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The Songs Top Female Athletes and Olympians Play to Get Pumped for Competition

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It doesn't matter if you're trying to get yourself pumped for a Color Run or Olympic gold. Heading into any competition, the right playlist is a game-changer.

After all, while research in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that listening to your favorite music makes any given workout feel easier, one 2015 Social Psychological and Personality Science study found that cranking up the bass makes people feel more powerful, confident, and in control.

To take control of your next sweat session, tune into the songs that top female athletes and Olympians use to pump themselves for competition:

On the track: "Bad Girls" by M.I.A.
Alexi Pappas, a California-born runner with Greek roots and impressive poetry chops, gets her pump with M.I.A's "Bad Girls." Coming in 17th in the fastest women's 10K ever, and setting a national record for Greece, she definitely does justice to the song's "live fast" lyrics.

On the water: "Heads Will Roll" (A-Trak Remix) by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
American rower Meghan Musnicki earned gold in the Rio Olympics, helping her teammates finish first in the women's eight. (The team had already come out on top in the World Rowing Cup II earlier in 2016.) Her fave pump-up song: "Heads Will Roll." But she also loves anything by Rihanna.

In the pool: "Imagine" by John Lennon
Diana Nyad is known for having been the first person to swim the 111 miles from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage (seriously!). On one training swim, she listened to her fave jam again and again... and again. She knew that when she has listened to "Imagine" 1,000 times, nine hours and forty-five minutes had passed. She uses the FINIS duo MP3 player to listen mid-swim.

On the trail: "Light It Up" by Major Lazer (featuring Nyla & Fuse ODG)
Deena Kastor is all about fast beats. Aptly dubbed one of the world's greatest female athletes, three-time Olympian is the current American record holder in the marathon (2:19:36) and the half marathon (1:07:34).

In the weight room: "Unstoppable" by Sia
Whether she's training in the gym or competing with a barbell above her head, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Red Bull athlete and 2014 winner of the CrossFit Games, is all about her girl Sia.

On the rocks: "Spirits" by The Strumbellas
Sasha DiGulian's music keeps her grounded when she's climbing high. The sweet-and-gritty rock climber has been the undefeated reigning Pan-American Champion since 2004 to the present, and has three US National Championships and one Female Overall World Champion under her climbing harness.

On the bike: "Do What U Want" by Lady Gaga (featuring R. Kelly)
Heather Jackson, the tatted up American professional triathlete and track cyclist has a take-control taste in music that matches her on-the-bike style. In 2007, her first full season, she qualified for and won the Ironman World Championships in her age group. This year alone, she has won two of the five 70.3 races she has entered, and placed third in another.

 

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