Surprisingly Good Songs

Let’s just put it all out there: I have bad taste in music. Bad. When I was younger, I told everyone that my favorite band was the Beatles because I knew I couldn’t get made fun of for it, nevermind that I’d never heard any of their songs. The fact that I was obsessed with Hanson, Spice Girls, and Amy Grant was not something I was going to advertise. (Note: I did eventually get my hands on a Beatles CD and I do actually like their music.) Fast forward and nowadays I have very broad taste in music. Since I knew my taste in music was bad, I had nothing to lose by exploring different genres. Pop, country, hip-hop, rock, I like it all! That said, I’ve had the fortune of coming across some surprisingly good running songs in my time. Here are few that might not already be on your playlist:

  • This is me, Camp Rock
  • Pump you up lyric: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.” I love listening to this song toward the of a run. It such a feel-good-achive-your-dreams-take-a-risk-go-for-it kind of song. And (cheese alert) I do feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be when I’m running.


  • Little Red Corvette, Prince
  • Pump you up lyric: “Baby, you’re much too fast.” Something tells me that Prince wasn’t referring to running speed when he said, “you’re too fast.” That’s okay, I like to pretend he’s talking about running. This isn’t a super fast song, and it repeats a lot, and I can’t listen to it if I’m tired, but other than that (ha!) I highly recommend it.


  • The World Will Know, Newsies
  • Pump you up lyric: “Are we gonna hear it? No!” I typically don’t like running to songs from musicals, but Newsies is an exception. It’s all about shutting up the haters. I can definitely get behind that. This song is especially good because of the call and response portion. Sometimes when I’m running I’ll shout out the “No!” part really loudly. I’m sure the people in the neighborhoods appreciate that.


  • Texas in 1880, Radney Foster with Pat Green
  • Pump you up lyric: “Ride that pony fast.” Country music doesn’t seem like typical running music, but if the tempo is upbeat enough, it can be great. (I actually have many country songs on my playlist.) This one is perfect for running. The beat is fast, the topic is fun, and any mention of the word “fast” makes me feel like running fast!


  • Ride Like the Wind, Christopher Cross
  • Pump you up lyric: “I’m on the run” and “I’ve got such a long way to go.” I don’t know how this song ended up on my playlist; it must have been a Stephen download. No matter, I love it! The song isn’t particularly fast or upbeat, but it has this vibe of continuing despite being exhausted. Perfect for a long run. Plus, the lyrics really speak to me. “No time for sleep,” you got that right.

What songs (surprising or not) would you suggest someone add to their playlist prior to a race? (And by “someone” I mean “me.”) What embarrassing songs or musicians are you a fan of? Fess up!*