My Ultimate Running Top 10 (well, 11 but who’s counting!)

It’s fair to say I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but I’d like to share with you my favourite songs & the reasons they get my legs pumping & my brain happy! They’re maybe not obviously upbeat – although some are – but each one is special to me & here’s why:

1. The Killers – Mr Brightside

This reminds me of many a night in my youth – during 6th Form we went to an indie night in an old warehouse every Friday night & I remember bouncing around with my friends – our arms all linked, as we jumped up & down during the chorus. This pattern was repeated on almost every night out during my time at Uni & we also had it as the last song on the night of our wedding. Every one came on to the dancefloor & formed a big circle while they jumped up & down & we got shoved into the middle. It was the perfect end to the perfect day & this song takes me back to all of those wonderful memories by the end of the first bar!

2. Miley Cyrus – The Climb

Cheesy as hell, but the words sum me up perfectly & if you read my blog on how I got into running, you’ll see it truly has been a journey for me. ‘There’s always going to be another mountain & I’m always going to want to make it move’ is pretty apt, as it did seem like I would be moving a mountain to run 13 miles, which was my first running challenge. The message about ‘It ain’t about how fast I get there, it’s the climb’ spurs me on when I’m struggling a bit too. Not so sure about the grown-up, twerking Miley, but I love this!

3. Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

My family are big rugby fans & this became the theme tune to the England Rugby team during the World Cup in South Africa in 2007. I love this video of the England team singing it in the changing room (especially a certain Mr Jonny Wilkinson, for whom I have a massive soft spot!). We even did a family tag-team sneak off from a wedding on the night of the final to watch it (& ended up missing the first dance – oops!). I love that the lyrics are tactical & I think running can be the same. I tend to listen to the words of a song & these are brilliant lyrics.


4. Eminem – Lose Yourself

If you’re running at about 12 minute miles, this is perfect to get your legs going at about the right speed (when it kicks in). I like the idea of losing yourself in the moment, as this is when my best running happens. I’m not sure if ‘sentiment’ is the right word to describe the lyrics, but the sentiment about you only having one shot & not missing your opportunity really resonates with me. I was quite a fan of the film 8 Mile, too.


5. Public Enemy – Harder Than You Think

I’m not trying to say I’m cool, or have any iota of street cred. I’m certainly not down with the kids or anything, but I liked this years before it went mainstream with the Channel 4 Paralympic coverage. The general jist is that you are ‘harder than you think’ & I have needed to remind myself of this when I’m several miles from home & feel knackered on more than one occasion!

6. Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying

I have a not-so secret penchant for country music & this is a particular favourite. Our family has been touched by cancer with both my mum & my brother-in-law beating the disease & this is a reminder to me that life is short. It’s also a good message not to wait until you are dying before being the person you want to be. I started running to improve my fitness & wanted to be the healthiest version of me that I can be, as I plan to live a long & healthy life with my boys. I also quite fancy Tim McGraw.

7. Bruno Mars – Marry You

Not many people will get the opportunity to go to a surprise wedding in their lifetime. In April 2012 when we should have been celebrating my good friend’s 30th birthday, we got to do just that. Her fiance came into the room we were in & gave a small speech & then introduced her as ‘The birthday girl – my wife’ & we all cheered. She walked into the room wearing a beautiful dress & looked radiant. It was the perfect way fro them to do it, as they hadn’t wanted a big fuss & we spent the evening drinking, celebrating & eating delicious food way into the wee small hours. Each time I hear this song, I am reminded of that night & it puts a spring in my step!

8. Glee Cast/Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

I was a big Glee fan when it first came out & – although I used to like the Journey version of this song – I’d forgotten it existed until I heard it in this new incarnation. ‘Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling’ reminds me of the feeling I get when I get in from a run, that makes it all worth it! The upbeat tune keeps me going, as I’m on my way home by this point.



9. Emeli Sande – Abide With Me

When I ran the Great North Run, they played this over the loud speakers at the start to give the runners a chance to focus on why they were running & the people they were running for. I found it incredibly emotional & was moved to tears, as I thought about my Grandma who passed away in 2010, as she had suffered with MS & I was running to raise money for the MS Society. This song has evolved to symbolise both her & my late grandpa & I think of how proud they’d be of having a great grandson & of what I’d overcome to get to the start line of that race.

10. London Symphony Orchestra – Chariots of Fire

Firstly, anyone who listens to this & says they don’t imagine themselves running down a beach is a fibber. Secondly, this was also featured in the Olympic Opening Ceremony &, as such, holds very special place in my heart. I was a huge Olympics fan. I’m a big sports fan generally, but to see the whole nation rise up for the games was something I feel proud to have been part of & to have witnessed. Little T was too little to understand, but when he’s older we will explain about our visit to the Olympics & I hope he is part of the generation that is inspired by the legacy of 2012.


11. Elton John – I’m Still Standing

This is the final song on my playlist & serves as a reminder that I am, in fact, still standing! It’s a great beat & gets me back home in a good rhythm & feeling great. My 30th birthday present from Mr T was to go & see Elton live in concert with his band & it was an amazing evening – I came home with a hoarse throat from singing along to all of his hits & from cheering for the encore. A fantastic way to end a run.


That’s about 45 minutes worth, so you should get a few miles under your belt in that time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *