Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Choosing a running playlist

So I am now officially a runner again, 4 runs in the last 10 days and feeling better than ever. I may even have started eyeing up some races (more of that at a later date). But with the miles starting to increase and wanting to keep the cross training at the gym going to look after my back I am in desperate need of a good playlist on the iPod. So far I am surviving on the 3 albums saved on my phone, one of which is nursery rhymes.

I remember reading a while back this blog from Kirsty at Imperfect Pages describing her play list. It had some pretty good tracks on it and also ones that I wouldn’t immediately think of for running to, but actually are pretty bloody good.

If I’m trying to do a short, fast run or simply a tempo section on a run then my go to music is Pendulum – Hold Your Colour. The first track (Slam) on the album is just phenomenal with a huge bass line and perfect beat speed to do that sort of run to.

But if you listen to that the whole time and are trying to do a long run you are going to be knackered pretty quickly.

I also quite like the Ministry of Sound 90’s album, the songs on it remind me of being a teenager and get me singing along and forgetting how much my legs hurt. I’m talking about classics such as 9pm till I come by ATB and Boom Boom Boom by the Outhere Brothers.

They also have an album called Running Trax (clearly no spell checker in that office) which is a bit more trance’y. But being designed for running the mixes do start slow with a warm up and build up, in theory to match your running pace. Again some classic dance tunes in there and 3 cd’s mixed by 3 different people.


Notice a bit of a theme here? All dance music choices so far, which is funny because it’s not something I generally listen to when not running. But I don’t think Frank Sinatra which is my cooking theme tune will really cut the mustard so to speak. I could probably enjoy some Stereophonics or Kings of Leon, perhaps even the Black Keys which again has a great bass rhythm to run to. But that’s the great thing about music right? Different things for different situations.

So what else? What can I add to my playlist to keep me company as I do those long 12 mile 3 mile Sunday runs? What do you listen to? What’s your go-to tracks when you need motivating?

I do also have a rather nice new arm band to keep my iPod in while out, no more trying to wedge it in a pocket. Works well with my iPod Classic, but can also take an iPhone if you’re that way inclined. If you want one you can find it here; iPhone

Oh and to show it off in all it’s glory I managed to arrange for a hunky man to model it.



NB This is a sponsored post, I was given the armband free of charge but not instructed what to write. Yes that’s right these awful music choices really are my own


  1. My sister (Corinne) pointed me to your blog so I thought I’d comment about music for running – I enjoy such a mix of music while running and love the variation of not knowing what will come on my ipod next – my music ranges from Queen, The Beatles, Kings of Leon, Sinead O’Conner to Doris Day!!! Last year along with my colleagues, my mum and my sister, we all recorded our ‘top 20’ CDs and shared them with each other – I ended up with a really wide range of music – I love listening to their favourite music as well as my own. If I’m finding a run tough I just focus on the music and it really takes my mind off it.

  2. I run to adele prob not your cup of tea but it suits my pace. I’ve also downloaded some great radio 4 podcasts to keep my brain active, good blog fodder too. Sometimes I listen to radio, often tracks come up that I haven’t heard for ages and I think yes, this works .
    Years ago I used to do fast cardio stuff always to fat boy slim. I think running to dance music would put me in an early grave!

    • Actually Adele is pretty good, I like your idea on the podcasts though, good time to get the brain ticking also. Radio frustrates as I’ve never found one that will keep the signal very well.

  3. May I recommend 2 tracks which will get you into a good stride and get the blood pumping:

    Maggies Farm by Rage Against The Machine
    Renegades of Funk also by RATM

    Both tracks are from their album Renegades.

    Check them out 🙂

  4. I hate running without music. I need it to keep the legs moving, set the challenge “can I stick to this beat until the end of the song?”. My own running mix is a blend of prog rock (Avantasia, Arena), Finnish metal (Nightwish’s track “The Poet and the Pendulum” is about 15 minutes long with the perfect beat for my distance running) and other bits and pieces that just work. The Dr Who theme is surprisingly good, as are bits of the Stardust movie soundtrack and my favourite energy burst: “I’m a Believer” from the Shrek soundtrack.

    I’ve also got some from which includes voice-over coaching. Also very electronic and not what I would ordinarily listen to.

    I found a website a while ago that takes your target range of beats-per-minute and then gives you the songs that fit (with an option to buy the resulting playlist from iTunes).

    One thing you can’t do is run while listening to comedy on the iPod. I tried with “Quite Ugly One Morning”, the Brookmyre book read by David Tennant. I had a stitch from laughing within the first 200 yards.

    • Ha! I can totally understand the comedy issue, in theory sounds a good idea but laughing is probably the last thing you want to do!
      Some random music there, but will take a look this wek.

  5. Try out The tempo of the running music is made in a way that allows you to sync up with the beat. I can also opt to download tracks that include tips from the running coach.

  6. I SPY Bristol suspension bridge! I would say maybe I’ll challenge you in one of those races later on but you are looking in much better shape than I am post baby so maybe not! I need some running tunes!

  7. I’m a big fan of the Ministry of Sound 90s CD’s and I play them when I run. Here are some others along the same genre with some other of my running tracks:
    Adele- Set Fire to the Rain (mainstream but it works)
    Crimewave- Crystal Castles; Vanished- Crystal Castles; Untrust Us- Crystal Castles; Put ‘Em Up- Edun; What You Need- Nic Chagall; Roll Away Your Stone- Mumford & Sons; It’s Beginning to Get to Me- Snow Patrol; Finally- The Frames; Gold Guns Girls- Metric; Somebody That I Used to Know- Gotye (warm-up or cool-down); Let the Feeling Go- AnnaGrace; Rebellion (Lies)- The Arcade Fire;
    Helena Beat- Foster the People; Bloody Bunnies- GramRabbit; Rapture- iiO; Step One Two- Kaskade; Medicine- Kim Leoni; Feel Your Love- Kim Sozzi; Bulletproof- La Roux; Down Down Down- No-Tone; White Horse- Sara McLeod (Whelan & Di Scala Remix); Don’t Cry Out- Shiny Toy Guns; Moments Like This- Reamonn; Take Me On the Floor- The Veronicas; Gone- Lasgo;
    We No Speak Americano- Yolanda Be Cool

    More than you wanted I’m sure. . . Good luck!

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