My Kick-Butt Boston Marathon Playlist + Why It’s Only 2 Hours Of Music

Race day is just ONE WEEK away! Ahhhhh! ONE WEEK. Holy crap.

So I mentioned my kick-butt marathon playlist that helped me PR my recent 5K over the weekend, and I wanted to share it with you guys because it really is an awesome running mix. I started making it back in January, so these songs are my very favorites from my training. I either listened to them on Pandora or over the KFIT stereo system (while running on the treadmill), so any song that I really liked, I made sure to record it. With Pandora, I took a screenshot of the song to write down later, and, on the treadmill, I used the “Notes” app.

By early-April, I had a list of 33 songs, totaling 2 hours and 2 minutes of music, which you probably realize is not enough music for a marathon. Well, during my training, I listened to a lot of podcasts, especially on my long runs. I would usually run out of new material toward the end of my workout, so I would switch to Pandora. The music would pump me up and motivate me to run at a faster pace, so I am hoping this same thing happens during the marathon. I actually talked to Monica about this podcast-music thing during the Duxbury Half Marathon, and she said that she doesn’t listen to music until the halfway mark of her marathons. BINGO. As soon as she said this, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do for the marathon. I plan to listen to a couple of my favorite podcasts from mile 1-13.1 and then turn on my music for the remainder of the race.

And, without further ado, here is my kick-butt Boston Marathon playlist. The songs are in no particular order, and I plan to put the playlist on shuffle and just enjoy the ride. I will probably add a few more songs (I would LOVE to hear your favorites!), and I might make a separate “FINISH” playlist for the final few miles to really help me push through the pain. We shall see!

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Question of the Day

What is your favorite pump-you-up running song?

P.S. I recently saved this post for some of my upcoming travel and just wanted to share. You can basically mix and match these exercises to make some pretty sweet body weight workouts you can do anywhere!

78 Comments

  1. YES! I’m looking for suggestions for a half marathon playlist, so thanks for the hot tips. I would also recommend “My Body” by Young the Giant and… this is embarrassing, but it has a good, steady beat for hills… No Diggity. Not joking.

  2. I just added songs to my running playlist and my favorites right now are Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon, All I Do is Win by DJ Khaled, Elastic Heart by Sia, and Ghost by Ella Henderson.

  3. If I may suggest, do the exact opposite for the last 2 miles. Once you see the Citgo sign, turn off your music and enjoy the crowd. You don’t want to miss out on that experience!!! It is probably the best part of the day!! Also, turn it off as you run by the Wellesly(sp?) girls. I’ve never experience anything like running through the scream tunnel. There are definitely parts of the race you will want music, but those two areas, skip the music and enjoy the crowd. No song out there beats the Boston crowd at certain points on the course.

  4. Could you share some of your favorite podcasts, too? Maybe in a separate post! Thanks for the great music ideas.

      1. @Tina: You couldn’t have just listed out a few of your favorites in the comment? This bums me out, because I’d love to know them too, but to be honest, I don’t want to search CNC.

        1. I’ve just blogged about so many during my training, I figured you’d get more detail if you searched my posts, like Serial versus SCD Lifestyle, which are TOTALLY two different podcasts. Here are some of my favorites: Balanced Bites, Girls Gone WOD, SCD Lifestyle, The Paleo View, Dr. Lo Radio Show, Revolution Health Radio, NPR Car Talk, Serial (highly recommend).

  5. This looks like an awesome playlist! I think Roar-Katy Parry & Stronger-Kelly Clarkson would be fun/good ones. Also Heartbeat song is a fun one (K Clarkson again) that has a good beat 🙂

    Good luck!

  6. Just a note, on pandora, if you’re logged in and “Like” a song, it records it and when you look at station details later, it will have all the songs you liked, with the date you liked them. It’s a lot easier way to later add them to your running playlists. And I agree with the above commenter–the last mile or two is so great, you won’t hear the music anyways! And one more thing, I think you were the one to get me onto Girls Gone WOD and Balanced Bites–they are both fabulous, so thanks!

