Great running songs are precious to runners. The miles go by so much faster and workouts don’t seem so long when there’s rocking music thumping in your ears. Unfortunately, running playlists don’t stay fresh for long, and it’s tough to keep a steady infusion of new music going to stave off repetition and boredom. So revitalize your running mixes (and your running) with these gems. Here, culled from my extensive music collection and years of running are the 10 best running songs of all time.
“Push Push (Lady Lightning)” by Bang Camero
Bang Camero creates ideal running songs with driving bass lines, tasty guitar riffs, and a very masculine sound. Push Push (Lady Lightning),” featured on Guitar Hero 2, is their very best. The song has a very 80s training montage feel to it, perfect for accompanying you as you run triumphantly up a flight of stairs.
“Burn” by Deep Purple
Deep Purple has plenty of great running songs, but the absolutely crazy drums in “Burn” set it apart. Add in a blindingly fast guitar solo and a mesmerizing organ solo and you have a running mix staple.
“Less Talk More Rokk” by Freezepop
“Less Talk More Rokk” is the perfect song to lead off a hard run. Its entrancing synth riff slowly builds speed like a train leaving the station, then puts you firmly into a driving groove. It has the ideal balance of techno sound to keep your ear interested, but not annoyed.
“Jordan” by Buckethead
Buckethead’s jaw-dropping instrumental is a diamond among running songs. Slip it into your mix towards the end of your run, just when you need a boost to keep your legs moving. Its lightning-fast solos are enough to completely distract you from your workout, the way all running songs should.
“Carry Me Home” by The Living End
Most running songs follow a steady beat that, while effective, tends to get predictable and boring after a while. Enter “Carry Me Home,” a song that lays down an electrifying beat to keep your step light and your ears interested. Its guitar work and aggressive drums put it among the elite of running songs.
“Hocus Pocus” by Focus
A mix full of over-the-top, hard-rocking running songs can get tedious very quickly. Focus’s bizarre mix of yodeling and power chords may sound strange, but there’s nothing like it to break up a string of identical heavy metal songs. One listen and you’ll be a believer.
“Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragon Force
Not many running songs can keep you interested for seven minutes, but Dragon Force’s hurricane of screaming solos is one of the few that can. Sure, there are other worthy songs with epic guitar solos (“Free Bird” and “Green Grass and High Tides” to name two), but “Through the Fire and Flames” is optimized for running. Its vaguely 80s sound and astounding musicianship draw you into the music and out of your running rut.
“Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin
Nobody can argue with Zeppelin’s uncanny ability to make classic running songs. “Immigrant Song” is their best contribution to a runner’s playlist. It’s signature vocal line energizes any workout. Unlike other worthy contenders like “Stairway to Heaven,” it doesn’t take five minutes to get started and doesn’t stick around too long once it does.
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
Not all running songs need to be 4 minutes of thrashing metal and hard rock. Sometimes you need something less manly and more inspirational, like Journey’s classic anthem. Though it doesn’t do as well in a short and fast workouts, it shines in longer runs, especially if you sing along to the refrain.
“Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group
The Edgar Winter Group’s hit instrumental is just unique enough to stand out among other running songs while still providing that chest-thumping guitar sound. Its funky saxophone work and unorthodox drum solo sweeten the runners’ high