Play Your Power Song to Go the Extra Mile

9SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/9/2009 11:00 AM   :  128 comments   :  29,432 Views

Every year or two, I get antsy with my fitness routine. My usual cardio becomes boring. Standard strength training doesn't hold my interest anymore. I get bored with my workouts and so I pick up a new pursuit, like Pilates, kettlebells or outdoor cycling. My latest thing is running. I used to be a competitive runner in high school and stuck with endurance running (6-8 miles several times per week) after graduating. But that got stale after a while and I didn't like exercising by myself all the time. So I took up Spinning, which has been my go-to cardio for almost 10 years now. I still love it, but as I was looking for something new to keep my interest and challenge my body in new ways, I returned to running.

At first, it was just once a week that I'd head outside for a 30-minute run. It wasn't easy, but I liked that about it. After a few weeks, I added another day of running to my week. Now I'm up to three times per week, still around 30 to 35 minutes each time.

Last week, I was ready for the next step: ramping up my running time to 40 minutes straight. I was tired that morning and not feeling entirely motivated to go 5 minutes longer, which also meant waking up earlier (and you may remember that I'm not a morning person). But then something happened that gave me a newfound energy to keep going...

OK—two things happened, actually. First, I updated my status on SparkPeople (which also feeds to Facebook) that I planned to run further the next day. Several members and Facebook friends of mine commented and cheered me on. Making my goal public gave me accountability. I didn't want to let others down, and that was a big motivation to push myself the "extra mile" (ok, more like "half mile") the next morning.

As I started running, I wasn't feeling particularly energetic. I tend to start slow, speed up in the middle, and finish slow. I was approaching the 25-minute mark on one of my usual loops, starting to slow down a little where I'd normally make my final turn on the homestretch. Today, however, I would continue going straight to extend my run. With near perfect timing, one of my favorite get-moving songs started playing on my iPod ("Rooftops" by Lostprophets ). I don't just like the beat of this song; I also like the lyrics.

When our time is up
When our lives are done
Will we say we've had our fun?

Will we make our mark this time?
Will we always say we tried?


That song played at the point when I had to choose to either go home or keep running. Not only did I keep running, but I also picked up the pace and ran as fast as I could until I reached my goal of 40 minutes. I actually felt inspired and energized to run even further, but knew I had to get to work soon.

It made me think about Nancy's recent post about theme songs. I thought, "Maybe this is my theme song." Better yet, it's one of my Power Songs! It played at the perfect moment during my run—just when I needed some motivation to keep going.

I often blog about workout music. I think that creating a workout playlist really does work. After last week's experience, I would encourage you to think about your own Power Songs and how you can strategically add them to your workout playlists. Maybe you need them in the beginning, as inspiration to start your workout when you'd rather stay home. (I do this, too.) Maybe you need your power songs in the middle of your workout or at that 20-minute mark when you start feeling tired and question whether you have the endurance to continue. Alternatively, like me, maybe you need it on the day you're choosing to push harder or farther than before—to remind yourself that you CAN in fact do it! No matter how you use them, I encourage you to think about your power songs. Some might have a great beat that you can't sit still do; others might have lyrics that inspire you to be your best ("Will we always say we tried?" worked for me.)

I'm going to keep thinking about my Power Songs so I can create a great playlist for my next 5K this September. I'll be running with Nancy, Stepfanie and other SparkPeople members the day after the SparkPeople Convention, and my goal is to run the whole route—yes, even up the big, big hills—without walking as I did during my first 5K. With enough Power Songs up my sleeve, I know I can do it!

Do you have any Power Songs? Do they help motivate or energize you when you need it most?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   How A Healthy Lifestyle Helped Alleviate My PMS

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 128
    Overcomer by Mandisa! I have it in the middle AND the end of my Playlist! It gives me the extra push I need during my run. - 8/18/2014   11:15:49 AM
  • 127
    The music keeps me going during my workouts. I change the playlist every few months or so. Right now my power song is "There's Only One Way to Rock" by Sammy Hagar. - 12/14/2013   11:32:50 AM
  • 126
    Heather Small's Proud. - 9/7/2013   2:09:16 PM
  • 125
    My power song gets me straight with all the crazy people in my life, Billy Currington's "God is Great, Beer is good and People are Crazy". I put on my running shoes, head for the beach, punch that button on my ipod and the stress of dealing with all those people just evaporates! And BTW, it is also my ringtone!