  7. I love music posts! Some of my current faves are “Let ’em Say” by Lizzo and Caroline Smith, “Booty City” by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, “If I Could Change Your Mind” by HAIM, “Take Back the Night” by JT, and “Dance With Me” by Ra Ra Riot. GOOD LUCK!!!

  8. I rarely listen to music when I run – but when I do it is usually heavy metal and movie music 🙂 I had my iPod shuffle with me for NYC and didn’t even turn it on. I have done the half way and listen to music plan too and that worke too – especially when it starts to pour rain

  9. My three favorite songs right now are Stuck In My Id by Reptar, Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells and Punching in a Dream by The Naked and Famous. I have Howlin’ For You and Sons Gonna Rise on my run list too!

  10. I can’t help myself…. My Chemical Romance’s “welcome to the black parade”. dude…what a jam. It hypes me up so much. 🙂

  11. Push It by Salt n Pepa has been on the playlist for every half marathon I’ve run. It’s a winner. Good luck next week!!

  12. Yeah! I usually only save music for if i’m totally crashing. But I usually do trail races, where headphones are frowned upon, which is just as well as usually the trails are beautiful and interesting. My pump up songs would all be songs from the 90’s and 2000’s hahah

  13. these are awesome! my new additions– honey i’m good (andy grammer), something i need (onerepublic), shut up and dance (walk the moon)!

  14. lol, so many of the same ones that I used for my half marathon last month!

    Ready to Run One Direction
    Invincible Kelly Clarkson
    Love Me Again John Newman
    Can’t Hold Us Macklemoore
    Bad Blood Taylor Swift
    Losing Sleep John Newman
    Irresistible Fall Out Boy
    Sleeping With A Friend Neon Trees
    Outside Calvin Harris ft Ellie Goulding
    Animals Maroon 5
    It Was Always You Maroon 5
    Demons Imagine Dragons
    Bang Bang Jessie J Ariana Grande Nicki Minaj
    Boom Clap I Charli XCX
    I Want You To Know Zedd ft. Selena Gomez
    Its Time Imagine Dragons
    Problem Ariana Grande
    Steal My Girl One Direction
    Centuries Fall Out Boy
    Heroes Alesso
    Blame Calvin Harris feat John-Newman
    Red Lights Tiesto
    Style Taylor Swift
    Wildest Dreams Taylor Swift
    Blank Space Taylor Swift
    Yellow Flicker Beat Lorde
    The Heart Wants What It Wants Selena Gomez
    Shower Becky G
    Love Me Like You Do Ellie Goulding
    Uma Thurman Fall Out Boy
    Heartbeat Song Kelly Clarkson
    Invincible Kelly Clarkson
    GDFR Flo Rida ft Sage The Gemini
    Someone Kelly Clarkson
    Chandelier Sia
    Birthday Katy Perry

  15. My race playlist looks a lot like yours, but I recently added Mambo Number 5 and as surprising as it sounds it is actually my favorite song to run to now!

  16. Got to add:
    Runaway by Bon Jovi
    Remember the Name by Fort Minor (even if you don’t love rap, it’s super motivating).
    I also personally love me some “Work B##ch” by Britney Spears 🙂

  17. Hi Tina,
    My husband and I are planning to travel to Boston for our first time for 4-5 days in mid-July. Wondering if you can provide suggestions for first time visitors or things that you and Mal enjoy and also best places/areas to stay in. We plan to only use public transportation. We are generally outdoorsy people, eat at local only restaurants, create our own plan, etc.

    I know you have compiled posts on Boston in the past, but don’t recall one for first time visitors. One a side note, we used a lot of your info in your Hawaii posts during a trip last year. Those were great!!

    Thank you! (you can email me too if you prefer)

  18. I just can’t get over the fact that you don’t use spotify over in the us.. here in Sweden its all anyone uses 😉

    Anyways, my favorite running song right now is Cheerleader. Its just so happy! Haha. Good luck on your marathon!

