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The Ultimate Marathon Playlist

Crafting the perfect marathon playlist for 26.2 miles is no easy feat!

I organize my playlist with slow music first. I want to start slower than my goal race pace, so I don’t want the music to pump me up. The songs I pick are slower to balance out the energy I will likely get from the crowds and from the excitement of running another marathon. By mile 5, I’m starting to pick up the pace. I want my playlist to do the same thing. By mile 10 I’m dialing in on race pace and don’t want to be fumbling with my iPod, skipping songs to find one I like.

The last 50 minutes of the race are songs are the most important. These are the songs I will be listening to during what typically ends up being the most painful part of a marathon. I listen to each song 3 or 4 times in a row. This makes a mile seem not as long because really I’ve only listened to one song. Remember that the last miles of a marathon are ALL about mind games. I pick about 7 or so songs that I like the most and that are really upbeat. Those are my “I’m not hitting the wall” songs. I turn up the sound in the last miles and just get lost in the music.

Some of the songs on my playlist have helped me through past marathons. I keep these songs on every marathon playlist to remind how happy I will feel once I cross the finish line. Don’t be afraid to add old favorites.

In no particular order here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

  1. Can’t Feel My Face – The Weekend
  2. Hey Brother – Avicii
  3. Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
  4. Wave After Wave – Mr. Probz
  5. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 – Keith Urban
  6. Ghost Town – Adam Lambert
  7. S & M – Rihanna
  8. I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
  9. Die Young – Kesha
  10. The Monster – Eminem featuring Rihanna
  11. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  12. Beautiful Now – Zedd ft. Jon Bellion
  13. I Don’t Like It, I Love It – Flo Rida featuring Robin Thicke
  14. Wake Me Up – Aloe Blacc
  15. Stitches – Shawn Mendes
  16. I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift
  17. Lean On – Major Lazer & DJ Snake
  18. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  19. Should’ve Been Us – Tori Kelly
  20. Timber – Pit Bull
  21. Wake Me Up – Avicii
  22. The Man – Aloe Blacc
  23. Feel This Moment – Pit Bull featuring Christina Aguilera
  24. Let Her Go – Passenger
  25. Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra
  26. Begin Again – Taylor Swift
  27. Where Are You Now – Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber
  28. Earned It – The Weekend
  29. Am I Wrong – Nico & Vinz
  30. Mmm Yeah – Austin Mahone featuring Pitbull
  31. Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
  32. Someone Like You – Adele
  33. Fireflies – Owl City
  34. Glad You Came – The Wanted
  35. Lights – Ellie Goulding
  36. Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz
  37. Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
  38. Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo
  39. Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
  40. Right Round – Flo Rida
  41. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  42. Lose Yourself – Eminem
  43. The Hanging Tree – Jennifer Lawrence
  44. Life Your Life – T.I. featuring Rihanna
  45. The Way I Are – Timbaland
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Dorothy Beal is the creator of the #irunthisbody and #IHaveARunnersBody MOVEments and the owner of, a website that sells fun running tees and jewelry! She is a mother of three who started running in college as a way to lose weight literally and figuratively and got hooked in the process. In 2003 she completed her first marathon and has run 31 of them since. Sharing her passion for running is one of the things she most enjoys behind being a mom. You can find her writing about life as a runner on her personal blog at and follow her on Instagram, where she shares her life in photos @mileposts.