Best Running Music Playlist: #3 — Marathon Mixes for a 8 – 9.5 min pace (150 – 170 bpm)

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by John on September 15, 2009

We had a very positive reaction to our first two running music playlists (also another 4 playlists after this one, click link for approx 70 hrs of more music), so here’s the next one for Jean.  Jean’s pace is in-between our last two for Monica and Jamie.   This running music playlist has songs at 150 – 170 bpm (building from slower bpms at start, to faster as you continue).  Once again, it’s an eclectic mix with progressive, indie, rock, and some hip/hop/R&B (what exactly do you call Prince?). All songs were carefully selected for running a marathon (but great as fitness music too!). Total time on this playlist is 2.9 hours.

If you have a song that you love to use when running or working out, please share (either comment below our thru twitter @boldpacemusic)! If it is 140 – 180 bpm and meets our song “standards” below, we’ll add it to our next running or workout playlist and link back to your site with a big
thank you :)

All songs below meet our standard of being either about fitness/running, inspirational, or at least fun with a great beat (we don’t add songs with potentially uninspiring lyrics…ie. “19th Nervous Breakdown”, “Loser”, “Blister in the Sun” — all great songs, but not exactly motivational for running or fitness). For over 60+ hrs more of running and workout music, go to home page at Bold Pace Music.

Wondering if music can really improve your performance? We give links to several studies and discuss in more detail at our Bold Pace Music home page.

Running Greeting Cards

Marathon Mantras CD Tin Notecard Set (6 cards, 2 of each style for $15 at

Looking for a perfect gift for a runner? Take some music below and slip it in with a running CD tin notecard set from Remanents. These cards, gifts, and tees have been sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, Nordstroms, Henri Bendel, Fortnum and Mason (London) and many other fine stores, however, you’ll find the largest selection at See more running cards and tees along with beautiful Couture Fabric Holiday cards and Halloween cards too.

Got an iphone or use an ipod? Check out this app and software that analyzes your itunes for BPMs and then lets you choose songs at that BPM from your iphone or ipod…see Cadence (need Mac w/ OS 10.4 or higher for ipod; PC version coming Dec ’09)

Best Running Music Playlist– Jean’s Mix: 150 – 170 BPM (for runners w/ mile pace of 8 – 9.5 minutes)

Click here to download part 1 of songs from itunes

Click here to download part 2 of songs from itunes

Click below to play samples and/or download songs from amazon:

To get this music, just click on either the itunes or amazon playlist above and download either the entire playlist or individual songs. Or see our Amazon store for the very best full albums by artists on the playlists

Songs (w/ BPM):

