Music That Moves You

As a self-professed music junkie, I live my life according to an imaginary soundtrack.

I find music indelibly linked to specific moments in my life, so it may come as no surprise that I love a good sweat session with great tunes to keep me motivated during my training. 

(Side note: I must admit I am adamantly against headphones on race day! Partially because I’m a geeky rule follower – most races don’t allow headphones. But mostly because I’m a racing purist who wants to soak up the full race experience.) But I digress…

A soundtrack can have an amazing effect on your running. Good music courses through your veins and powers your muscles. It saves you from boredom and drowns out the pain. It makes you feel alive and inspires great performances.

I find that music pushes me through track workouts with more oomph, and keeps my leg turnover quick and in strong cadence during tempo runs. When I am heading out for longer distances, music helps me hit my stride giving me a solid rhythm to withstand hours upon hours.

Runner’s World lists some interesting playlists from all-stars in the running community. And this site not only lists some additional playlist ideas, it includes interesting info on how music’s beats per minute affect your running.

From Fleetwood Mac to Flogging Molly, my running iPod has been judged by some as an eclectic mess. In no particular order, here are some highlights of my own running soundtrack:

Power song: BoB – Outkast
Most random: This is Your Life – Fight Club Soundtrack
Most sentimental: Chariots of Fire theme
Newest addition: I Got a Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
Guaranteed to pick up the pace: Stronger - Kanye & Burning Down the House – DMB cover
Pre-race: Under Pressure – Queen & Such Great Heights – Postal Service
Best warm up: Burning in the Sun – Blue Merle
Best cool down: Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills Nash and Young

Favorites for speed workouts and tempo runs:
Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, old Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory.

Favorites for long runs:
Guster, Better Than Ezra, Yonder Mtn String Band, Dire Straits, Drive By Truckers, Weezer, Dave Matthews Band (especially Live at Piedmont Park), Widespread Panic, Indigo Girls, Led Zeppelin, Railroad Earth, Modest Mouse, A Tribe Called Quest.

There are many more I could name, but the best thing about music and motivation is learning from others. What music moves you?

10 comments Add your comment

Reid in EAV

May 12th, 2010
10:18 am

LCD Soundsystem, Michael Franti, Robert Randolph, Bloc Party, The Juan Maclean, some OutKast (Rosa Parks, Church, Bowtie, So Fresh, So Clean), Goldfrapp, Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method…

Basically the BPMs have to be pretty high, or it bogs me down rather than propelling me.

Reid in EAV

May 12th, 2010
10:18 am

And Muse. Definitely Muse.


May 12th, 2010
11:51 am

Ahhh, Lauren, another blog that “moves” me. Music is important in my life as well, simply because I’m a music junkie and have been since I was little. When I started running two years ago, I was running on a treadmill, so having my iPod was great. Since I’ve moved to outdoor running and away from a treadmill, I rarely listen to music when I run. Biggest reason is because I am usually running with others. I too do not wear them during races, but I think that rule/common sense (along with the slower runners/walkers staying to the right), seems to get thrown out the window by those who do what they want no matter what.

Here’s a couple playlists I had when I first started running:

) Must Be the Water ~ Marc Broussard
2) I’m a Man ~ Los Lonely Boys
3) Shattered (Turn the Car Around) ~ O.A.R.
4) On My Way ~ INXS
5) Mercy ~ Duffy
6) Roam ~ B-52’s
7) I Kissed a Girl ~ Katy Perry
8) One Week ~ BNL
9) Twice As Hard ~ The Black Crowes
10) Hell Yeah ~ Montgomery Gentry
11) Thrill of It ~ Robert Randolph
12) Silent Lucidity ~ Queensryche

1. Far Behind – Candlebox
2. Enter Sandman – Metallica
3. California Love – 2Pac
4. Best of You – Foo Fighters
5. Freedom 90 – George Michael
6. Somehow, Somewhere, Someday – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
7. Willie the Wimp – SRV and Double Trouble
8. Better When You’re Not Here – Vertical Horizon
9. Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen
10. She’s So California – Gary Allan
11. Wonderwall – Oasis


May 14th, 2010
7:11 pm

Just want to add that Poe does some long songs that keep me interested, moving and oblivious of the clock. Also, try Ceelo, Violent Femmes, Mary Prankster, Architecture in Helsinki, Misfits, MIA, Circle Jerks and TLC. Great suggestions from everyone, keep ‘em coming!!!


May 18th, 2010
8:14 am

Railroad Earth is my favorite.


May 18th, 2010
10:24 am

[...] realize the effect that music has on one’s workout regimen until I read an article on A soundtrack can have an amazing effect on your running. Good music courses through your veins and [...]

bobby roper

May 18th, 2010
10:35 am

Songs on my play list all have a melody and can be humed or whistled
1 you are my sun shine The Carter family
2 I had rather live by theside of the road Mac Wiseman
3 T he old cross road Bill Monroe
4 This World is Not My Home Stanley Brothers
I never heard any of the songs in your list


May 18th, 2010
10:35 am


May 18th, 2010
11:13 am

Goldfrapp is a definite… Kylie Minogue, La Roux, Lady Gaga..Any of the super-pop electronic music really keeps me going.