Jog on: NME writers on their favourite running songs

Top tunes to soundtrack your daily dose of state-sanctioned exercise during the lockdown

What day is it today? Tuesday? Thursday? Bank Holiday Monday? Now that we’re officially Not Supposed to Leave the House it’s hard to know – for Team NME, the last week and a bit has been a blur of pasta pesto, pixelated video meetings, and rinsing our favourite work-from-home records.

For now, we’re all allowed to go outside once a day to exercise – just as a little Government mandated social distancing treat. This has prompted loads of people to rescue their neglected running trainers from hiatus; a small price to pay for a bit of sunlight, right? Here are the bangers we’ve been using as motivation.

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, ‘Tulsa Turnaround’ (1971)

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What is a jog if not the perfect time to get topical? Honour the recent passing of one of country music’s finest with this rolling, groaning hunk of hillbilly funk from the late, great Kenny Rogers. Not too fast and not too slow, it’s the perfect speed for the less enthusiastic runners amongst us, but the chorus picks up the tempo if you want to as well. Either way, the moment Kenny croons “five miles of road between me and the house” will give you something to aim for at least, even if you’ve only managed to make it to the end of your street. Leonie Cooper

LCD Soundsystem, ’45:33′ (2006)

A 45 minute dance odyssey written by James Murphy for the precise purpose of jogging you say? Sign me up. While Murphy himself later admitted that he does not jog, this epic track commissioned by Nike sees the LCD frontman create the perfect exercise companion. The build, the release, the pacing, the rhythm, the warm-down and the length – all peppered with typically LCD moments of daft ecstasy – will have you feeling like a lean, mean disco machine in no time. Jog yrself clean, yeah? Andrew Trendell

Prodigy, ‘We Live Forever’ (2018)

Play this massive rave-pop anthem during your one Government-sanctioned jog of the day and you might just take off. Taken from the Prodigy’s last dizzying adrenaline rush of an album, 2018’s ‘No Tourists’, it boasts all the hallmarks of the band’s trademark sound – rising synths, daft chanted lyrics (“Turn the brain higher!”) and pounding breakbeats, but polished to absolute perfection. It’s a fine tribute to the late punk legend Keith Flint – and if you take off with enough velocity, you might get to join his big rave in the sky. Jordan Bassett

Charli XCX, Roll With Me (2017)

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As somebody who was Quite Into Running until they fell over their own feet and knocked their front tooth out, I need a lot of motivation to lace up my trainers; and this generally comes in the form of banging pop songs. A lot of Charli XCX‘s 2017 mixtape ‘Number 1 Angel’ does the job, but in particular the wild ‘Roll With Me’. I normally chuck it in towards the end of my personal marathon (about 5km), as it’s fast enough to make me go above my normal jogging speed, and – more importantly – it’s only three and a half minutes long, so I know I can push myself for that amount of time before easing up (aka, walking the rest of the way home). Hannah Mylrea

Madonna, Hung Up (2005)

Combining two of my very favourite things – ABBA and peak-pop Madge – ’Hung Up’ is just about the only thing that motivates me to peel myself off the sofa for my daily workout. Stick on this Grade-A banger, and I promise that you will feel truly unstoppable in an instant: like a pink spandex-clad warrior primed to dance, parkour and backflip with effortless finesse. Plus, “time goes by so slowly” is surely the perfect mantra for the corona lockdown era. El Hunt

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