Most students know that the tunes selected at a club or bop can really make or break a night out. However, something you may have given less thought to is how your choice of music could affect your runs. Music has been found to have a beneficial effect on performance when exercising, with some studies noting that faster-paced music can increase your pace as well as the distance that you travel. To be technical, it can have an ‘ergogenic’ effect (i.e. enhances physical performance).

You may be more of a ‘purist’ who just wants to run alone with your thoughts. However, if you’re looking for a solid running playlist to help keep you motivated, then look no further – the following playlist of songs lasts just over 40 minutes, and if played in the suggested order will perfectly frame what is guaranteed to be your most fulfilling run yet.

Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars – you need to start strong, so this is the perfect song to kick off with. It’s pretty short, with a quick tempo, and features the word ‘run’ 30 times, which should hopefully motivate you from the very beginning.

Featured lyric: ‘So you better run run runaway, runaway baby’

Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet – setting a good pace and then keeping it up is a key component of a successful run. This song should hopefully help establish a rhythm, especially with its counting.

Featured lyric: ‘Four, five, six c’mon and get your kicks’

Good as Hell by Lizzo – so you may be a bit sweaty now, but hopefully any endorphins and/or pride at having gone for a run mean you feel good as hell anyway.

Featured lyric: ‘You know you a star, you can touch the sky / I know that it’s hard but you have to try’

bad guy by Billie Eilish – this one is in here less for lyrical significance, and more for a good pace and to help you channel some assertive energy.

Featured lyric: ‘I do what I want when I’m wanting to’

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers – while ideally you wouldn’t be walking at this point (although no judgement if that’s what you need to get through), the idea behind the song – being prepared to go as far as it takes – should motivate you now you’re partway through. I’m fairly sure you’ll have less than 1000 miles to go!

Featured lyric: ‘I would walk 500 miles / And I would walk 500 more’

Ego by The Saturdays – a personal favourite; the build in the music just before the chorus is perfect for ramping up your pace before sprinting through the chorus. A great song for working in a bit of interval training.

Featured lyric: ‘I think you’ll find that it is very hard to face. / Reality’s a simple thing.’

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor – a perhaps overdone workout song but certainly a classic for a reason. Channel the energy of a predator in the wild stalking their prey, and keep running hard.

Featured lyric: ‘Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past / You must fight just to keep them alive’

Lost in the Wild by Walk the Moon – yet another excellent beat, fitting when you are out running in the wild (although hopefully at this point you are not lost).

Featured lyric: ‘Trying to find a starting line / Don’t look over your shoulders’

I Don’t Care by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – the lyrics are slightly relevant to running, but primarily the song has a good beat to help continue that solid pace from the start of your run (especially the ‘oh’s!).

Featured lyric: ‘You can take me anywhere’

Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift – a less well-known Taylor Swift song: one to listen to as you near the final straight!

Featured lyric: ‘Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet, good’

Survivor by Destiny’s Child – you’re so close to the end, but don’t be tempted to give up, or even just slow down. This song will remind you that you can keep going and make it through.

Featured lyric: ‘My own direction, born to be the best at what I do / I’ma make it through, stompin’ like a soldier in my big black boots’

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen – this is the perfect song to accompany a sprint to the end. However the song’s outro is definitely not ideal sprinting music – perhaps aim to time that part for your victorious (probably sweaty) cooldown walk.

Featured lyric: ‘I’m a racing car, passing by like Lady Godiva’

Hopefully the reasoning for each song should also demonstrate what to look for when putting together a good workout playlist. I hope this suggested playlist sets you up for a great run – time to put on your trainers, plug in your headphones, and get to it!

Jessica Searle

Jessica Searle is a third year PPE student, and she loves reading - so much so that she once read 140 books in a year!