"Positive experiences and mindsets yielded positive feelings and a subsequent desire to repeat the behaviour. Therefore, it is important that participation in exercise sessions is a positive experience for individuals." (Godin, 1994). For most of us, that means bringing music into the mix! For more on this, see Music and Running: The Science Behind it.
One thing I've noticed when I run is that I need music that will start fast and stay fast. I don't like music that is slower or starts slow. It messes up my running tempo and wrecks my concentration.
Music that I enjoy in the car or cleaning the house is rarely the kind I like to work out to. The mood I'm in sometimes dictates what helps me move faster. Some days when I want to let out stress, I like the angry music. On days I just need an uplifting playlist I have fast music that is just fun.
There have been many songs I thought I would like to run or workout to until I'm listening to them and I realize they don't motivate me. Try to avoid music that is depressing or that mention topics that bring you down. It really does affect your performance. Working out should be uplifting leaving you feeling great mentally and physically!
The following playlist will include a mix of what I like. Take a listen to them on iTunes and see if they will work for you:
1. Krazy by Pitbull
2. So What by Pink
3. Paralyzer by Finger Eleven
4. Right Round by Flo Rida
5. Fire Burning by Sean Kingston
6. I Know you Want me by Pitbull
7. Beverly Hills by Weezer
8. Jump Around by House of Pain
9. Burn it to the Ground by Nickelback
10. Found Out About You by Gin Blossoms
12. You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi
13. Funhouse by Pink
14. Rumors by Lindsay Lohan
15. Follow You Home by Nickelback
16. Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi
17. Just Dance by Lady GaGa
18. Family Affair by Mary J. Blige
19. Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson
20. Hit 'em Up Style (oops) by Blu Cantrell
21. Serious by Gwen Stefani
22. Gives You Hell by All America Rejects (This one starts out slow, but as long as it's not in the middle of running up an intense hill I like it)
23. My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
24. Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield
25. Second Chance by Shinedown (Another slow starting song, great for a cool down. It picks up some keeping your energy going at the end of the run while you slow down.)
This list is one and a half hours of music that is great to work out or run to. It helps to keep a variety of music or various playlists depending on what exercise you are doing. When looking for new songs to add to my ipod I found that by googling specific class playlists such as "Spinning class" playlists or step aerobics playlists there are better lists for fast music. In addition, going to these classes gives me new music to add too. Ask the instructor afterward for the names of the songs you like.
As a last tip: don't forget to listen to some favorite motivational songs before your workout to get you ready!