By Matthew Brooks
The warm weather is causing the wildlife to reappear. Nature is alive again with the sounds of birds, butterflies, and long-distance runners.
Nothing helps pass a multi-hour excursion on a run or hike like a strong playlist, right?
Music can provide a good beat to run to. Fast-paced rock songs can start the adrenaline flowing like you were being chased by a dog or mountain lion. Most importantly, a long playlist will make the run more enjoyable because who wants to listen to the same twenty songs run after run.
Here are ten songs that will steer you out and back again for the short season when the sun is shining and the paths are calling your name.
Through the Fire and Flames – Dragonforce
Who has time to catch all the lyrics when a personal best is on the horizon? Dragonforce has the tune for you to push yourself to run like the frenzied person you are.
“Through the Fire and Flames” is seven minutes of fast guitar solos and lyrics that can pass by you in a flash.
Are there better running lyrics than “Fighting hard, fighting on for the steel / Through the wastelands evermore”?
Maybe. There is this adrenaline pumper: “Lost inside you’ll never find / Lost within my own mind / Day after day this misery must go on.”
Thunder – Imagine Dragons
Do you dream of bigger things? Do you want to leave your old life behind?
Let loose, unwind, and be the lightning. Punch the air and set the bass deep to this modern ode to being your best self.
Barracuda – Heart
This hard rock song became the signature song of the band. While the sun smiles down on you, go burn, burn, burn those calories.
There is a famous origin story behind this song. It was written in anger against her record company who was reportedly spreading false, scandalous rumors about the singer and writer Ann Wilson.
Let the motivating anger flow through you while you pound the pavement during your weekend race.
Immortals – Fall Out Boy
Are you hitting the pavement for better health? As Fall Out Boy puts it, “They say we are what we are /
But we don’t have to be.”
Propelling yourself up those never-ending hills, you are immortal. Just not for long. No incline can beat a person who, for a brief moment, is unbeatable.
Kickstart My Heart – Mötley Crüe
This is a song with a very Mötley Crüe sound and Mötley Crüe-esque lyrics. Give your heart a fiery takeoff with a pounding beat.
Feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins. Stay out there and hope it never stops.
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
“This is our life, this is our song.”
“We’re right / We’re free / We’ll fight / You’ll see”
And we aren’t gonna take it anymore.
Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
You are your own hero. You are fast. You are strong. And you are larger than life.
The quintessential 80s song for the hard-hitting exercise montages (apologies to “Eye of the Tiger”).
Made famous as part of the Footloose soundtrack, this song should not fail to motivate the marathoners.
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Take everything in stride. It’s party time.
Nobody’s gonna slow you down. ‘Nuff said.
Oh Yeah – The Subways
The infectious, uplifting rock of The Subways will get you hitting “the ground with every force, it makes no sense or sound.”
You’ve got the whole world and you’re on your way. And you’ll get there somehow.
Over the Hills and Far Away – Gary Moore
If you aren’t familiar with this rock song with an Irish heritage, consider yourself lucky. You are privileged to hear this fine work for the first time. If you know this song courtesy of Nightwish, the Finnish symphonic metal band, now you know there is an original.
Bonus tracks: Nightwish has put together a number of covers and originals that may meet a craving for fresh work to set you onto the running trail.
Push on, valiant runners! Shod with running shoes, armed with a music playlist, and girded with a bottle of water you will conquer your run!