  1. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)- The Proclaimers (132):  OK, perhaps it would be better w/ “I would RUN 500 miles”, but you are supposed to take it easy at the start, right?
  2. Don’t Steal Our Sun – The Thrills (137):  Fun beat and a good mantra as you start running and you are trying to weave thru the crowd… “You Felt so Good, Well I’m Amazed, Hey What a Show”…hey, get out of my way “Don’t Steal Our Sun”.
  3. Beat It – Michael Jackson (138):  Sort of a small tribute.  Whatever you think of Michael, you have to admit he was an amazing musical artist.  Use this as a reminder of Michael and of trying to beat that PR…”just Beat it”!
  4. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John (138): If this song by this Swedish band sounds familiar, you may have heard it used on Grey’s Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, Dirty Sexy Money, or the Love Guru.  This up-beat song should get you going. 
  5. Viva la Vida – Coldplay (141):  This song is probably too overexposed and Coldplay is getting so much attention, but it’s completely deserved with this album and if this becomes “pop”, then perhaps pop is advancing.  Enjoy and feel like you “rule the world”.
  6. Walkie Talkie Man – Steriogram (142): Another song that might sound familiar from ipod commercials.  This fast talking song doesn’t have as fast of beat as it may seem, but it will definitely feel like you are starting to go faster.
  7. Do Your Best and Don’t Worry – Morrissey (142):  The title pretty much says it all.
  8. Generals & Majors – XTC (141):  A minor hit from my favorite all-time band…you can appreciate running vs. being in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  9. So Alive- Ryan Adams (144):  Also known as Mr. Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams (way too close to pop/rock wannabe Brian Adams) has a diverse rock/alt-country background and will keep you rockin’ along w/  “I am on your side, and so alive”.
  10. Shout to the Top – The Style Council (144):  Paul Weller and Mick Talbot formed this band after the breakup of The Jam and made some of the best music ever w/ “My Ever Changing Moods” and “You’re the Best Thing”.  This one is right up there and has some great horns/orchestra and will keep you up-beat.
  11. Like Clockwork – The Boomtown Rats (145):  Another song that seems faster than it really is, w/ Bob Geldof singing very fast.   Good reminder to stay on pace…
  12. Strictly Game - Harlem Shakes (145):  A great new band and so many great inspiring lyrics like “If life gives you lemons, then thus God bade…so put a little bit of bitter in your pink lemonade” or “Oh I keep feeling older, but I stay game, stay game…” and “This will be a better year”.
  13. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb - Spoon (146): Just love this song.  Focus on “I can push for good.  You  got that Cherry Bomb”.
  14. Lady Killer – Flash and the Pan (146):  An 80’s favorite, this band had some great songs but was never well known.  Enjoy the different vocals and listen for “Man in heat, got a beat, keep the street nice and neat”.
  15. The Re-Arranger – Mates of State (147):  Saw this on the NPR “Best of 2007″ list and love the vocals on this song.  The band is so tight, amazing hooks pulled off without going wrong.
  16. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man - Prince (147): I was pushing it w/ this one but had to get Prince in here and this has the perfect BPMs…just cherry pick the lyrics: “Ran Away”, “Don’t waste Your Time”, “Be Satisfied”.
  17. Girl – Beck  (150): Always original, Beck delivers w/ a peppy, light-hearted song to keep you moving.
  18. Going On – Gnarls Barkley (150):  “Connect the cause and effect, one foot in front of the next, this is the start of a journey” and “I’m going on, to a place in the sun that’s nice and warm”…sounds good to me.
  19. No Surrender – Bruce Springsteen (151):  Living in New Jersey, have to pay homage to the Boss.  This has Bruce at his motivational best reminding you to keep going, “No Surrender”.
  20. I Fought the Law – The Clash (151): Another favorite band that has some good faster paced songs…”I guess my race is run”.
  21. Women’s Realm – Belle and Sebastian (152):  Great band that never gets the audience they deserve…enjoy the alternating beautiful vocals with Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell and lyrics like “I must get from there to here”.
  22. Run Around – Blues Traveler (152):  While not exactly a “running” song, at the heart of it, this song is about staying strong no matter what someone throws at you…”my ship still stands no matter what you drop”.
  23. Nine in the Afternoon – Panic at the Disco (150):  Gotta just love the name of this band.  The first line sums it up well “Back to the streets where we began, feeling as good as lovers can you know, yeah we’re felling so good”.
  24. Lasso – Phoenix (152):  A band getting more deserved attention w/ catchy, up-beat songs including this one w/ lyrics like “Where would you go with a lasso, could you run into…could you go and run into me”? Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Lasso
  25. Get on Your Boots - U2 (152):  Nice to see U2 experimenting more on their latest effort No end on the Horizon.  “Hey sexy boots…Get on your boots” and remember “You don’t know how beautiful you are”.
  26. Talk Me Down – Gets the Girl (153):  Well done song by a fairly unknown band consisting of two guys:  Ellis Ludwig-Leone, from Yale University and Allen Tate, from NYU.  “Chase her down”.  Find out more about the band at
  27. Car Alarm – The Sea and the Cake (153):  Love the sound of this Chicago band and the smooth vocals and catchy beat.
