Benefits Of Listening To Music While Running

Listening to music can motivate you –

We all have those times where training for that upcoming marathon is the last thing you want to do. For those days, your favourite playlist may be exactly what you need to get you motivated and moving. Studies have proven that music increases concentration, lowers perception of effort and provides an ongoing stimulus. This means we will perceive running as easier and therefore more enjoyable, while listening to our favourite tunes, allowing us to want to run for an extended amount of time. 

Costas Karageorghis Ph.D., a Sports Psychologist who studies music’s positive influence on athletes, has found that compelling tunes can in fact help to get runners into an optimal mindset to tackle their run; especially on those days where you are feeling demotivated. He states, “Music elevates positive aspects of mood such as excitement and happiness, and reduces negative aspects such as tension, fatigue, and confusion.”

It can help you increase your pace

Many runners prefer not to listen to music while on their run to help them focus on their essential cues to control pace, such as breathing rate and foot strikes. Therefore, if done correctly, music could aid runners keep a consistent pace while training. As you focus on the beat of the music it can help to match your cadence, pushing you to move consistently with the tempo of your music for as long as you can. In one study, it was seen that runners performed better when the beat of their music matched their cadence, than when they ran without any music playing. 

Many music apps such as Spotify provide running playlists which can help you to match your music and your pace while including genres that you enjoy listening to. 

It can help make runs feel easier

When increasing our training to reach further distances or reach new goals, listening to music can make that step feel much easier. 

A recent study shows, playing your favourite songs while you are running reduces exertion levels and helps you feel concentrated and “in the zone.” The 2020 study in ‘Frontiers in Psychology’ also showed that listening to music at a higher tempo reduces the perceived effort of endurance exercise. This means that the external stimulus of music can in fact block your internal stimuli such as fatigue, a message trying to tell your brain how tired you are starting to feel while in the middle of your run. When your perception of how hard you are running is reduced, you may feel like you can run faster for longer, especially when listening to a song with motivating lyrics. 

This can, in turn improve your performance…

An expert at Brunel University Professor Costas Karageorghis believes that performance can increase up to 15 percent while listening to enjoyable music. His most recent research from brain MRI studies shows that when upbeat loud music is played to athletes, there is an increase in activity in the ascending reticular activating system. This means running faster and enduring further with less perceived effort as the activity is seen enjoyable. 

Products we recommend at RunActive… 

We must not forget that special awareness is very important while listening to music especially while running in public areas and busy roads. To ensure safety while running and listening to music, we recommend the new OpenMove headphones by Aftershokz. These headphones use advanced bone conduction technology meaning the ear is left completely free. How does this work? As the sound bypasses the eardrums it converts soundwaves into vibrations that can be directly received by the inner ear, so the eardrum is never involved in this process. This allows traffic and sounds around you to be heard whilst your music is still playing. With no obstructing object in or over your ear, they remain comfortably outside your ear through all ranges of movement while also leaving your ears pain free. The superior dynamic stereo sound quality withstands 6 hours of use and allows crystal clear calls to be received when connected with your phone. There is no doubt the OpenMove headphones are the smartest option allow you to safely listen to music while you are running. These headphones are now stocked in store and online.


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