Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. It provides a great aerobic workout and can be done almost anywhere. The benefits of running are numerous, and it helps maintain weight, improve cardiovascular health, and build endurance.
When you combine all its physical benefits to your mental health by releasing endorphins, it becomes clear why so many people take up this popular pastime. With so many runners out there, it’s no surprise that there are some songs about running too!
Here are 21 songs about running that you should listen to on your next jog or run.
Top Songs About Running
“Run” – Gnarls Barkley
This is a fast-paced, energetic song that will get your heart rate up and help you power through your run. Hit the track with your best foot forward and listen to this song while you run.
You’ll have a great time! Also, the music video is excellent too. It’s one of my favorite songs to listen to when running!
“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
I know this song is popular because of Rocky, but it makes for a great run! It’ll get your legs moving and help you power through your run.
We all need that extra motivation when we’re running, and this song provides that motivation. This is a great song to listen to, and therefore, your run will feel like a Rocky training montage.
“Run for Cover” – The Killers
Musical aspects of the song aside, one of the reasons I like this song for running is because it has a great beat to it. It’s a fast-paced song that will help you keep your pace while running.
The lyrics are about running away from something, which is perfect for runners looking to push themselves harder. This mellow song is perfect for taking a break during your run.
It slows the pace down and gives you time to catch your breath or even take an on-the-run selfie! Just kidding, please don’t do that. Put the phone away and enjoy nature!
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
Every runner needs a good “I’m gonna finish this no matter what” song, and this is mine. It’s a great, upbeat song that will help you keep going when the going gets tough. This Scottish band knows how to write a catchy tune, and runners will love it!
Essentially, the song is all about the determination to keep running, no matter how hard it gets. It’s a great song to listen to if you’re struggling in your run or need some extra motivation.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Green Day
This dark and emotional song is perfect for the long run. It’ll keep you motivated and moving forward. Endurance is a critical part of a successful run, and this song will help you push through it.
This is an excellent song for a nighttime run because the lyrics are dark and moody, which seems to fit better into that setting. Whatever your pace or reason for running, this song will serve its purpose.
Running can be a heavily taxing exercise, both physically and emotionally. This song reflects that idea perfectly. It’s a great song to listen to if you’re feeling down or need some extra motivation during your run.
“Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles
Running should not always reflect pain and struggle. Sometimes it can be relaxed and easy. If you’re feeling like that, this is your song. This Beatles classic will make your run feel like a stroll in the park.
The music is mellow and harmonious, making for an easier run. Whatever kind of day you’re having (unless it’s rainy), listening to this song will make your run better.
This feel-good song will also help get your day started on the right foot, or should I say the right foot strike? It’s a great song to run to if you need some positive motivation.
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
Knowing that you can survive anything is a great feeling, which is why this song makes a list. This upbeat classic will help you push through your run. No matter how hard it gets, remember that you will survive.
The song is all about overcoming obstacles and continuing forward. It’s a great song to listen to if you’re struggling in your run or need some extra motivation.
This song is all about persevering and surviving. It’s perfect for running because it will help you push through any challenging parts of your run.
“The Weight” – The Band
For those who are looking for a slower song to run to, this is the perfect one. This classic from The Band is all about taking things slow and easy. It’s the perfect song to listen to if you’re tired or just starting your run. It has a relaxing melody and lyrics that ease you into your run.
This song is all about taking it easy and enjoying life. And that’s what you should be doing while you run. It’s all about pacing yourself so that your body doesn’t give up on you!
This tune is about the struggles of running and how it can be a weight on your shoulders. It’s perfect for runners who are struggling to stay motivated.
“Thunder Clatter” – Wild Cub
Occasionally, it would be best to kick up your rhythm to an upbeat tune. This Wild cub song offers that. It’s perfect for runners who are looking for a faster-paced song. If you’re feeling tired or unmotivated, this is the perfect pick-me-up.
Wild Cub’s song is the perfect tune for a relaxing run, especially if you live in an urban or even suburban area. The lyrics will help you forget everything else and concentrate on your surroundings.
“Gonna Get Away” – The Black Keys
The song is about the addiction to running and how the runner can’t stop, even when they want to. It’s a great song to listen to if you’re struggling with running motivation.
It’s a great song to listen to if you’re struggling with motivation or if you’re trying to push yourself harder during your run. With this kind of song, you can’t go wrong. Could you give it a listen and see what you think?
“Run” – Snow Patrol
This huge ballad from Snow Patrol speaks of working through hard times and coming out the other side. Rather than running away from their problems, the listener is encouraged to “light up”, and believe that the singer will always be by their side.
Gary Lightbody wrote ‘Run’ after hitting a low in 2000 and experiencing a near-fatal fall down a flight of stairs. With those around him concerned, Lightbody wrote the track to convince himself that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The track had a resurgence in 2008 after Leona Lewis covered it on the X Factor. It became so popular that even a karaoke version of the song charted in the UK Top 75.
