the insider: ellie goulding

the electro-pop star just does it.

For as long as we can remember, Nike has been telling us to "Just Do It." But one of our favorite British transplants Ellie Goulding somehow manages to just do it all: She writes her own lyrics, plays her own instruments, has topped both UK and US charts with her triple platinum single "Lights," and even performed at Will and Kate's wedding reception. Now Ellie is heading full-speed into a new territory--literally--with her passion for running. The singer, who regularly leads group runs for Nike, is about to join women around the world in Nike's Women 13.1 Training Plan. This 12-week half marathon-training program includes weekly mileage and workouts to inspire ladies everywhere to commit to the distance and amp up their exercise routine. We caught up with Ellie after a run in Santa Monica to find out how she trains, what she's listening to, and how she keeps her adrenaline flowing as she gears up for a whole new kind of gig.

You just completed a run with Nike in Santa Monica, CA where a group of 50 runners had the opportunity to run five miles with you. How did that go?
It was really good! I had no idea what to expect, which I think was the plan. But I met all the girls and the first thing I thought was, 'Oh God,' because they all looked really, really super fit and pretty and lovely and I was a bit scared. But it ended up being actually really fab and everyone was up for it and nobody slacked off. It was really just fun. I haven't actually done an outdoor run for a few days because I've been super busy, but it was so nice to get out in the sun and run in Santa Monica.

You've run a marathon before, so what kind of prep do you do for a run like this?
My average run at home--if I'm not on tour--is six or seven miles. When I first moved to London I lived near a smaller park, but now I live next to a huge park so it's actually just convenient to run the seven miles because you just run right around the park. I just built up my stamina slowly but surely and my runs get longer and longer and I find longer routes. But I've only just really discovered the entirety of Hyde Park, which is what I live next to, and how many different runs there are in it.

Where are you favorite spots to run?
It depends what kind of a mood I'm in. Hyde Park is more of a commitment because I have to run 15 minutes to get there, but it's a good, solid run. If I have a little less than an hour then I'll go run Regent's Park, which is probably the same distance away but it's a shorter run and it's way more straightforward. I avoid running around the roads; it's so nice to go and find a park and forget you are in London for a second.

You'll be running the first-ever Nike Women Half Marathon in Washington, DC on April 28. Have you started training for it? I've started training. Just because I'm so busy on tour and I use a lot of energy up performing, I cut down my running and just balance it between working out and doing core strength training as well. I like to mix it up and make sure I keep all my muscles strong and do cross trainer, elliptical, and rowing machine. But this time I've put the focus entirely on running.

Do you have a running playlist?
I just downloaded the Iio song "Rapture (Tastes So Sweet)" and Avicii just did a new mix of it. I've got Baauer, Florence and Calvin's song ["Sweet Nothing"]--that's such a good running song. I've got a lot of Disclosure, I have a song by Flux Pavillion called "Haunt You," which is a really good running friend. And my favorite running song of the moment, and actually of all time, is a DJ Fresh track called "Hypercaine," and Nero did a remix. I'm obsessed with MIA so I'm always listening to "Bad Girls." And a really good running song is called "The Reason" by Skrillex. It's on his new EP and I've been listening to that a lot.

How would you describe your style while running? Do you have any favorite items you're sporting right now?
When I'm running I wear as little as possible just because it's more dynamic and I feel more flexible and free wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It depends what kind of training I'm doing. I love Nike's new stuff, I have running pants that are almost like leather and I've been wearing those a lot because they look badass--I like looking badass when I run.

How does running influence your creativity? Is it a similar high to performing?
Running takes me to an entirely different place. When I'm performing it's like a whole other world--that's my thing. Running is a really physical thing that just makes me feel good, but it's not the same rush of adrenaline I get from performing. They are two very different feelings. I'm so addicted to running and releasing endorphins and I'm addicted to the feeling I get at the end of a run. I'm exhausted but also really energized. It's a feeling that I don't get from anything else. Same with performing. It's two different highs that I get to have all the time!

For more information on how to download the training program, go to the Nike Running Facebook page, which features three levels: Finish the Race, Set a New PR, and Lead From the Front. Join others who are on the 13.1 journey, including Ellie, in a social conversation: #letsturnitup.