How does music affect you before, during and after running?

Have you heard the saying that the only sound you should listen to when running is the sound of your feet hitting the ground? Well, this question turned out to be quite sophisticated with many people backing up that statement and many others that insist that listening to music makes you a better runner.

An interesting new study published by the official Journal of NSCA (National strength and conditioning association) shows that you are getting less benefit of music the harder you run. The study was conducted on 15 experienced runners. The pre-run music aroused the runners and got them better prepared for their running.

People who listened to music during the 5km runs did their first two laps (1/6 of the total run) faster than those who listened to no music. After the initial first laps the gap between the two groups decreased significantly. Apparently initially the runners were affected by the music as they needed their time to process all the different information. However, as soon as the brain adjusted to the intensity of running, an interesting process took place. The ATTENTION SWITCHING took place and directed the runner’s attention to the most important signals.music and running

These findings are also backed up by previous one that concluded that music effects performance less when the user input higher effort.

In average the runners who listened to music ran their 5 kilometers faster than those who doesn’t. While the difference in running times is not significant from the runners’ point of view, it is still interesting for the researchers. Interestingly, the people with the fastest results listened to slow music.

It was also found that listening to music after the run had the opposite effect to the music listened prior to running. That means that runner’s heart rates were returning to normal faster. The conclusion was that much like the other post-run recovery measures (hydration, feeding and gentle exercising) listening to slow music after the run helps the body to return faster to its pre-run state.

Also make sure that are no other attention grabbers such us uncomfortable footwear or clothes. Wearing proper shoes can make the difference between healthy feet and painful ones. If you have feet with problems such as bunions, hammertoes, heel pain or anything else, make sure you are buying the shoes that can help minimize the problem. Get the right type and size too.

In a nutshell: should you listen to music while running? Well, it’s up to personal preference. When asked to vote, most runners voted ‘yes’. Are you one of them? Do you listen to music while running? We would love to hear your comments below!

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