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Music has been the perfect running buddy since the first personal stereo, widely known as Walkman, was launched by Sonic in 1978. From that point on, we – running addicts – could hardly stand the thought of hitting the road without music. However, most of us do not know that music has much more to offer to our training than just instant entertainment.
When you start running, and your foot lands in sync with the beat, you immediately know you will have a vigorous exercise experience, and even if you are tired, music will make you run even when on empty.
It’s a proven fact that music makes you run better!
Scientific evidence has shown that people who generally run to the rhythm of music have better performance than those who run without. According to studies published in Heart – a British Publication (Heart 2006;92:445-452) – not any tune is suitable for any kind of training, since our heart rate tends to follow the melody.
If you are tired, music will make you run even when on empty.
A song with a quick tempo will increase our heart rate, while a slow tempo song will decrease it. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, sometimes soothing music can pump up our training better than, for example, metal music. It will not only make us enjoy exercise more, but it will also help us set our own pace.
Most significant is the psychological effect that music has on running. Recent investigation has demonstrated that those who create a customized playlist that goes hand in hand with training find running more tolerable and even more enjoyable. Music not only shields our negative thoughts, but also motivates us to dive right into running.
Choosing the right kind of music
To get off to a running start, choose music you can run! Select songs that match your training. Warm up with music that stimulates you. Choose music that fires your enthusiasm and helps pump up your workout.
Quick tempo songs can therefore be used to energize your running. Save those relaxing melodies for stretching your legs afterwards. Slower music can also be used to calm your nerves before a competition or a marathon.
It’s all about syncing beats
How can we find out songs beats per minute (bpm)?
Easy, go to an Internet search engine website and write the title of your selected song plus ‘beats per minute’. Create your own playlist according to the kind of training you are undertaking, and the psychological effect you wish to experience.
Besides, think about the tempo. Does the music rhythm match your running pace?
160-170 bpm music is ideal for high-intensive running.
Now, how can we find out our running pace?
As soon as you start your training, count the steps you take in one minute. Do it a couple of times to get the average “steps per minute”, also called bpm. Then, choose songs that match your bpm for a comfortable jog, or choose songs with a higher bpm than yours to increase your running pace. Bear in mind that 180 steps per minute is the optimal rate for a marathon runner.
As far as I am concerned, music has changed the running experience in such an impressive way, that now more and more people are choosing running over other sports to keep themselves fit and healthy. We know that running is a solitary exercise without many variations, for that reason, I believe that music is the ideal complement to pump up our training and relieve mental and body tension.
I am a running addict, and dare to call Music my running buddy!