comfort-zone-busting run playlist



running with music - run playlistIf you’re anything like me, you get bored of the same workouts. From week to week, my favorite ways to sweat include yoga, spin, bar classes, running, swimming, dancing, and methods not appropriate for a public blog (hi Mom!). If a friend approaches me with a new wacky workout, I get excited to break up the monotony of my routine with something designed to shake me out of my comfort zone.

The same thing applies to a good run playlist. Don’t get me wrong, when the sweet chords of “Don’t Stop Believin’” come through my ear buds, I do an air-guitar slide with as much excitement as the next girl. But having the same tunes repeat OVER AND OVER in your head isn’t going to inspire you to run faster – it’s going to have you plateau and head home early.

update your run playlist

Infadels – Love Like Semtex
Once again proving that British musicians just “get it more,” this 2003 jam jam is still en fuego 10 years later. This high energy number is as good a lead-off batter as Derek Jeter – the perfect catalyst to your new running playlist.

PNAU feat. Ladyhawke – Embrace (Miami Horror & Fred Falke Remix)
Looking to start a neighborhood jazzercise class on your parent’s front lawn? Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

Big Boi feat. Gucci Mane – Shine Blockas
Gucci Mane has an ice cream tattoo on his face. In related news, Gucci Mane has AN ICE CREAM TATTOO ON HIS FACE.

Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix)
These Irish dudes know how to fire it up. An added bonus: the lead singer has been known rock an extended TAMBOURINE solo at concerts. If that isn’t hard as #$!% I don’t know what is.

Theophilus London – Why Even Try
Like Theophilus says, timez are weird. Who would’ve thought that the most ethereal and ambient song listed here would’ve been a hip hop track?

The Temper Trap – Fader
Someone might want to look into some sort of Australian musical steroid conspiracy, because ALL of the music coming out of Down Under is completely, butt-kickingly amazing these days. Download this whole album – it’s a keeper.

Generationals – When They Fight, They Fight
Were you born in the wrong era? Well throw this puppy on your playlist ASAP – it pairs a sweet 60’s girl-group chorus with run-worthy beats.

Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
I’ll admit it: I always liked Arcade Fire, but I was never the uber-fan that most of my friends are. Then I heard this song and my life changed. Yachtzee!

Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)
Kid Cudi did what every kid with a Hype Machine account & a dream wishes for and invited his hipster besties onto his hottest track. The results are a confusingly great recipe for sweating it out.

MSTRKRFT feat. John Legend – Heartbreaker
If you’re looking to get into electronic music, which coincidentally is perfect for sweating, try MSTRKRFT. Along with Cut Copy and The Presets, you’ll be ripping it up in no time – this track is a good segue if you’re already a fan of the radical John Legend.

Crystal Fighters – In The Summer (Picture House’s “Summer in the Balearic’s” Remix)
French electro is the triple espresso of the music world. Let this track be your much-needed hit of adrenaline when times get tough.

David Byrne & Brian Eno – Life Is Long
The Emperor of Cool has a catalogue of hits just perfect for an early morning soul-searching jog. This is my favorite ditty for an open-minded sweatathon.

Bon Iver – Towers
Two words: instant classic. Knowing this gem is waiting for you at the end of your run will make you go faster than ever.

Imagine looking forward to your run because you can’t get that unexpectedly catchy song out of your head. Music playlists are like a potluck dishes: some will make you dive for a glass of wine to drown your taste-buds and put them out of their misery; others  are so good they'll have you fencing with plastic forks for the final, delicious mouthful. That being said, who cares? This is a minimal commitment: you aren’t painting your walls silver or getting a pixie cut. So freshen up that iPod already and listen to some things you might normally skip. Who knows, maybe you were a rapper in a former life…you won’t know until you’re rhyming your heart out.

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16 Comments »


Best one yet! Thank you!

Comment by Ember — August 2, 2011 @ 10:23 am


Well done – this is a killer playlist!

Comment by R Smith — August 2, 2011 @ 10:24 am


I have a great feeling about this playlist. I already love a lot of these songs, and will be looking up the rest right now!

I’ve been meaning to get more into running… nice timing, Alexis!

Comment by Naadia — August 2, 2011 @ 10:44 am


hey can you make these lists available? What about spotify playlists?

Comment by Kerry — August 2, 2011 @ 10:45 am


WICKED! I love the playlist! I just kick started my new healthy lifestyle with some Yoga! Loving that and have decided to take up Running! This will definately give me more selection than my circuit party mixes… snooze haha! Thank ao much you for the suggestions!!

Comment by NewYogaYB'rad — August 2, 2011 @ 12:09 pm


YES!!! I needed some new summer jams. Thank you!

Comment by Kate — August 2, 2011 @ 5:34 pm


Great playlist! Another suggestion is there’s research that playlist with songs around 180 bpm which helps with a good running tempo.

Comment by Roxy12gurl — August 2, 2011 @ 8:49 pm


LOVEEEEEE your playlists! Needed to start working on a killer one for a double cycling class this Friday! Thanks so much (oh, and I have mine posted here! http://bit.ly/kBlXm7)

Comment by erin @WELL in L.A. — August 3, 2011 @ 8:29 am


Love the suggestions – and love the descriptions more, possibly. : ) I wanted to also suggest the “Something Good Can Work (Twelves Remix)” as well. I think that one moves even better!

Comment by Lauren — August 4, 2011 @ 1:08 pm


We totally have the same taste in music. I adore all your playlists! Keep posting more :)

Comment by Iesha — August 4, 2011 @ 4:16 pm


FANTASTIC playlist. Can’t wait to go for a long run with this one!!

Comment by Britt — August 5, 2011 @ 9:08 am


Thank you for introducing me to some new music!

Comment by jessica — August 10, 2011 @ 5:30 pm


This one is the best so far!

Comment by Jen — August 11, 2011 @ 11:08 am


Great list. Would be even better if there were an easy way to download the entire list instead of having to toggle back and forth between this list and iTunes. :)

Comment by Kitty — August 14, 2011 @ 9:03 am


Thank YOU!!!! Going for a run to this today and gonna teach a class to it tonight:)

Comment by Missy — October 18, 2011 @ 7:59 am


Love this playlist! Thanks!

Comment by CK — February 7, 2012 @ 5:16 am


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