What’s On Your Workout Playlist?

Author: Miranda Eason

There’s no denying the power of a great playlist to help you run faster, stretch further, jump higher and just generally keep going longer (whatever your workout of choice) than you ever thought possible.

I choose my yoga classes based as much on the teacher’s personality and how creative they are with their sequencing as the playlists they put together. My favourite teachers at Stretch, my go-to yoga studio, all have excellent taste in music, choosing tunes that complement the poses and spur you on when the last thing you want to do is ONE. MORE. VINYASA.

Over the years I’ve been going to Stretch I’ve discovered some great new music through the perfectly-pitched playlists that have soundtracked the classes I’ve sweated through, and I have to admit that sometimes I’m concentrating less on my breathing than I am on remembering the lyrics to a particular record, so I can go home and Google it after class, bad yogi that I am. One of my favourite discoveries of late is the Slinger Remix of Around Town by The Kooks, it’s one of the most uplifting records I’ve ever heard (check it out on You Tube).

Now the weather’s cooled a little I’ve gotten back into running (whilst I am a fair weather cyclist it turns out that I am most definitely not a warm weather runner). A couple of evenings a week I pull on my trainers, put my iPod on shuffle and head off for a 30 minute run (give or take) around the Olympic Park (which is so close to my house that it’s practically my back garden, I know, I am ridiculously lucky). Whilst my iPod does have some great running records on it, the randomness of shuffle means that sometimes something pops up that slows me right down and I end up stopping and pressing forward until a more suitable track appears, totally interrupting my flow.

And so once again I need your help. I want to put together a running playlist packed with inspiring, uplifting tunes. What are the records and remixes that spur you on when you’re running or working out? Are there any great compilations or already-put-together-playlists out there to soundtrack my nighttime runs? And what do you do with your iPod when you’re running? If I’m not wearing a top that features pockets I end up holding it in my hand, which is a bit annoying. Are those arm bands any good? Which would you recommend? As ever please share in the comments section below!

Photograph Every Second Counts You can buy the Game Changer Crop featured in the picture here

Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.
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18 thoughts on “What’s On Your Workout Playlist?

  1. I love music to run to! I downsized to a small shuffle iPod to run with as I don’t like anything attached to my arms except my running watch which is something I deal with. So my little shuffle can either go in my pocket if I have my lightweight jacket on as it has pockets on the inside so no wires dangling or if not I tend to clip it to the bottom of my vest as it has a handy clip device on it. The workout DVDs I have been doing T25 has rubbish background music that is dull as which isn’t ideal but I do have to listen to what he says so I can’t put my iPod on. My first insanity class I went to last night had excellent music and as you were meant to go quicker the music was faster paced and also you could time certain moves to the beat so it was really good! However I am about to embark on the actual insanity DVD at home so I guess the music won’t be that great but I’ll prob be that busy dying I won’t care? I am really keen to get a yoga for beginners DVD as cos of my shifts classes are too hard to get to consistently, any recommendations? X

    1. I think maybe a Shuffle is the way forwards for me Alex! Yoga-wise I would check out Tara Stiles or Kathryn Budig’s DVDs. Maybe have a listen to them both on You Tube before you buy to see if you like their voices (so important!) first. I don’t have any of either of their DVDs but I do have books by both of them and I think they’re both great at what they do. I’m also a big Rachel Brathen/Yoga Girl fan (I did one of her classes in Amsterdam last year – so inspiring!). She doesn’t have a DVD (yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long!) but she puts speeded up sequences on her Instagram (@yoga_girl) plus she has a You Tube channel where she posts sequences and tutorials. Definitely worth checking out! x

      1. Thanks for this I’ll get checking them out! Hoping I might get more flexible and it will help me with my other workouts x

        1. Pleasure! Yoga works really well with running. It works well with most sports to be honest. I’ve noticed yoga for runners (and cyclists) workshops starting to happen at studios around London. x

  2. Hi Miranda

    First time time i’ve commented on one of your posts, I usually comment on my dear friends Lauren’s posts (usually the ones which mention me ; )) but I’m a keen (well, i say keen…) runner so thought i’d share my knowledge….