    - 5/30/2013   8:10:34 AM
  • 124
    very motivating blog! THANKS - 3/16/2013   12:42:11 AM
  • 123
    Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive - 10/1/2012   2:13:26 PM
  • RVDOLEK
    122
    I love listening to music! My favorite band to workout to is Alter Bridge. I would say my power song is "Rise Today." That song is perfectly timed to one of my favorite ski runs on Stevens Pass, and it pushes me to ski harder! - 6/22/2012   2:27:32 PM
  • 121
    Shots by LMFAO is my current power song... listening to it while on the elliptical or running is like strapping a jet pack onto my feet - UNSTOPPABLE! - 6/22/2012   11:53:15 AM
  • 120
    When I need to make it those last few minutes I go to Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" and Taio Cruz's "Dynamite." Yes, I do "throw my hands up in the air sometimes." Or just fist pump a bit so I don't look like the looney lady running down the street. - 6/6/2012   3:30:11 PM
  • SBNORMAL
    119
    I am going to have to work on this for me. - 5/11/2012   9:36:34 PM
  • MIRANDA2112
    118
    I'm not really into Power Songs but having read this blog and all the comments I can't wait to try out some of these favorites. Thanks! - 4/28/2012   7:03:33 AM
  • SBNORMAL
    117
    I am going to work out more with music it will probably help me. - 4/26/2012   1:39:09 PM
  • 116
    Boys II Men. I know that seems silly, but actually for walking, it has a great beat to get you walking 14-15 minute miles. - 3/13/2012   12:39:38 PM
  • NEITAA
    115
    I put my Blackberry Pandora on Manafest Radio. It's cutting edge Christian, and usually includes LeCrae, GRITS and other amped up Christian music. VERY motivating, and POSITIVE!! - 6/11/2011   4:30:55 PM
  • 114
    My power songs...Danger Zone by Kenny Loggin
    Living On A Prayer Bon Jovi
    Eye Of A Tiger by Survivors
    Under Pressure by Queens
    These are just a few of them. But they really do get me going no matter what workout I am doing. - 3/6/2011   1:39:24 AM
  • 113
    Ok..showing my age. I MUST have my power songs.
    80's Van Halen - Jump; Any John "Cougar" Mellenkamp, - Almost any Heart - Huey Lewis, I Want a New Drug. This is just a sampling, but as of right now these really get me going.
    - 3/2/2011   12:44:11 PM
  • 112
    I have to have music to get me through my workout! My MP3 contains an extremely eclectic mix of tunes ranging from the 60s to the present and classical to hard rock. At the moment I would list these 3 as my top "power songs":

    1) Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
    2) Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
    3) Victory - Bond

    All of these will help push me through a tough workout and the last one is great for my cardio, either the elliptical or stationary bike. Anyone who can keep pace to the tempo throughout that whole song is definitely my hero! - 3/2/2011   10:14:54 AM
  • 111
    I absolutely cannot workout without my music. I've made a couple of playlists and I tend to bounce back and forth between them; I have so many songs on them, I find myself surprised about what song is coming next and find myself constantly saying, "Oh, I LOVE that song!" as if it had been years since I last heard it (instead of last week - did I mention my playlist is huge :-) ). Some of my go to songs are:

    Chinese Burn by Curve
    El Fuego by Pitbull
    Halfway Gone by Lifehouse
    Untouched by the Veronicas
    Viva La Vida by Coldplay
    My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
    Feel Alive by Benassi Bros

    (lol - stopping now) - 3/2/2011   9:59:49 AM
  • 110
    Huey Lewis, Katy Perry and WhiteCross are a few of my power workout songs. They keep me moving. - 10/19/2010   3:58:05 PM
  • KLUTICIA
    109
    Power music really does help a workout go to the next level!!!!Just when you think that you can't make one more move or take another step.....the words and the music push you right back to the full of energy zone!!! - 10/12/2010   10:51:00 AM
  • 1NIMUE
    108
    Great idea! If I chose any, they would be fast-paced from the 60's (dating myself) plus Cher's Believe! I'm going to set mine up now! Thanks - 9/12/2010   8:55:47 AM
  • 107
    Evil Woman by Electric Light Orchestra gets me going - 7/2/2010   9:55:58 AM
  • 106
    Movie Soundtracks! Especially Hans Zimmer! (The Dark Knight, Gladiator, BlackHawk Down) - 2/10/2010   12:21:19 PM
  • 105
    Depending on the exercise, there's several songs that are just absolutely PERFECT workout songs. These aren't ones that just make me feel good when I hear them - they make me push myself and work harder when they come on. (no particular order, *ed are especially fantastic for my pace on the elliptical)


    *Nine Inch Nails - You Know What You Are
    *Deftones - Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
    Incubus - Under My Umbrella
    Incubus - Out from Under
    Incubus - Megalomaniac
    Sevendust - Black
    *Primus - Professer Nutbutter's House of Treats
    Linkin Park - Faint
    Incubus - Anna Molly
    Sevendust - Enemy
    Sevendust - Hero
    Tool - Aenima
    A Perfect Circle - Judith
    *Matrix Reloaded Soundtrack - Mona Lisa Overdrive (it's the song that plays during the car chase with the twins)
    Static-x - Push It
    *Chevelle - Send the Pain Below (mostly due to the beats per minute)
    *Jimi Hendrix - Manic Depression
    Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror
    Sevendust - Pieces - 1/20/2010   9:16:45 AM
  • 104
    As the rush comes by Motorcycle. It always keeps me going for a long haul and I can just lose myself into the song and let the time pass by.

    There's also an awesome remix of Silence by Delerium (with Sarah McLachlan) that gets me going a lot too.

