Monday, March 17, 2014

Favorite Running Songs

I almost always run with music.

There are only two instances in which I am tune-free:
Otherwise, I absolutely love running with music. First, it gives me something to focus on other than how much I want to be not running. Second, I have always really connected with music, associated certain songs with various people, memories in life, etc. Listening to music, then, brings me positive energy, happy memories, and lots and lots of motivation.

Obviously, all of the songs have great beats that brings me energy, but even more so, most of the songs have powerful messages (aside from, I suppose, songs like Timber, Call Me Maybe, and I'm Sexy and I Know It, which just make me smile). Lately, much of my running motivation has come from "girl-power" songs, so there is a lot of Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce showing up on my playlist. 

Anyway, I have decided to list a few of my favorite running songs, songs that are currently on my half-marathon playlist:

1. The Show Goes On -- Lupe Fiasco


There are a million reasons I love this song: great beat, connection to my job ("Five in the air for the teacher not scared to tell those kids that's living in the ghetto that the n****s holdin' back that the World is theirs!"), and motivational message:

Never ever put them down
You just lift your arms higher
Raise em 'til your arm's tired
Let em’ know you’re there
That you struggling and survivin’ that you gonna persevere
Yeah, ain’t no body leavin, no body goin’ home
Even if they turn the lights out the show is goin’ on!

2. Roar -- Katy Perry

I adore this song, and I really, really like Katy Perry. I feel like this song is an anthem for strong women, and the beat and the lyrics get me movin' and groovin' when I feel like I can't go another step:

You hear my voice, you hear that sound

Like thunder gonna shake the ground

You held me down, but I got up

Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Also, I really like lions -- must be the Leo in me.

3. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) -- Shakira


Who doesn't like Shakira? First, her music has some great rhythm. Second, she has energy to the nth degree. I just want to mooooooove when Shakira pops on the playlist. And, this song has a strong, powerful message (while still bringing the Shakira spirit).

You're on the front line
Everyone's watching
You know it's serious
We are getting closer
This isn't over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you got it all
Believe it

4. Hall of Fame -- The Script (feat.


(Side note: The Script is another great Pandora station.)

I really, really like this song. First, the beat is upbeat and full of energy (albeit a somewhat different type of energy than the aforementioned songs), and second, the message is super powerful -- so inspirational, in fact, that I used it in a lesson with my students earlier this year.

Pretty much the whole song is ridiculously awesome and full of motivation, but here's just one little chunk:

You can go the distance
You can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile

You can be the hero
You can get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke

Yeah, do it for your people
Do it for your pride
How are you ever gonna know if you never even try?

5. Defying Gravity -- Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth


This video is not a super great representation of the actual song, as it is just Idina Menzel (not Kristen Chenoweth) singing with the symphony, not as part of Wicked.

Also, I'm not generally one to listen to show tunes while working out (or, let's be real, ever), but this song is ridiculously amazing. It starts somewhat slow and has spurts of talking rather than rocking out, but the beat is mostly pretty energetic, and the message is awesome and has really resonated with me lately, especially the following:

As someone told me lately

Everyone deserves the chance to fly
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who ground me
Take a message back from me!

Tell them how I am defying gravity
I'm flying high, defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!

So, there are a few of my more recent favorite running songs. I'll be sure to post some more as I get closer to my half marathon in T minus seven weeks!

What are your favorite running/workout songs? What do you listen to before a race (that is the next playlist I need to create)?

post signature


  1. These are great running songs!! I especially love Idina Menzel and Shakira!! I may be obsessed with all things Latin these days.... Must be all that Zumba. Hahaha! :)

    1. Thanks, Amber! I only wish I could find Idina Menzel w/ the Roots and Jimmy Fallon on iTunes. I LOVE that version!