The Role Of Motivational Music in Running

Can motivational music increase your running performance? A lot of people use music during running and training to keep them motivated and focussed – seems research has sown it actually does a whole lot more…

Role of Motivational Music

Research by Dr Costas Karageorghis shows that music can improve your performance up to 15%. It lowers your perception of effort (up to 10%), tricking you into feeling less tired and by encouraging positive thoughts. Additionally different tempo music can either pump you up or calm you down.

Music can induce a state of ‘flow’, which comes from an alpha brain wave achieved, and this is an ultimate motivational state where you are completely immersed in what you are doing and feeling. Although it won’t reduce the perception of effort during a very hard exercise, it can make you feel more positive. The study also shows that music can create cohesion within a group – something CrossFit boxes will probably note in the culture it has with music booming during WoDs. Also think of music played at a stadium during a game (Rugby, soccer, etc.) – the team and fans get a major boost and sense of unity from it.

In one case, Run the Beat, which is a famous London Marathon, they actually use scientifically selected music to match the physical demands participants experience along the route – it’s an event Dr Costas Karageorghis has had direct his input in.

So, what does this mean for you? By customising a playlist for you specifically, you can get a constant stimulus which will improve your performance. When choosing music, choose music with a relatively slow tempo and obviously something which is inspiring. The music should have a tempo in the region of 5% higher than your working heart rate, and something which ties in with the rhythm of your movement.

Read this article for more info on music selection, and make sure you’re motivated all the way.

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