Great running music: My top running tracks on CD and MP3

Running to music is great. It pumps me up, gives me energy and keeps me positive while I exercise. It also helps me keep a good pace. But more importantly, every time I go out for a run listening to my top playlists I somehow run faster and don’t feel as tired as I do when my favourite songs are playing full blast on my iPhone.

That’s the reason I started this site. I enjoy it so much that I want to share the best music for running I’ve found. Today I want to share a few of my favourite CDs for jogging.

Here are a few notes on each. I may write a full review of each of them later, but for now just a short note:

1. 101 Running Songs is a collection of 5 CDs. The songs are good although a little old, so if you like recent music only this one may not be for you. I do like it quite a bit though. It has music by Queen, Pink, Fatboy Slim, Billy Idol, Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, Wham and many others. I wrote a short review of the first CD a few months ago. 5 Stars.

2. 101 Running Songs Lap 2 is the sequel to the above and also a 5 disc set. This one is more modern featuring music by Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Blur, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Katy Perry, Alycia Keys, etc. mixed up with oldies by Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Duran Duran, Blondie, Erasure and Run DMC. I normally wouldn’t listen to some of these, but the combination is pretty good and all tracks are awesome for running. A little variety is great. This one is one of my favourites. 5 Stars.

3. Exercizer Maximizer Vol. 1 & 2 is a 2 disc set and it’s based on running at specific beats per minute. The tag line is “Workout Music Engineered To Get You Results” and it sure does. It has warm up and warm down tracks. The music was written specifically to work out by composer Raney Shockne. It’s not normal songs by known artists. It’s like having your own coach with you. However, the pace gets pretty high so it’s more geared towards regular runners that can already sustain a good pace. Skip it if you’re just starting out. 5 Stars.

4. The Biggest Loser Workout Mix – 80s Hits Remixed is as simple as it gets. Twelve up beat songs from the 80′s including Sussudio, Electric Avenue, Let’s hear it for the boy, Magic, and others. This one is a love it or hate it disc. Check out the song list and you’ll know if it’s for you. 3 Stars.

5. Bodymix: Sixties Cardio is good once in a while. The songs aren’t by the original artists (at least I don’t think so) and I wouldn’t listen to it when not running, but for a jog they’re good. I get this with some songs, don’t like them when I listen to them but like them while running. They have a good rhythm. 3 Stars.

So there you have it. If you’re looking for running music but don’t want to spend the time creating custom playlists these might be exactly what you want.

Slow Run Playlist – 60 minutes

As part of my training plan, I need to do a slow run every week, mid-week. Right now it’s a 40 minute run at a relatively slow pace, but it grows week on week until it reaches 60 minutes.

I thought having high tempo music would encourage me to go faster and that would actually be a bad thing for this run. So I’m trying out a few running playlists with slower songs.

Like my first one, this one was also done as a Smart Playlist, so it’s a bit random. The criteria was very simple:

  • BPM is less than 110
  • Limit to 60 minutes selected by Most Often Played

The result was pretty good… except for 2 things:

  1. There is no way that song from System of a Down (Bounce) is under 110 BPM.
  2. Someone in my family has been playing my songs, because some of those I haven’t heard in a while. It’s strange they’d be considered “Most Often Played”

The first point can be attributed to the errors I got while adding BPM with beaTunes. I just played the song again and manually measured BPM using BPM Tapper and I got 185.

The Playlist:

Song Artist Amazon
Tear Red Hot Chili Peppers Buy in Amazon
I Wanna Touch U Def Leppard Buy in Amazon (full album)
My Iron Lung Radiohead Buy in Amazon
Unkillable Monster Marilyn Manson Buy in Amazon
Billy’s Got a Gun Def Leppard Buy in Amazon (full album)
Frijolero Molotov Buy in Amazon
Dr. Feelgood Motley Crue Buy in Amazon
Not Listening Papa Roach Buy in Amazon
Tell Me The Truth Midnight oil Buy in Amazon
Bounce System Of A Down Buy in Amazon
Stripped Depeche Mode Buy in Amazon
All I Want Is You Barry Louis Polisar Buy in Amazon
One for Rock and Roll Cinderella Buy in Amazon
The State We’re In The Chemical Brothers Buy in Amazon

Lesson learned:

Running to slow music works.

It was actually a very nice run. I ran at a relatively slow pace, didn’t get tired, and did feel like I exercised. It was great listening to music at this pace because you get to pay attention to the tunes and enjoy them more than with a fast run, where the music is more to get you pumped.

I’ll definitely be checking out more slower paced songs to find the perfect slow run playlist for me.


I give it a 3 out of 5.

Rock Music Playlist – 60 minutes

This time around, I decided to go with a rock/alternative running playlist for this week’s jogging.

Instead of doing a smart playlist as previously, I just filtered by genre and randomly listed to a few songs and made a very quick decision. If they sounded “runnable” I threw them into a playlist, if they were too slow I skipped them.

I did this very fast until I had roughly 60 minutes worth or songs for running. I didn’t want to think about the songs too much as I really liked the feeling of listening to stuff I hadn’t heard in a long time or even ever!

I realised I have a lot of songs I just haven’t heard.

I’ve purchased way too many CD’s over the years and I either never got around to listening to the whole thing or I just don’t remember. There are also songs that others in the family have purchased that I hadn’t heard. Since we keep all music in a huge shared library, there’s a lot to choose from. This will be fun.

The Rock Music Running Playlist:

Song Artist BPM Amazon
Love foolosophy Jamiroquai 129 Buy in Amazon
Alt.end The Cure 115 Buy in Amazon
Not Afraid Earshot 84 Buy in Amazon
Pardon Me Incubus 76 Buy in Amazon
Yesterday’s Today Living Syndication 171 Buy in Amazon
Guerilla Radio Rage Against The Machine 207 Buy in Amazon
The Door Silverchair 184 Buy in Amazon (full album)
Suck My Kiss Red Hot Chili Peppers 102 Buy in Amazon
Song 2 Blur 172 Buy in Amazon
Around the World Red Hot Chili Peppers 155 Buy in Amazon
Everlong Foo Fighters 79 Buy in Amazon
Brighter Than The Sun Tiamat 134 Buy in Amazon
Juicebox The Strokes 155 Buy in Amazon
Black Bugs Regurgitator 65 Buy in Amazon
Brown Eyed Girl Everclear 110 Buy in Amazon
Break My Body Pixies 127 Buy in Amazon


Lesson learned from this running playlist:

This rock music running playlist turned out great. I chose the songs just by ear and it worked. I’ll do a few more of those using different genres.

What I’m now convinced of is that the software I used to calculate BPM didn’t do a good job.The difference in the tunes on this playlist are just way too big that it doesn’t sound right. Either they’re wrong or I don’t fully understand BPM.

(UPDATE: I found a better way to add BPM to songs in iTunes).


I give this rock music running playlist a 4 out of 5. It was pretty cool