Look, you guys. I tried. I really did.
In my mind, this post was titled “Kid Tested, Runner Approved.” But it just didn’t work out that way.
You see, there are just too many songs that have the perfect beat for running, but that are also full of bad words and not-so-nice slang. However, the beat of these songs pumps me up and makes me forget that what I am doing is hard. They spur me on to run one more mile, or pick up my pace toward the finish line. But. They are just not appropriate for little ears.
So, I decided, since adults are the ones reading this post, I will cater to you! Blast this in your earbuds. Dance to it while you’re cooking dinner and the kids are outside playing. But I am not going to tell you it is kid tested, because it is not.
Before I share my playlist with you, I have to say something about my treadmill. I have a love/hate relationship with that thing. Maybe because of the sheer number of times I have still gotten in a run even though it was monsooning outside/the number of times I have almost fallen off of it because I was playing the air drums a little too passionately? Anyway, I am here to tell you that even though the treadmill is monotonous, and boring, and I usually just want to be outside in the fresh air, the treadmill has done something for me that I just do not think was in my power to do for myself.
It has made me faster.
I love, love, love to run, but I have always been a “run at a pace where you can hold a conversation” kind of runner. I love a runners’ high, but I have always been able to achieve it by running around a 9 minute mile (10 if running with a friend). But, when I started doing runs on the treadmill, something happened. In an effort to escape the ho-hum right-left, right-left beat of my feet landing on the conveyer belt, I started increasing my speed, one increment at at a time. I played around with the buttons, going up every tenth of a mile, scaling back when it felt too fast, recovering, and then speeding up, one increment at a time again.
Yesterday I set out on a misty five mile run, determined to get it in before the rain came. I am training for a 10K happening this Saturday. My three previous training runs had been on my treadmill. On this outdoor run, an amazing thing happened. I knocked out 5 miles at an 8:22 mile pace, which for me is a record. All of those times I had pushed myself on the treadmill had translated to a faster pace on the street and greater endurance. I was so surprised, I sent this picture to my dad…

…with the caption: “If my Garmin is accurate, then I don’t know what I thought was chasing me.” I was just a little bit excited. There is a silver lining to treadmill running. 🙂
Who knows, maybe my new playlist also had something to do with the increase in my speed? I have worked really hard on this one, rearranging songs to kick in right when I need them. Because I have been training for a 10K, I’ve needed a running playlist that is at least 50 minutes long. I have to give props to my sister, my husband, and all of you who commented on my last running playlist, for giving me ideas for new songs to add. If you do not see the one you suggested to me, it is because I tested it, and although I may have loved it, it just didn’t work for me as a runner. For example, The Distance, by Cake? Susan, I wanted to love that song because the lyrics are too perfect, but the beat just didn’t do it for me. But Hey Ya, by Outkast? Emily, that one was made for running.
So, lace up your Nikes or put on your dancing shoes and turn up the tunes. Here’s your spring playlist.

Fight Song by Rachel Platten (from Now Workout 2017) I know this song is kind of overplayed, but the lyrics get me started on the right foot (pun intended). Perfect to kick off your run.
Mr. Brightside by The Killers Remember in The Holiday, when Cameron Diaz was having her own personal dance party while belting out the lyrics of this song? That’s because it is a song whose lyrics are perfect for belting out, and whose beat is ideal for running–or dancing.
Happy by C2C The refrain of this one, “You’ll never feel happy, until you try…” comes in just as I am feeling my runners’ high kick in.
Just Like Fire by Pink It starts off slow, but it builds until Pink is chanting, “No one can be just like me anyway,” and I am pounding the pavement, completely unashamed of my girl power music.
Hey Ya!, by Outkast There’s no denying this one’s tempo is totally perfect for picking up the pace when you just want to walk.
Hymn for the Weekend by Coldplay (from Now Workout 2017) No playlist is complete without a little Coldplay.
We Come Running by Youngblood Hawke (Tiesto Remix) We first heard this one at a Color Run and it’s another one whose beat makes me want to dance and whose lyrics I can’t help but sing along with as I run.
The Champion by Carrie Underwood (featuring Ludacris) With lyrics like, “I am invincible, unbreakable, unstoppable, unshakeable, I am the champion”…need I say more? Thanks to my hubby for sharing this one.
I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons Get your air drums ready and don’t fall off the treadmill. Speaking of treadmills, how sad is it that I had to use a treadmill picture for my SPRING running list? Just keeping it real–over half of my training runs have been on the treadmill because it’s been raining, snowing, or below 40 degrees. In April.
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys Ok, so this may be a little bit dorky, but while this one is playing in my ears, I imagine myself as fast as the flash, blurring like a flash of fire along the streets of my neighborhood. Hey, whatever works, right?
Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve You may look at the title and think this type of music doesn’t belong in a running playlist, but this one has a really steady tempo that keeps my pace constant toward the end of my run when there is a temptation to slow down.
Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya Nope, don’t want to sit still, just like the lyrics say.
Don’t You Forget About Me by Gabriel Mann This is a reworked version of the 1985 song from The Breakfast Club. It’s just good music, and I don’t mind listening to it if my run has ended and I’m just cooling down.
And if you haven’t signed up for Apple Music, do it. It is a no-brainer for us. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to download new songs for my running playlist. Gotta change it up so I don’t get bored!
What new songs are on your running or dancing playlist?