running Behind"
2. Interpol, "All The Rage Back Home"
3. Nicki Minaj, "Trini Dem Girls"
4. Carly Rae Jepson, "Run Away With Me"
5. Best Coast, "Feeling OK"
6. We Were Promised Jetpacks, "Quiet Little Voices"
This one's for the gotta-go-sweat-out-my-problems runs, which often turn out to be my best.
Download "Quiet Little Voices" on iTunes here.
7. Sky Ferreira, "I Will"
8. Major Lazer feat. Wild Belle, "Be Together"
9. A$AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, "Wild For The Night"
10. Tokyo Police Club, "Tessellate"
11. Skrillex and Diplo feat. Justin Bieber, "Where Are Ü Now"
If you want to ignore all of my previous suggestions, just go ahead and play this on a loop. Bieber's collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo is an EDM anthem that'll have you logging your fastest miles yet.
12. Flume feat. T-Shirt, "On Top"
This electro-dancehall track almost makes me wish I could breakdance. I'll probably stick to running, though.
13. Icona Pop, "First Time"
14. Grace feat. G-Eazy, "You Don't Own Me"
15. Bloc Party, "One Month Off"
16. Kendrick Lamar, "Backseat Freestyle"
17. MisterWives, "Our Own House"
18. Beastie Boys, "Sabotage"
19. Beyoncé, "Countdown"
20. Vampire Weekend, "Diane Young"
Any song with a chorus that goes "Baby, baby, baby, baby ..." gets an A+ in my book.
Download "Diane Young" on iTunes here.
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