You may be the nearly 68% of athletes that report listening to music while performing cardio. If you are, your intentions may be to help keep you focused, motivated or on cadence. But did you know that music has the potential to also help you perform better, which results in running more efficiently and faster?
Ultimately, it depends on the type of music you are listening to. And what works for one, may not work for another. You see, it isn’t the music itself, by way of lyrics and beats, that is enabling the listener. Rather it is the affects to the mind and body of the listener, dependent upon what motivates them.
Many studies have shown that music greatly affects the brain and is processed in many different areas. Because music can increase emotion, listening to certain songs intentionally picked out on your playlist can boost your endurance during a long run. Because you are so focused, you may find that you are keeping consistent steps with a solid cadence playing and that your body is operating optimally with a predictable breathing pattern. Now, your legs are moving like a well-running machine and you go into a bit of auto-pilot which relieves stress and lets you fous more energy into the task at hand – your run.
Beyond what music might motivate you to feel emotionally, it also has the ability to tune out the negative self-talk or incessant internal mind chatter that wonders if you turned off the oven or locked the door before you started your run. Not only can music drown out the emotional cries for your attention, but also it can help distract you from any pain or fatigue, keeping you running longer and seemingly smoother.
Naturally, listening to specific songs that not only pump you up but also pump out beats at a consistent and timely basis will also help you meet or exceed the typical rate at which you run. With an increase in oxygen consumption, cardiac output and breathing rate, your legs are now moving at an accelerated rate and you’re gaining more ground, faster than ever before.
So, what kind of music is best to listen to when going for a run? According to Runners Connect, high-tempo music provides the brain and heart with the most stimulus allowing you to run faster and further. Research suggests songs around 145 beats per minute are optimal, but of course, you’ll want to choose what, above all else, will keep you motivated!
Have you noticed an increase in performance and a decrease in a qualifying run time, all because of music? What songs have you placed on your performance playlist to accomplish this feat? Feel free to share and inspire a fellow runner across the globe!