“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” – Kate Bush
Kate Bush sings about a man and woman struggling to understand each other in this 1985 track. They speculate that if they could make a deal with God, they might be able to swap places with each other and so see things from each other’s perspective. They wonder if this would prevent their relationship from being negatively effected by petty misunderstandings.
When ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ appeared in Stranger Things 4, the song blew up. It hit No.1 37 years after its original release.
“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine
“Run fast for your mother and fast for your father,” sings Florence Welch on this fast paced track. “Run for your children, for your sister and your brother.” She’s not talking about anything threatening however – the track is about the shock of suddenly stumbling upon happiness. The track’s protagonist is disbelieving, not trusting the feeling, and experiences the urge to run from it. However, it hits her like a bullet.
“Go The Distance” – Michael Bolton
This soaring cover from Michael Bolton describes someone in search of their destination. They are prepared to run any distance to get there, so long as they belong when they get there. “I know every mile will be worth my while,” sings Bolton.
The track originally comes from the 1997 Disney animated film, Hercules. Composed by Alan Menken, it was originally sung by Roger Bart as the singing voice of the titular character. Bolton covered the track in his 1997 album, All That Matters.
“Born To Run” – Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen captures what it is to be young and restless in ‘Born To Run’. “We’ve got to get out while we’re young,” he sings, “Because tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.” Springsteen wasn’t sure where inspiration for the titular phrase but has stated that he liked the “cinematic drama” of it.
‘Born To Run’ was one of Springsteen’s first tastes of commercial success. His first two albums did not sell well, and it is possible that he would have been dropped from Columbia Records had ‘Born To Run’ not done well.
“I Ran” – A Flock Of Seagulls
A Flock Of Seagulls take us on some twist and turns in this 80s classic. When the protagonist comes across a pretty girl in an avenue late at night, he is instantly intrigued by her and resists the urge to run from his feelings. Then, in a twist of fate, they are both abducted by aliens.
This was A Flock Of Seagulls’ most successful single from their debut album. The music video for the song cost just £5000 to make but brought back much more than that after it became popular on MTV.
“Running If You Call My Name” – HAIM
Sister trio HAIM wrote this emotional song after Alana Haim lost her best friend Sammi Kane Kraft in a drink driving accident. The first verse is almost an exact play-by-play of her movements after she got the call. The chorus references her desire to run away from everyone and process what she was feeling, even as her loved ones reached out to her. “I’ll keep running if you call my name,” she sings.
“Run” – Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran
A ‘from the vault’ track on the re-release of Swift’s album Red, ‘Run’ is a recording of a previously unreleased duet between Swift and Sheeran. The track is a sweet promise between two lovers to run away from everything that could possibly hurt their relationship and set out on their own. Swift has said that she and Sheeran wrote the song, as well as their other duet ‘Everything Has Changed’, whilst sat on a trampoline together.
“I Run To You” – Lady A
“I run from hate/I run from prejudice/I run from pessimists,” sings the group formerly known as Lady Antebellum in the opening lines of ‘I Run To You’. They run away from a lot, it seems, but there is something that they run towards – love. This sweet country track celebrates the power of love and acceptance over darkness.
Co-writer Tom Douglas expressed his surprise that the group was willing to use ‘message-y’ words like ‘prejudice’ and ‘hate’, despite that not always being on-brand for a country group. The gamble paid off, as ‘I Run To You’ earned Lady A a CMA award.
“Ready To Run” – The Chicks
The Chicks promise to be ready to run away from love at the first signs, such as a look in a boy’s eyes or a remark from their mothers that they look good in white. “All I’m ready to do is have some fun,” they sing. “What’s all this talk about love?” The Chicks make it clear that they aren’t looking to settle down any time soon and they’re ready to bolt as soon as things start getting serious. At least they’re upfront.
“Run For Cover” – The Killers
This upbeat rock song was written by Brandon Flowers and producer Stuart Price nine years before it was completed and recorded. Flowers had loved the first verse so much that it was a struggle for him to write something he liked as much for the second, and it took a breakthrough for the song to finally be finished. Due to a mention of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’, the Killers were obliged to give Marely a writing credit on ‘Run For Cover’.
For enthusiast runners, the above songs about running will offer an inspiration for your next run. Up your running game with these amazing tunes. And remember, it is important to mix up your running playlist often to avoid boredom.
So, go ahead and add these great songs to your running repertoire! It can be helpful to listen to music while you exercise, so grab your iPod and get going!
Caitlin Devlin is a music, entertainment and lifestyle writer based in London. When she’s not creating playlists for Repeat Replay, she’s reviewing gigs and interviewing artists for Ticketmaster UK and thinking about what her Spotify Wrapped will look like this year.