9. June 2023

My ultimate (and very millennial) running playlist

Young woman running listening to music on headphones

If this playlist doesn’t out me as a British millennial, nothing will


I’ve been a long-distance runner since the age of 14. In the last 27 years, I’ve run thousands of kilometres, 3 marathons and so many half marathons I can’t count. I’ve written about the highs, lows and adventures of my running career herehere and here.

I’ve stopped running with headphones now (I started to get annoyed by the extra accoutrements and wanted to hear what was going on around me), but for years I loved to run to music. To stir me up, help me find my pace, and motivate me when the muscles started to burn and it was hard to carry on.

These are my all-time favourite running tracks:

1. Ready, Steady, Go — Paul Oakenfold

Like many of these tracks, a bit literal for a running playlist. Who cares though? It’s a banging tune.

2. Face in a Crowd — Kosheen

Kosheen were huge in the UK in the early 2000s when I had just gone to live in the Big Smoke. They brought the Bristol drum’n’bass scene into the mainstream, blending it with Celtic influences and Welsh vocalist Sian Evans’ distinctive voice. The whole album (“Resist”) is a British millennial classic, and this song perfectly evokes being swept up and along in the ceaseless flow of a big city.

3. Catch U — Kosheen

Another one from the Resist album. Again, a bit literal for a running playlist (“Outta my way, I’m running/I’m gonna catch u if I can”), but it gets you up and it gets you going and that’s what this is all about.

4. Go — Chemical Brothers

A fab song and a masterclass in low budget video-making. Get 7 girls, get some red lippie, get a couple of poles — sorted!

5. Galvanize — Chemical Brothers

A song which is forever twinned to memories of my final year of university in London (2003–4). This song was rocking the clubs at that time. Watching the film of this live performance at Glastonbury in 2019 is all you need to know about this song’s power to move you.

So great to see so many young people in the crowd — when I was dancing to this song the first time around, they were kids at primary school. The appeal of the Chemicals goes on!

6. This Feeling — Kid Q

A fantastic track for sprints or Fartlek training.

7. E Samba — Junior Jack

This song is so catchy, it’s a challenge to keep running and not just bust out some Latin-flavoured moves right there on the pavement.

8. Loca — Shakira

Shakira’s music and passion for life are infectious. There are so many of her songs that I love but this remix is the best for pepping you up again towards the end of an energy-sapping long run.

9. Easy Lover — Divided

A noughties remix of the Phil Collins classic.

10. Insomnia — Faithless

This one needs no introduction and no explanation: it is one of the anthems of 1990s Britain. There is no better drop in the whole of dance music (at 2:17).

11. Superlove — Avicii

A rather late addition to the canon of my running music, but the Swedish DJ Avicii produced some dance classics that defined the 2010s before his untimely death in 2018. This one is my favourite — I’ve always loved Lenny Kravitz’s voice.


Other music-related articles on The Middle-Aged Millennial:

Tina Turner in 10 songs

My 5 favourite lyrics of all time

My top 5 concert experiences

A walk down music memory lane

What’s the big deal? A millennial discovers Taylor Swift


Photo: Paul Prado Perucha on Envato Elements