The Best High BPM Songs For Running: 2024 Picks
If you have gone to a fitness class, you have probably noticed that the music is carefully chosen to fit the exercise. And for good reason.
Studies have frequently shown that people listening to a song with more beats per minute (BPM), tend to exercise faster and longer than those who are listening to slower music or no music.
The takeaway here is that if you carefully choose your music and high BPM songs, it may increase your physical output.
The Science Behind Choosing Your Running Music
Beats per minute (BPM) indicates the number of beats a song has in one minute. Pretty self-explanatory, right?
Well, the simple measure has been found to have a significant impact on both the duration and output of athletes, depending on the BPM selected.
A study done at the University of Toronto confirmed what we all suspected, that the right workout music can cause an athlete to work out up to 70% longer.
Although scientists were not shocked to see the impact music had on exercise, they were surprised to see that the higher energy level typically lasted throughout the day.
Participants in studies wore monitors throughout the entire day (not just during the exercise) to take note of these changes that occurred.
When choosing your workout songs, you need to carefully reflect on what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are doing yoga, you are working on centering yourself and bringing peace to your mind, body, and spirit. People who practice yoga listen to sounds of nature or very relaxing, soft music.
This is much different from a runner looking to achieve a specific goal or optimize for runner’s high. Taking into account your activity and goals is important before building your next playlist.
Matching Your Cadence To Music
If you are trying to figure out what tempo of the music you should be listening to, you need to find out how many steps you take in a minute when running and walking.
Start a stopwatch and do your thing for 60 seconds, counting your steps. That will tell you what BPM you should be looking for in your running songs.
If you have a good smartwatch, it may show your cadence for you. Apple Watch, for example, shows the average cadence. It is all calculated out for you in black and white! Then you can Google “music with X BPM.”
On a recent run, my average cadence was 173. If trying to complete that same type of workout, I would look for music at a high number of beats per minute.
Matching Your Rate of Perceived Exertion To Music
Another way to calibrate your music to your workouts is to focus on song BPM’s that match bring your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) up or down based on your run type. For a good tutorial on how to do this, watch RunnerClick Pro Coach, Evan Wood, run you through the BPM & RPE matching exercise below.
What’s the Best Running Song BPM?
There a multiple studies that show that 165 steps per minute is the most optimal running pace for novices. This is great because there are many fantastic running songs within the 160 and 170 BPM range.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting at 120 BPM and increasing based on your comfort level.
When it comes to elite athletes, 180 BPM will help ensure a stride turnover of 180 steps per minute is reached.
But don’t let maintaining a high BPM cause you to overexert yourself. Regardless of your fitness level, the optimal running song BPM is the one that helps you maintain a steady pace and target heart rate.
How Can I Determine The BPM Of A Song?
You can certainly attempt to count the beats within a 60-second time frame, but who has time for that, right?
We like plugging in a song title into SongBPM.com to easily find the BPM of our favorite running songs.
We’ve even begun building a library of the best running songs, all categorized by genre, artist, and BPM. The list below is a good place to start but when you join the RunnerClick Pro community, you’ll receive instant access to our running song library. Hope to see you in the community soon.
Our List of the Top Running Songs By BPM
Peruse our favorite running songs below, based on their BPM. Then click the link to go to Spotify to add it to your workout playlists.
Or simply hit the heart icon for that song to help Spotify recommend more of what you’re looking for in a running playlist.
110-135 BPM songs
- Hollaback Girl by Gwen Steffani (110 BPM)
- I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas (129 BPM)
- Get This Party Started by Pink (129 BPM)
- Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake (117 BPM)
- Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida (128 BPM)
- Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO (130 BPM)
- Push It by Salt-N-Pepa (128 BPM)
- Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO (130 BPM)
135 – 149 BPM Songs
- Womanizer by Brittany Spears (139 BPM)
- Viva La Vida by Coldplay (138 BPM)
- Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson (135 BPM)
- Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz (138 BPM)
- It’s Still Rock N Roll To Me by Billie Joel (141 BPM)
- Higher Ground by Red Hot Chili Peppers (141 BPM)
150-175 BPM Songs
- All the Small Things by Blink 182 (150 BPM)
- Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon (151 BPM)
- Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5 (150 BPM)
- Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison (151 BPM)
- Happy by Pharell Williams (160 BPM)
- What I Like About You by The Romantics (160 BPM)
- Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (160 BPM)
- The Pretender by the Foo Fighters (172 BPM)
- Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty (170 BPM)
High BPM Songs (180 BPM Songs)
- I Would Die For You by Prince
- Dancing With Myself by Billie Idol
- Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
- In Da Club by 50 Cent
- Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson
- It’s a Little Too Late by Mark Chestnut
- Breaking the Law by Judas Priest
- Mambo #5 by Lou Bega
- Love Is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar
Is 180 BPM Fast?
You bet 180 beats per minute is fast!
If you’re looking to pick up the pace in your workout, you may want to seed some 180 BPM songs into your next playlist.
But before you create an entire playlist of 180 BPM running songs, try the interval workout recommendation below. Those 180 BPM songs will be much more manageable.
Building An Interval Workout Playlist
An interesting concept is creating an interval workout by switching up your music.
A woman I coach was telling me that she struggles with hitting the paces I am asking of her. I asked if she listens to music when she runs. When she responded yes, I asked her what her favorite genre of music was.
Together, we discussed the tempo and beat of the music and how she could use music to cue her running. One thing we did is for her next 5-mile run, where her goal was to warm up for one mile, then run 3 miles of threshold, then a mile of cool down, I encouraged her to make a workout playlist.
She chose 4 songs that have a very easy pace. After that, she jacked up the tempo and mood of the music. Based on her pace, I told her to pick roughly 24 minutes of songs that would keep her moving fast. After those songs, she should choose 4 more songs at a slower tempo.
Guess what happened? The music cued her workout. Without focusing on her Garmin, encouraged to run based on the music cues, she came close to finishing the entire workout I built for her.
A trick I use for my own runs is to create a playlist with a fast song followed by a slower one. When the song changes, I either pick up or slow down my pace. A simple click of your smartwatch can tell you what pace you have run and for how long. This is a musical version of a surprise fartlek run.
However you choose to use it, music can lead your next run for you.
Craft multiple playlists with unique Spotify playlist names so you can easily find your favorites.
Evan Wood, running coach and RunnerClick Pro member, discusses how and why choosing a specific BPM tune affects your running.
Top Running Songs By BPM
We’ve put together a database of over 1,700 running songs ranging from 50 BPM’s, all the way up to 210 BPM’s. Sort the list by BPM, Artist, or Genre, then click the Listen on Spotify link to add the song to your running playlist.
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