What is the best running playlist in the world? Tried-and-tested answer below —
1. RILL RILL by Treats.
Sometimes you need a song that will make you feel like you are starring in your own music video rather than lumbering around in sneakers and tights. You need a song to transport you out of the gym or busy streets or quiet parks. This song is for those times. Part of the background chorus trills, “rill, rill” but you should imagine they are really saying, “run, run!” It’s romantic, loud, and energetic.
2. Not Giving In (Rudimental feat. John Newman and Alex Clare)
This is the song to play when you are struggling to go on or climbing a hill. Some people have been known to scream the lyrics “NOT GIVING IN” while they “attack” the hill. Very effective. It makes you feel like you are in a war and you are winning.
3. I Love It by Icona Pop
You will feel like you are in a dance club and that you just happen to be running. You will feel like a bad ass. You will feel like it is summer, even when it’s snowing. You need this track — it is not optional.
4. Ready For the Floor by Hot Chip
When you run to this, you really are dancing. Your feet may try to resist running to the beat, but they will fail.
5. Velvet by Big Pink
This song is for “in the zone” running. Don’t play this when you are struggling. Play this when you feel strong and powerful. You are a gazelle. You are on the African plains. You are faster than all of the lions.
6. How Can You Swallow So Much Air by Bombay Bicycle Club
This track is for somber, rainy day runs. This is ethereal and melancholy and a good go-to for “sad running” on gray days with gray moods.
7. Techno Fan by The Wombats
Site-specific songs are powerful. This one is about East London, so that’s why it made the list. If I were in NYC, this would replaced with “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
8. Help I’m Alive by Metric
This track is for when you are back in the groove and you want to confirm how strong and alive you feel. The lyrics “Can you hear my heart beating like hammer? Help! I’m alive, my heart keeps beating like hammer ” are life-affirming. And lines like, “If I stumble, they’re gonna eat me alive,” will have your feet moving quickly. Adapt accordingly.
9. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
I actually cannot hear this song without breaking out into a run. “THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!!!!!” is what should be running through your head as you sprint past passers-by (regardless of whether you are a girl or not).
10. Time is Running Out by Muse
And finally, a suspenseful, urgent song to push you towards finishing your workout. Your time is literally running out, so go fast.
Now, tell me yours.