    iphone….I have a SPI Belt. Stand for Small Personal Items belt. You can just about fit your phone, keys and oyster card should you wish to take the bus mid run. It goes around your waist and fits under your top, cost about £16 online.

    music….i usually download the top 40 but there are occasionally some dodgy Pitbull tracks on there so I too usually forward the rubbish/annoying tracks. I’d love some readers suggestions on suitable running songs, particularly remixs. I’ve got the Richmond Half Marathon coming up (along with my good and recently married friend Bex…I hope you’re reading this Mrs R!) so desperately need some decent music inspiration.

    and I aslso recommend the Nike+ app. You can set up a playlist and a voice will intermittently tell you your speed and time and it logs all your runs.

    1. Hi Lindsay, thanks for commenting! The SPI belts look good (I like the bright orange one!). I have an Eastpak leopard print bum bag my sister bought me for travelling but it’s a bit big and bulky for running, so one of these would be a good solution. I downloaded the Nike+ app ages ago but I got stuck setting it up when it asked for my weight, I have no idea what I weigh and I don’t have a set of scales at home, but now I know about the playlist element I’ll get on it. Downloading the Top 40 is a great idea, and will be good for pub quiz research as our team’s not very good at the 2010s section of the music round!

  3. Ahh what perfect timing, recently signed up for the Ankor Watt half marathon and I’ve been struggling with putting together a motivational playlist to keep me going (if I get bored of looking at the temples that is). Looking forward to doing some iTunes damage after reading everyone’s suggestions.
    Of late a few of my favourites to run to with a decent beat are:
    On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons
    It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
    Boom Clap – Charli XCX
    Young Volcanoes – Fall Out Boy
    All Night – Icona Pop
    Chocolate – The 1975

    And despite not normally being a fan I find We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus weirdly motivational.

    For playlists fit sugar has lots of suggestions but some are a bit hit and miss – http://www.fitsugar.com/latest/workout-music

    1. Oh my goodness Victoria the Angkor Watt half marathon will be amazing (I was there in November last year, not to do the marathon though!). Will check out your playlist suggestions right now. I’m a big Little Dragon fan anyway, listening to Pretty Girls as I type! Thank you for sharing and lots of luck with your training for the half marathon! x

  4. Anything Beyoncé. My gym ‘mantra’ if you like is ‘would Beyoncé have stopped yet?!’ It sort of works for me. I mean, who doesn’t want thighs like the great Bey?

    Also to get myself through the last KM I crank up Geko by Oliver Heldens. Something about the bass makes me dig a bit deeper.

    Second also… The voice of my PT saying ‘You’re going to owe me 4 more if you don’t just finish them now’ is like music to my ears. Not.

  5. I’m doing a couch to 5k plan and am totally unfit so music helps loads! Have to second Eye of the Tiger! A selection of my playlist is: Taylor Swift Shake it Out; Avicci Addicted to you; anything Calvin Harris e.g Bounce, I need your love, Sweet Nothing; Sia Chandelier; Public Enemy Harder than you think; Kanye Stronger; Ella Henderson Ghost; Wankelmut My head is a jungle. Half of this is not my usual music taste but you definitely need some pop beats for running!! Also love the Beyoncé mantra and will use that now as I’m heading out for my first attempt at 20min run! Longest so far has been 8 mins so I’m scared!!

    1. Good luck Alanna! Just back from a 30 minute run round the park. Shattered! Love Kanye’s Stronger for running. Will check out the rest this evening!

  6. Oh dear – this evening I found myself doing my home work out to Great British Bake Off. I’m sure I’ve invented some unique form of torture for myself.

    I do a mix of speed-walking (no, I’m not an OAP, I’m following the Kayla Itsines guide and I have a dog!) where I listen to audiobooks, and for HIIT or circuit training I find Hip Hop to be very motivating. But I have to select carefully – my fiance and I always listen to Hip Hop driving and certain beats send my right to sleep.

    1. Ooh, I haven’t caught up with this week’s Great British Bake Off yet Anna. I hope it’s not as dramatic as last week. I’ve never heard of Kayla Itsines, I’ll have a Google now. Haha, it wouldn’t be ideal to fall asleep mid HIIT class (would it even be possible?!).

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