The Running Playlist That Gets Me Moving

It has come to my attention that the sharing of workout playlists is absolutely unheard of. You could almost have better luck getting someone to hand over their social security number, Facebook password, and credit card than you would getting honest answers on what’s on their iPod. Why? It’s because most of the time, the songs that truly get you pumped are completely embarrassing. To prove that I’m completely un-embarrassable and spark some fun conversation, I’m sharing my go-to 5K race playlist. (Warning: it’s full of Hilary Duff and Fergie. No shame.)I laugh every single time I see a magazine interview where a celeb or model shares their so-called workout mix. They always pick out the coolest or most obscure track on their iPod. Oh, really? The vocals of Andrea Bocelli inspire you to pound the pavement? A club remix of Eastern Asian Buddhist chants gets your heart pumping? I run charity 5Ks every so often, and I pull out this foolproof list. Here it is, without edits for the sake of looking cooler (but with some much needed explanation!)

  1. Lose Yourself by Eminem: I hit play on this track the second the gun goes off. The powerful buildup translates itself into my best starting position. For some reason, it makes me take on a sturdier posture, which perfects my running form and means that my back won’t be sore after the race.
  2. The Math by Hilary Duff: This song tricks me every single time. It starts out with heavy electric guitar and then quickly descends into bubblegum pop. It makes me laugh for a second, but has a great beat for my pace. Sometimes I listen through, other times I can’t take it and skip ahead.
  3. Me Against The Music (Rishi Rich’s Desi Kulcha Remix) by Britney Spears: I love this remix, with its cool Indian undertone. Again, the beat matches my pace, and this usually gets me through my first mile.
  4. Misery Business by Paramore: Okay, so you’re over a mile into your race and your lungs are about to cave in but you’re still going. In the business of misery, indeed.
  5. Miss Murder by A.F.I.: This is another one that just makes me smile. It hits exactly as you’re asking yourself why you signed up for this torture. Then I skip ahead.
  6. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World: Coming in at the middle of the race, and the time that I start speedwalking if I need a break. As soon as the novelty of being mid-race kicks in, I skip ahead.
  7. My Humps by The Black Eyed Peas: Always a hit or miss with me. Sometimes this track is just the fun beat I need to get me back into the run. All the other times it makes me angry and I’m like, “please just shut up already.”
  8. Never Stop by Hilary Duff: A few chords of Hil-Duff’s encouragement in the chorus is all I need. No stopping!
  9. Next Contestant by Nickelback: I usually love the brash sound of this song for my third mile, but on my last run, I couldn’t get over how many time the lyrics include “assles.” Over it.
  10. One And Only by Timbaland & Fall Out Boy: This collaboration has always made me happy. It’s such a cool song and really highlights Fall Out Boy (still my personal favorite, even though they’ve pretty much burnt out now). Best case scenario, I cross the finish line of my 5K listening to this pump-up song. Worst case scenario? …
  11. Nobody’s Perfect by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Self. Explanatory.


That’s my usual mix, but lately I’ve liked adding in some Pit Bull and Carly Rae Jepsen. Awful, I know: but it does its job! If you’re feeling particularly inspired, try out my playlist and let me know how it goes for you. What’s on YOUR workout mix?


About Kristine Hope Kowalski

Kristine is a writer from New Jersey. When not quoting Tolstoy or catching up on her Twitter feed, she can be found watching iCarly or perusing the clearance racks at Bloomingdales.

6 comments on “The Running Playlist That Gets Me Moving

  1. My workout playlist is non-existant but I just had to comment on how awesome it is that you have a Rishi Rich remix on there. Bhangra/Punjabi/Hindi music can seriously get you moving. I had an odd obsession with those genres for a while.

    If I DID exercise and have a playlist, I think I would have some Jay-Z, Jimmy Eat World (high five for that), Alphabeat, S Club 7, and a bunch of pop punk from the olden days.

    • Jimmy Eat World has been one of my all-time favorites, but I find most of their songs too slow to run to. Or they’ll be a change of tone midway through. Any recommendations for faster paced stuff?

      Thanks for the props on what I thought was my lame list!

      • Hahaha it’s still lame *cough*Nickelback*cough* but I have some pretty bad stuff in my music collection too. I would try “Bleed American” and maybe “A Praise Chorus.” You’re right though, I think those are the only songs that would be appropriate for running.

        And as I write this, K’Naan’s “Bang Bang” with Adam Levine just started playing on my iTunes and it might be a nice addition. It reminds me of Timbaland and Fall Out Boy. Even if it doesn’t make it onto your playlist, it’s still a good jam.

  2. Never underestimate the power of any song from prominently featured in the Rocky franchise.

  3. […] – from the high end, luxurious mixes to the specialty store blends. I’m a big fan of admitting what you love, point blank, no matter how cheesy or embarrassing. So, with that in mind — here are my top three pleasant […]

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