  28. It’s on the Rocks – The Donnas (155):  I’m definitely not an expert here, but this just seems like a great fun “you go girl!” type of song.  Forget whatever guy and “It’s time to have some real fun, so I’m calling all my ladies, we’re going to key your mercedes”.
  29. Just Like Heaven – The Cure (155):  A great fun song and love the lyrics with “Show me how you do it and I promise you, I promise that I’ll run away with you…”.
  30. Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen (155):  A great follow-up to Just Like Heaven with one of Queen’s more straight ahead pop/rock (almost rockabilly) songs..just enjoy and remember “Gotta be cool, relax, get hip, get on my track’s”.
  31. Good Tradition – Tanita Tikaram (155):  Tanita Tikaram played her first gig at 17 and had her first album at 19.  She recorded some great songs and I’m surprised she did not get more airplay… “You hold your head up while the rest of us try to”.
  32. Talk to Ya Later – The Tubes (155):  Good thing there were no video cameras when I did this song at a karayoke.  But even that image wouldn’t keep you from enjoying this infectious beat and sarcastic “I’ll just see you around!”
  33. Keep Your Head – The Ting Tings (156): Enjoy this great beat and here’s the verse to focus on “yes, you’re gonna see, ten minutes to go and you’re keeping it, you’re head’s up (keep your head up), keep it low, be right, push it… “.
  34. Kick it Out – Heart (157):  OK, it’s about a horse, but it works really well for a runner too…  “While you’re still alive… Kick it Out!”
  35. Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon (157):  I might be stretching it w/ the lyrics here, but everyone wants good marathon sex, right?  Kings of Leon declare “your sex is on fire, consumed with what’s to transpire”.
  36. Rain King - Counting Crows (160):  Just a great familiar song w/ a good running beat and a chorus of “I’ve been here before and I deserve a little more”.
  37. Knock Knock - The Pink Spiders (160):  What really makes this song is lead singer Matt Friction’s sneering vocals (reminds me of The Kings).  And Friction’s name is about the closest thing this song has to anything about running…but it’s a great, fun song w/ a fast beat. Listen closely to beginning and it sounds like the song is being cued up on a old LP record player.
  38. What I Like About You – The Romantics (160):  This would be the time in the race where you need a familiar “pick me up” song, here you go.
  39. Walcott – Vampire Weekend (160) *explict lyrics*:  My favorite new band and I love that they want to “get out of Cape Cod” and head “all the way to New Jersey” (not sure why, but love it anyway).  Very unique sound and an amazingly talented band.
  40. Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson (161):  An appropriate follow-up to Walcott, with Joe Jackson using horns in a song that is more produced than typical Jackson style, but very well done and on target for “steppin’ out into the light”.
  41. It’s Okay - The Kings (165): From the same album that had “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide” (which was named one of The Top 100 Canadian Singles of All-Time). However, for running and working out, you can’t beat (please excuse the pun) this classic and I bet you’ll be tempted to repeat lead singer David Diamond’s snarl “It doesn’t matter, not one bit, not two shits”. For further info on the Kings, check out their website at
  42. Alex Chilton – The Replacements (165):  A Minnesota band led by Paul and Bob Westerberg who idolized Alex Chilton (of Big Star) and singing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song” and “I never travel far without a little Big Star”… Perhaps another runner will know what was meant by this line “Runnin’ ’round the house, Mickey Mouse and the Tarot cards”.
  43. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down (165):  By this time in the race, it’s time to bring out your inner Superman/Superwoman.
  44. Ask - The Smiths (166):  “Shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to…so if there’s something you’d like to try..” how about running a marathon? You can keep going knowing you can check this off your 1001 Things list.
  45. Rebel Yell – Billy Idol (167): Leave it to Billy to keep you motivated…”A thousand miles with you, I dried your tears of pain, babe, a million times for you… More, More, More!”
  46. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan (167):  From Billy to Bob…Bob is all over the place with this one but he does say “I’m on the pavement”…I’m sure he’s talking about running.
  47. Middle of the Road – The Pretenders (167): “Get in the road, come on now, in the middle of the road, yeah”.
  48. End of the Line – The Traveling Wilburys (168):  A perfect song toward the end.  Leave it to this true rock supergroup with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.  Enjoy lyrics like: “Well its all right, if you live the life you please; Well its all right, even if the sun don’t shine; Well its all right, were going to the end of the line”.
  49. Marathon Not a Sprint - Camera Obscura (169):  It can’t end any more perfectly than with this song.  Not only is the title perfect, the song a gem (from a great band), it’s also from an album called “I Love My Jean”.

There are a number of ways to get BPM for your music collection.  See this comprehensive post from on BPM detection software.

Want more music? Find over 60 hours of music and playlists all listed with bpm…Bold Pace Music or just see our “100 Best” by clicking image below:

Have any suggestions for our next playlist?   Please comment and share…

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