LCD Soundsystem – 45:33
The unlikely offspring of an indie retro dance outfit and a Nike commission, this extended mix is ideal for slow-burn exercise. It was written to accompany workout sessions, and the intention shows; skittery electronic beats settle into driving repetition, gradually changing to reflect and use the natural ebbs and flows of a run. You can find the primordial instrumental version of their superb “Someone Great” at one point, allowing you to get fitter in the comforting knowledge that you would have been impressively ahead of the music trends of 10 years ago. It’s a little discouraging to hear the gentle, insistent whisper of “shame on you” midway through – am I not good enough for you, James Murphy? How did you know I was taking a break, anyway? Ultimately, though, this largely overlooked release from a critically revered artist and producer should keep you going for a while; just don’t expect to hear it at their post-reunion concerts this year.
Kanye West – POWER
The lead single from Kanye’s fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, ‘POWER’ is the perfect way to start a work out. The track starts with a repetitive clap which is both intensely motivating and strangely satisfying – an applause to accompany each step. The lyrics will help you push through the pain – words like “I’m tripping off the power” or “I’m killing this shit” can create an overinflated sense of achievement which force even the laziest among us to keep at it. Add in Kanye’s trademark abrasive vocals and you have a killer track that is the perfect accompaniment to a punishing run or demanding workout.
Dixie Chicks – Ready to Run
While perhaps not the first genre to come to mind when choosing your ideal running playlist, country music is a surprisingly good place to look. The Dixie Chicks’ mid-tempo hit ‘Ready to Run’ is perfect for a slower-paced run or jog. Any track which includes the word “run” (think Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ or Beyoncé’s ‘Run The World (Girls)’) can help you feel positive about getting started, and this track is no exception. Country music is well known for telling a story throughout the song, making it easy to get caught up in the lyrics and forget what you’re making your body do, which has to be the main aim of a workout playlist in the first place. If this appeals, Spotify has a surprising number of “Country Running” playlists for a more relaxed option