I wasn't sure how to start this post, as the songs I listen to on my runs aren't necessarily songs I would listen to otherwise (I'm more of a blues/soul man at heart). I know some people like to hear solid pounding beats when they run, but others need something bouncier and more fun. I tend to use a combination of the two, with cheesy pop songs followed by 'harder' tunes to drive me on.
To come up with this list, I simply opened my 'Jogging' playlist on my iPod, and saw which 10 songs had the most plays. Here they are, in ascending order!
10) Chariots Of Fire (Vangelis)
I don't use this one as much as I used to - when I was still living at home, I had a nice straight flat stretch right at the end, and I would play this song as I sprinted for the finish line. It made it in to number 10!
9) Gold (Spandau Ballet)
Another song with an Olympic connection! This one used to help get me up the hill when I was running back home!
8) Bat Out Of Hell (Meatloaf)
Besides being a classic, banging tune, the beauty of this track is that it's nearly 10 minutes long. I used to play it when I was tempted to give up the run early - I would tell myself "don't quit until this song is over," and I'd bag another mile or more before the end came!
7) Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor)
Made famous by a Rocky film (Rocky III is the one, I think), this is a good all-purpose song, that helps me find the right rhythm when I'm running. I may even indulge in a little Rocky role-play when the streets are empty, too!
6) I Need A Hero (Bonnie Tyler)
OK, here's one I'd be quite embarrassed to be caught listening to, but as a running song, it really gets you pumped up! Not saying I'm a hero, by any means, but when you're all sweaty and tired and breathless, and this song comes on...well, you'll almost believe you ARE!
5) Don't Stop Me Now (Queen)
An example of a 'bouncier' tune, not one to make you feel all bad-ass and get the testosterone flowing, but it does give your energy a boost, and makes you feel lighter on your feet. It also helps makes running fun, which is a huge bonus!
4) Hot Stuff (Donna Summer)
I don't know if this song ever made it to America, or if people will only know it from a scene in 'The Full Monty', but its another tune I find makes me bop my head, pick up my pace, and run with a smile on my face!
3) Gonna Fly Now (Bill Conti)
I'm sure this one features on many people's running playlists, and for good reason - try going for a run with this playing, and you'll see what I mean! My second Rocky-associated tune!
2) Till I Collapse (Eminem)
This is one of the few songs on my list that actually gets me fired up. Most I play just to help the time pass, but this one I play when I'm flagging, or making excuses, or sore. Sometimes I just have to play this song on repeat, and its effect never changes - as soon as those drumbeats kick in, I'm flying!
1) Footloose (Kenny Loggins)
This probably only made it to number one by virtue of the fact that its often the first song I play (and then just have it on shuffle from thereon out). That said, there has to be a reason I usually play this first - its fun, bouncy, and the rhythm seems to synch perfectly with the pace I run at!
So there you have it! Some are old, some are cheesy, and some are just theme-tunes rather than songs. Some I would never listen to outside of my running gear, but as they've so far helped me to lose 56lbs and counting, they'll always have a place on my iPod. If I ever hear them playing on the radio, all I can think about is going for a run!