The Music Artists That Make You Run Faster Revealed

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Whether it’s having the perfect matching sportswear, the comfiest go-faster trainers, or a playlist that is sure to keep you pumped, there are lots of external factors that can impact the performance of your run. 

Curious to discover how much music can affect the speed that you run? We conducted a study on a group of runners to reveal which music artists can improve your running time and who might be slowing you down. We analysed the running data of 60 runs, where the runners were listening to a different artist for each run, so we could reveal the artists improving our speed the most. 

Queen B to beat your PB

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Affectionately known as ‘Queen B,’ it’s Beyonce that comes out on top for making runners go that much faster. In fact, Beyonce’s music was found to be encouraging enough to shave 33 seconds per kilometre off your personal best. Which means you could do a 5k run 2 minutes and 45 seconds quicker and take over 23 minutes off your marathon time. Having 22 number one hits to her name including anthems like ‘Put A Ring On It’ and ‘Run The World (Girls),’ it’s no wonder that her words of encouragement are enough to push that much harder.  

With hits like ‘Watermelon Sugar’, Harry Styles also featured amongst the musicians who can help you go faster. In second place, the former One Direction heart throb was found to take 31 seconds per kilometre off your run thanks to his recent upbeat releases. That means you would complete an average 5k run in 2 minutes and 25 seconds less than usual and you could take 21 minutes 42 seconds off a marathon.

Third on the list is the noughties icon Britney Spears; despite finding fame in 1999, her instantly recognisable pop songs are still enough to get us pumped in 2021. So much so, that blasting out ‘Baby One More Time’, ‘Oops... I Did It Again’ and ‘Toxic’ can improve your running speed by 28 seconds per kilometre which would equate to a full 2 minutes and 20 seconds off a 5k jog. 

Also featuring in the top 10 is Adele (fourth), who has recently released her much-anticipated album ‘30’, who was found to take 19 seconds off each kilometre, making your 5k running time over 1 and a half minutes quicker. Taylor Swift is in fifth place, her country-pop songs can help you to take 1 minute and 22 seconds off your 5k and over 11 and half minutes off your marathon completion time.  

Top 15 Artists That Make You Run Faster 



Time Improvement Per km (mins:secs) 

Time Improvement For 5k run (mins:secs) 

Time Improvement for marathon (mins:secs) 







Harry Styles 





Britney Spears 










Taylor Swift 





Shawn Mendes 










Ed Sheeran 





Olivia Rodrigo 





Justin Bieber 





Kanye West 





Billie Eilish 





Lady Gaga 





Travis Scott 





Cardi B 




If you’re looking to shave off a few seconds on your next run, try listening to this playlist which contains a medley of all the artists that have been proven to make you run faster.  

The Artists That Make You Run Slower

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With our study results we are also able to reveal the artists who actually slow us down or have little impact on our running speed.  

It may be unsurprising to some, but the chilled-out tones of Drake were actually found to have a negative effect on your running. Listening to Drake can add 21 seconds per kilometre to your activity time. The Canadian hip-hop artist first found fame in 2010 and has since produced number one hits like ‘Take Care’ and ‘One Dance,’ which sat at the top of the UK charts for a total of 15 weeks. However, listening to these chart-toppers could add a total of 1 minute and 45 seconds to your next 5K run which adds up to an additional 14 minutes and 42 seconds to a marathon. 

The second artist on the list of musicians slowing us down is the K-Pop boy band BTS, as the runners found that they ran nine seconds slower on average when listening to songs such as ‘Boy With Luv.’ Third on the list is the American rapper Doja Cat, who has produced music with household names like Nicki Minaj and The Weekend, and is found to slow you down by five seconds, adding 25 seconds on to your next five-kilometre jog and 3 and a half minutes to a marathon time.  

It’s Doja Cat’s sidekick Nicki Minaj who is next on the list with a two second increase in running time, followed by the popstar Katy Perry who will slow you down by one second which would add 42 seconds if you were running a marathon.  




Additional Time Per km (mins:secs) 

Additional Time for 5k run (mins:secs) 

Additional Time for marathon (mins:secs) 












Doja Cat 





Nicki Minaj 





Katy Perry 




If this has given you the encouragement to get out there and do some cardio, make sure you stock up on practical-yet-pretty sportswear to support you when you’re out for a jog. 


Findings were compiled by recording the running times of 20 runners listening to a range of artists. They each ran for a minimum of 1 kilometre per artist and recorded their speed via a smart fitness device.

For each run we analysed: total distance ran (km), overall time, km split time, average pace per km, average pace difference (difference between artists). This allowed us to calculate the difference in speeds per musician.

We then ranked the artists from highest to lowest (the fastest to slowest) to reveal who can have the greatest impact on your running time.