    I'm a huge fan of DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) music to jog to. Since most songs are around 90 seconds long, I use my favorites for interval training and get a great workout. Some of them are really fast paced and keep me up to speed really easily. - 1/17/2010   12:30:55 AM
  • 103
    The Root of all Evil by DREAM THEATER
    I start and end my workouts with it. - 1/7/2010   1:36:09 AM
  • 102
    Seek & Destroy by Metallica...keeps me going that extra little bit!

    "searching, seek and destroy" How can you not keep going!! :D - 1/6/2010   3:51:34 PM
  • WILDBLUEORCHID
    101
    I'm definitely going to re-mix my playlist. As for a Power song, i get super pumped when an old school house track comes on - reminds me of my younger days when i was club kid - dancing till the sun came up. - 1/6/2010   3:08:13 PM
  • JOHNDV
    100
    Here are some of my favorite workout songs:

    Jump - Van Halen
    Living on a prayer - Bon Jovi
    Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springstein

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Running-t
    o-Burn-Belly-Fat&id=2127732
    - 11/9/2009   5:02:00 AM
  • 99
    Music is a good idea. It can do alot for your mood which in turn inspires you to keep going or do it better or faster. - 11/5/2009   9:40:18 AM
  • 98
    What a great blog! And excellent new ideas for workout songs! I start every workout with "Proud" (BL theme song) and Aretha Franklin's "Think" always keeps me moving! The others change regularly, but those two are constants. - 10/30/2009   5:29:56 PM
  • JUICYSWEETS
    97
    my newest is Dance Wiv Me Dizzy Rascal .. The beat is amazing and the lyrics best part "your gonna give me everything I ask for" I makes me push that extra bit when I'm nearing the end of a workout and really tired. I put it almost at the end of my playlist and its been working like a charm:) - 10/30/2009   10:45:19 AM
  • 96
    It's cliche, but every time I hear BOOM BOOM POW by the Black Eye Peas I move faster and harder ! Probably because I want to get the curves of my body back and have my hubby's heart making those sounds every time I walk past him in my "Goal Met Negligee"! - 10/26/2009   9:36:47 AM
  • GOPPINGEN
    95
    Yuk! Makes my stomach curl.
    - 10/23/2009   7:05:57 PM
  • 94
    I like anything Black Eyed Peas, they get me moving.

    My theme song changes all the time though. - 10/9/2009   10:04:15 PM
  • 93
    I just made a mix of song with fast pace and they are truly a mix.
    I have Prince, Janet Jackson, Wham, My Chemical Romance, Elvis, Ricky Martin, The Cars and some more (don't have my list right here)

    But my power song Is "Supermasive Blackhole" by Muse. You can't help but pick up your pace when that is on....I play it about 30 mins into a run and again near the end if I need it.... - 10/9/2009   5:40:24 PM
  • CELLARPASS
    92
    The Slits - 'Heard it through the grapevine' is my power song. this one's sort of counterproductive though, because I always start singing and mess up my breathing. - 10/4/2009   9:10:18 PM
  • 91
    great blog love music - 9/28/2009   12:35:03 PM
  • 90
    I really like Holy Hip Hop and Christian Reggae and I notice that when I'm listening to music I don't pay as much attention to my workout! - 9/27/2009   11:18:53 PM
  • 89
    Yummy Gwen Stefani - 9/27/2009   2:21:47 AM
  • 88
    Right now it's whitney houstons -milliondollarbill (fabulous beat), and Weezer- If you want me to, very spunky keeps me movin'! - 9/26/2009   7:56:27 PM
  • TIME4ANEWME47
    87
    Aerosmith-Walk This Way
    Earth Wind and Fire-Your a Shining Star
    - 9/20/2009   9:35:11 PM
  • KYDREAMER1
    86
    Battlefield by Jordan Sparks - 9/20/2009   8:40:21 PM
  • 85
    The Thriller Album and Rhythm Nation 1814--Hands DOWN! Janet and Michaels' magic gives me motivation and energy. Esp. Wanna be starting something...I always have to move when I hear that song. - 9/19/2009   1:56:32 AM
  • 84
    I figured there would be a blog about this, lol! My power song is kind of a weird one - Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth, a lot of their songs are really good to listen to at the gym for pump up music, for me at least. - 9/14/2009   7:31:29 PM
  • MICHDERE
    83
    It is interesting that I read this. Just this morning I was thinking I need to put new songs on my iPod and to make sure that they are upbeat and motivating. Thank-you for your great article - 9/14/2009   2:34:49 PM
  • ANGELSWINGS
    82
    Music makes everything so much better!! - 9/14/2009   10:47:47 AM
  • 81
    Great idea - 9/14/2009   1:28:11 AM
  • FLUFFY_KITTY
    80
    I listen to whatever songs are sung in my mind as I am hearing impaired. ;-) - 9/14/2009   12:14:24 AM
  • 79
    Some classic rock songs really inspire me, like ac/dc highway to he'll, or back in black. I like all kinds of music , but hard rock especially including mordern rock always keeps me moving like when I'm running or on the elliptical. However for boxing I prefer any kind of pop music with a good beat like boom boom pow. - 9/13/2009   3:49:06 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 4! Get a FREE Personalized Plan