  19. Do you know that my playlist always gets Titanium stuck on repeat during races? It’s the craziest thing but it’s a great song to be stuck on! Lol…I just made a new playlist which I shared the other day — currently OBSESSED with listening to Fall Out Boy’s The Phoenix over and over while I run. It’s the best.

  20. Yes! I love the idea of just listening to music during the last half. I feel like I kind of almost do that with music where I’ll just load up the playlist with chill music at the beginning and then put all the exciting and motivational music near the end. If you have Spotify you should put this on there so I can be super lazy and just follow this 🙂

  21. Footloose- Kenny Loggins ******
    Learn to Fly- FooFighters
    Flagpole Sitta- Harvey Danger
    Harlem- New Politics
    Come Out and Play- The Offspring
    Shake Senora- Pitbull *****
    Don’t Stop Me Now- Queen
    Honey I’m Good- Andy Grammer

  22. I am loving the Taylor Swift album, 1989, so that is what I listen to on my runs! I agree with your plan about starting halfway through- I didn’t listen to music on my marathon until mile 16. I tried to chat with people and enjoy the course for as long as I could:)

  23. Perfect – making a playlist was on my to-do list tonight! Last year when I ran Boston I only listened to music for about a third of the race because the crowd is crazy fun and they also are blasting music from the sidelines a lot of time! But its good to have a playlist handy when you need the extra motivation. Thanks for the ideas!

  24. I have 2 “go-to” songs that get me up and moving faster during a run or a workout.

    “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
    “Right Round” by Flor Rida

  25. Great song suggestions- I’ll add one more that I’ve recently discovered- “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. I’m training for the Run to Remember and it definitely gets me going a little faster every time! Good luck- I’ll be cheering you on with my 2 little girls from Wellesley- we typically give out oranges or water at the mid-way point. 🙂

  26. Here’s some that were on my playlist for my very first half-marathon this past Sunday!
    The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy (I see you already have Centuries and My Songs…this one is awesome as well!)
    Antidote – Swedish House Mafia/Knife Party
    Welcome to the Jungle- Guns N’ Roses (<– A classic, but a good one!)
    Enter Sandman – Metallica (another classic!)
    Knock you Out – Bingo Players
    Work B**ch – Britney Spears (can't help it, her stuff is great to run to!)
    Wildfire – Borgeous
    Aw Naw – Chris Young (I like to throw a little country in my mixes!)
    Virus (How About Now) – Martin Garrix, Moti

    Best of luck, you are so inspiring!!

  27. Paper Planes! I had forgotten about that song. I’m adding it to my own pre-race hype playlist, because I’m a weirdo and don’t listen to music during races. My must-haves on my treadmill music are Calabria, of which there are 8 million different mixes (2008 the MIMS remix is my fave), Missy’s Get Ur Freak On, and Warrior by Kimbra/A-Track/Mark Foster.

  28. Good list! Here are a few others that I have in mine:
    Say Hey – Michael Franti & Spearhead
    Into the Great Wide Open – Tom Petty
    In Your Room – The Bangles
    Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
    Talk Dirty to Me – Poison
    LDN – Lily Allen

  29. If you’re into dance-y/EDM stuff, I’d suggest:
    Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon – Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Remix)
    Deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire – Ghosts N Stuff

  30. Best running song ever: Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings. I’ve put it on repeat before to push through the end of a work out.

    I also love anything Britney Spears, honestly! 🙂 The Blackout album is great.

  31. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Ft. Bruno Mars
    Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
    Geronimo – Sheppard
    Not a Bad Thing – Justin Timberlake
    Happy – Pharrell
    Put Your Hands Up for Detroit – Fedde Le Grande
    Love Don’t Let Me Go – David Guetta vs. The Egg
    Elements – Lindsey Stirling (violin + dubstep!)
    Shadows – Lindsey Stirling

    Good luck on your run!

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