Classical Music for Running: The Best of Both Worlds

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re a runner who loves classical music, you’re in for a treat! This blog post explores the best of both worlds and showcases some of the best classical pieces for running.


Classical music has often been thought of as staid and boring, but recent research has shown that it can actually be quite beneficial for runners. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that classical music helped runners maintain a consistent pace and reduced perceived effort, while another study found that it improved running economy.

If you’re looking to add some classical music to your running playlist, here are some of the best pieces to start with:

-Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5: This piece is perfect for runners who want to maintain a steady pace, as it has a metronomic quality that will help you keep your tempo.

-Mozart’s Symphony No. 40: This piece is perfect for runners who are looking for a little pick-me-up, as it is known for its energy and enthusiasm.

-Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: This piece is perfect for runners who need to focus on their form, as the music will help you keep your mind focused on your running technique.

So there you have it! Whether you’re looking to improve your running economy or just want some energetic classical music to help you power through your run, these pieces will definitely do the trick.

The Benefits of Classical Music for Running

Classical music has been shown to have a number of benefits for runners, including increased endurance, improved recovery, and reduced perceived effort. Classical music can also provide a much-needed mental break from the monotony of running, helping you to stay motivated and focused. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of classical music for runners in more detail.

Improved Concentration and Focus

It’s no secret that classical music can be used as a powerful concentration tool. Students have been known to study to classical music in order to improve their focus and memory retention, and many professionals listen to classical music while working in order to increase productivity.

Running is no exception. In fact, one study found that classical music can be particularly helpful for runners who are looking to improve their performance. The study found that runners who listened to classical music while running had significantly better focus and concentration than those who ran without music or with other genres of music playing.

So if you’re looking for a way to boost your concentration and focus while you run, consider giving classical music a try. You just might find that you’re able to run further and faster than you ever thought possible!

Increased Motivation and Energy

Classical music is often credited with increasing motivation and energy levels in runners. In a study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, classical music was found to significantly increase both distance and speed in a group of female runners as compared to running without music or running while listening to other genres of music. This positive effect may be due to the fact that classical music tends to have a slightly slower tempo and a more consistent beat than other genres, which can help regulate breathing and keep runners on pace. Additionally, classical music is often associated with positive emotions, which can further increase motivation and energy levels.

Enhanced Endurance and Performance

Classical music has often been associated with enhanced performance, whether mental or physical. In one study, University of Southern California researchers found that runners who listened to music while running had more endurance and completed their runs faster than those who didn’t listen to music.

In another study, Oxford University scientists found that cyclists who listened to music while riding had better bike handling skills and were able to bike for longer periods of time than those who didn’t listen to music.

While the mechanisms behind these findings are not fully understood, it is speculated that the rhythmic nature of classical music helps to ease the body into a more efficient running or cycling stride. The music may also help to distract the mind from fatigue, pain, and boredom, allowing runners and cyclists to push themselves harder and for longer periods of time.

The Best Classical Music for Running

Classical music has been shown to improve mental focus and cognitive function. It can also boost your mood and reduce stress levels. Running is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your physical fitness. So, what happens when you combine the two? You get the best of both worlds!

Beethoven – Symphony No. 5

This is one of the most well-known pieces of classical music, and for good reason. It’s incredibly energetic and uplifting, making it the perfect choice for a running playlist. The main theme is instantly recognizable, and it will keep you motivated throughout your run.

Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is one of the most popular and enduring pieces of classical music in the world. And it turns out, it’s also great for running! The piece is has a perfect mix of energy and elegance, making it perfect for a vigorous run.

Bach – Goldberg Variations

Bach’s Goldberg Variations is one of the most popular pieces of classical music, and it’s also one of the best pieces of music for running. The piece is highly versatile, and can be used for both long-distance runs and sprints. The variations provide a nice change of pace, and the piece overall has a uplifting and motivational tone.


Running can be a great way to clear your head and get some exercise, but it can be tough to keep up the motivation. Adding some music to your running routine can help you stay focused and inspired, but not just any music will do. Classical music for running can give you the best of both worlds, providing the benefits of both exercise and listening to beautiful music.

There are lots of great classical pieces that are perfect for running, from fast-paced symphonies to more mellow piano pieces. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of the best classical music for running. And don’t forget to download our free classical music for running playlist!

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