Ask Kikay Runner: Running Playlist

This is a new section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries, contact me!

I mentioned in my Yurbuds review that I haven’t run with music in two years. Now that I’m about to do that again for specific workouts (track/speed), I realize that my old playlist needs refreshing.

Benedict asks:

I just read your review of yurbuds and you mentioned something about filling an mp3 player with your favorite running songs, so I would just like to ask what songs would you say is a must have in any running playlist? I’m looking to expand my playlist since it’s only good for 10k runs and that’s already with some songs repeated. Thanks!

Music tastes can differ with every runner. If you were able to catch Chris and Chloe’s radio show on Mellow 94.7 last February 3, 2012, they featured the favorite running songs of some runners, including myself. (Listen here for what song I picked.) Some picked pop, some picked rock, some picked techno. Part of choosing a running playlist is finding songs that help you get in your preferred state of mind for running, and songs that keep you motivated.

Part of the training I got from The Next Step Tri Camp I attended was an emphasis on increasing stride turnover rate (the number of steps you take per minute). Ideally people should be able to maintain at least 180 steps per minute to avoid overstriding and ensure good form and less fatigue. Some people actually train and race with metronomes to achieve this, but you can get a similar effect with the beat of the music you pick for your running playlist. Some websites like Running Playlist and Running Music Mix provide lists of songs suited to running.

So there isn’t really one must-have song on any running playlist. It’s really about what kind of soundtrack you’d like to have playing as you run.

My updated playlist for 10K looks like this:

  1. Save the World (Zedd Remix) – Swedish House Mafia
  2. Ready Steady Go – Paul Oakenfold
  3. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Alive 2007 Mix) – Daft Punk
  4. Boom Boom Pow (David Guetta Electro Pop Mix) – Black Eyed Peas
  5. Everybody Everybody (Benny Benassi 2007 Remix) – Black Box
  6. Let It Rock (ft. Lil Wayne) – Kevin Rudolf
  7. One (Congorock Remix) – Swedish House Mafia
  8. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  9. Rain Down Love (Phunk Mobb Remix ft. Siedah Garrett) – Freemasons
  10. Incredible (Denis the Menace & Jerry Roperos Full Vocal Mix) – Shapeshifters
  11. Toca’s Miracle (Vandalism Remix) – Fragma
  12. Run the World (Kaskade Club Remix) – Beyonce
  13. Beautiful People (ft. Benny Benassi) – Chris Brown

This playlist is longer than the amount of time I usually take to run a 10K because I like to have flexibility to skip songs when I don’t feel like listening to them. I don’t like repeating songs unless it’s a power song (the song that always gets you revved up).

You’ll notice a lot of house music on my playlist because that’s the kind of music I listen to, especially for teaching BodyJam. Your playlist might look a little or a lot different. In the end it’s really up to your taste, and seeing how different songs affect your running.

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About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in wellness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

8 thoughts on “Ask Kikay Runner: Running Playlist

  1. Thanks Noelle! This is definitely a new genre for me. The songs have a nice beat which will help me maintain a more constant pace (which I find difficult to do). Oh, and I think the “180 steps per minute” will also help in maintaining my pace! Thank you!

  2. i update my iTunes library particularly on the BPM info per song… i use the MixMeister BPM analyzer on my mac to automatically compute the BPM per song…. i also utilize the smart playlist feature so that i have a fresh and new list each time i sync my iPhone… a good list can range from 78-91 bpm and 155-180 bpm songs… and the best part is that you can use the beats to go along with your running stride…

    some songs from my current playlist:
    Heart of the City – Jay Z (86 bpm)
    For the first Time – The Script (87 bpm)
    Adrenaline Rush – Obie Trice (88 bpm)
    No More – 3LW (88 bpm)
    Feel Me Flow – Naughty by Nature (90 bpm)


  3. hi ms. noelle, what player do you use when you run? i wanted to buy ipod shuffle but i just thought if its waterproof and sweatproof?

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