This study has found the most popular running songs of all time

Did your favourite make the list? These are the best running songs that have kept us pounding the pavement

Best running songs to listen to while setting a PB
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What's your best running song? Whether you like listening to fast-paced EDM to help you speed up, or chilled-out hip-hop to relax during a long run, everyone has their personal tastes depend on how you run. You might even prefer listening to podcasts rather than music, to keep your mind occupied – whatever your particular favourite style, we recommend using one of our best workout earbuds for ultimate true wireless freedom. 

However, despite the huge variety on offer, it seems some songs are always popular additions to running playlist. Running equipment website RunnersNeed polled lots of UK runners on their favourite songs. 28% of respondents say they cannot run without music, while 22% have created their own running playlist to get the best experience out of their jog.

The 20 most popular running songs, as voted by UK runners, can be found below:

  • Eye of the Tiger - Survivor. 26%
  • Wake me up - Avicii. 22%
  • Firework - Katy Perry. 20%
  • I Like It - Cardi B. 19%
  • Stronger - Kanye West. 18%
  • Blinding Lights - The Weeknd. 18%
  • POWER - Kanye West. 18%
  • Vossi Bop - Stormzi. 17%
  • Crazy in Love - Beyoncé. 17%
  • Bad Guy - Billie Eilish. 16%
  • Survivor - Destiny’s Child. 16%
  • Dance Monkey - Tones and I. 16%
  • Believer - Imagine Dragons. 15%
  • Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk. 14%
  • Holiday - Little Mix. 14%
  • S&M - Rihanna. 14%
  • Nice For What - Drake. 14%
  • Don’t Start Now - Dua Lipa. 14%
  • Paint it Black - Rolling Stones. 10%
  • Venus - Bananarama. 9%

Eye of the Tiger, first released in 1982, was popularised as a training song after its inclusion in the Rocky franchise. After nearly 40 years, Eye of the Tiger still takes the top spot in the list of the most popular running anthems. 

Aviici's Wake Me Up is the second most common song to hear through the best running headphones. Eye of the Tiger and Wake Me Up both over around 120 beats per minute, or BPM. 120BPM is said to be an ideal pace for a light jog, helping you to keep time while avoiding tiring yourself out prematurely. Finding a playlist which suits your pace is a great technique for maintaining a steady rhythm.  

Running is an incredible way to stay fit and active, especially with the gyms closed as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. A study by scientists from the University of South Carolina found that running "distances of 0.1-19.9 miles/week, speeds of 6-7 miles/hour, or frequencies of 2-5 days/week" led to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. 

Higher mileage, faster paces, and more frequent running were not associated with better survival, so a few miles a couple of times a week are all it takes to lower your risk of early death. Its cardiovascular benefits improves your heart and lung health, it helps you lose weight and improves mental health by getting you outside and away from screens, normalising and lowering your production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Running tends to take a little longer than your average 20-minute HIIT workout, which is no bad thing. The Journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found a 45-minute period of exertion continues to boost your metabolism for up to 14 hours after your workout. This torches an extra 190 calories, so you'll still be losing weight even when you're back at home, getting ready for bed. 


(Image credit: Sportlab/Unsplash)

If you're looking for a way to get started, we recommend our Couch to 5K plan, which is an excellent way to get beginner runners going from their first tentative steps up to a confident five-kilometre park run. 

It's also very useful to know how to recover properly after a run, to shorten the length of time between runs and ease any muscular soreness.   

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.