For those who listen to music while running... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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For those who listen to music while running...


So, if you listen to music when running, what music do you listen to?

I've been listening to a couple of NOW that's what I call running albums as I was told they were focused on so many beats a min which is roughly the speed you should run at (or something like that). However, given I run really slowly, I'm not sure it's making any difference what so ever. Also now, after several weeks of the same albums I'm getting a bit bored. I fancy something different but not sure what I want. Was just wondering what everyone else listens to. Compilations or a particular artist, Instrumental or with lyrics, Slow or upbeat?

I do like some ambient tunes but wondered if the fact they are chilled and slow if that would just slow me down. Perhaps I should invest in some death metal to scare me into running faster LOL ;-)

24 Replies

Hi Sezza , I listen to all sorts of music when I'm running . As long as it's got a good beat I'm happy . I go from " Let's get ready to Rhumble "! by Ant and Dec to " Best of You " by Foo Fighters and everything in between . Ha ha ! :-) xxx


I listen to The Ministry Of Sound The Running Bug and 70s and 80s disco and put my own playlists together using those and other stuff I have, if it has a good beat then try it out.


I also listen to all sorts, though I do find 80s power ballads give me better times than 90s indie.☺


I too listen to all sorts of weird & wonderful things. I have a playlist of 3 albums from the "latest & greatest running songs" set which I have on constant shuffle, but I also range from Neil Diamond, to Scottish Country dance music, to Country, to Show tunes to heavy rock &!anyghing else that takes my fancy! 😆

I've actually hit my best times with no music at all. Mind you looking at that mix I've just listed it's probably not a surprise! Lol. 😆


I've always struggled to keep my feet in time to the music I'm listening to, to the extent that changes in track can almost make me trip up. So now I listen to spoken word podcasts. It still acts as a distraction from the gremlins in my head, but allows me to set my own pace.


I too have a mixed bag! But try Lets Dance by Chris Montez and ELOHold on tight to your dreams as two to get you stretching out and going faster. Both quite short so sustainable bursts of flying like the wind action!

Good luck.

Death Metal in fact. Or Stirring classical music - Mahler etc and big epic film soundtracks. Usually audiobooks or podcasts though. Long runs are a great opportunity to listen to stuff I normally wouldn't get time to.


I had a really good run to Adele's new album 25 yesterday.... Certainly didn't run to the beat!! For those people who don't know what an album is... guess I've just given away my age!!! :-) :-)

Rignold in reply to AndyD

Does my album look big in this?

the_tea_fairyGraduate in reply to AndyD

I'm less than 30 and all my albums are on vinyl :)

Here's good music

Free download


Nothing at the moment but thinking of getting some Bluetooth earphones that have a built in radio tuner, as like listening to R2

The Prodigy, almost every run - totally upbeat and really keeps me going. I have The Fat of The Land and The Day is my Enemy albums and love them both, in fact if I listen to them in the car I get impatient to get out running!

Sezza2uGraduate in reply to CookieRunner

Cool, I love the prodigy. I can see that one working might try that myself ;-)


Thank you everyone for your replies. Some good choices there, I'll give some of them a go.


I too like to listen to a real mix, although my early days of C25k were run to Kate Bush - Hounds of Love album (yep, ...Running up that hill...).

What I have noticed is that nowadays It doesn't matter what the beat is (fast or slow) I run at my own pace, not the beat of the music. I like this because I can choose my music depending on my mood.

the_tea_fairyGraduate in reply to Sandraj39

I'm another Bush runner (um...) - The Kick Inside is gloriously odd enough to distract you from the slog!


If you have enough data on your phone contract I have found Spotify's free app has a new run mode where you can enter a BPM you want to run to OR it can detect (by the jolting of the phone as you run) what BPM you are running at, then plays music at that pace.

You can also select long mixes that are themed e.g. Inspirational or beats, rock, indie, pop, classical, etc and these adjust automatically to the BPM you select.

I find that 140BPM gives me about 9:30ish miles but this will vary a bit for each person and you can set the pace as fast/slow as you want.

Not bad for free! Apart from the small amount of data it uses.


I don't listen to music as it slowed me down. I also like the peace and quiet after getting the kids to school.

Mostly Rancid (a very upbeat ska-punk band) but occasionally Metallica or Megadeth.


Running bug albums by ministry of sound are pretty good... My teenage boy has also just introduced me to the wonder that is Spotify - bloody marvellous 😍


Hi, I am a bit sad and love having a human voice with my music and having done C25k and 5k+ I was getting bored but wanted something that would take me forward. Audio Fuel is great. A selection of different packages. I really like Polyrunner. It will give you music to a beat of your choice. 160, 162, 164, 166 and 168. They last for an hour and I am gradually speeding up. Sometimes I do the first half hour at 164 or 166 and then drop to a slower run on the ipod. Or I just do the half hour and try to do 5k which is still a little bit beyond me! I use the DJ mix ones as they offer encouragement and time updates.

Kate Bush, Jimi Hendrix, Youngblood Brass Band, Alt J and PJ Harvey. Quite a mixture.

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