You have no doubt heard people tout the positive motivational effect that music can have on your running, but according to new research it may be more than just a motivational tool.
Scientists at Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education have been researching the role of motivational music on sport and exercise for 20 years. It is expected that they will soon publish the results of this newest study that indicate that music can increase a person’s endurance by as much as 15%.
According to the school’s press release;
“Thirty participants exercised on a treadmill while listening to a selection of motivational rock or pop music, including tracks by Queen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna. They were asked to keep in strict time with the beat. The findings show that when carefully selected according to scientific principles, music can enhance endurance by 15% and improve the ‘feeling states’ of exercisers, helping them to derive much greater pleasure from the task.”
I would argue that everyone has an ideal cadence when they run and hitting that cadence will make you faster and increase your endurance. If running with music can help you achieve that specific cadence, then it is no surprise that running with music would boost performance. Hopefully, I don’t have to include Madonna and Queen on my playlist to witness these benefits.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University went on to say that “the synchronous application of music resulted in much higher endurance while the motivational qualities of the music impacted significantly on the interpretation of fatigue symptoms right up to the point of voluntary exhaustion.”
That’s a lot of big words, but I think that Dr. Karageorghis is saying that you might be less likely to pick up on your body’s fatigue signals when you run with music, allowing you to run further. The principles of this study were actively put to the test this year in the Sony Ericsson RUN To The Beat Half Marathon in London, UK on October 5th. During the event, bands located at 17 stations along the course played scientifically selected music to help the runners achieve their best possible performance. There’s no word yet on how many of the runners set new personal records, nor on how many of those runners have vowed to never listen to Madonna again.