Listening to music while running may not be for everyone, but plenty of people find it gets them motivated to literally go that extra mile. Well, new research backs up that music can help you get in the zone before and during a run, but also suggests that music post workout can result in a faster recovery!
The research, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, also supports past results showing that you probably get less benefit from music the harder you run. Using 15 runners for their sample, Brazilian researchers looked into the effects of music before, during and after they ran a 5K trial on the track. The contributors shared a very similar training routine and background – they had all been runners for an average of just under five years, and averaged about an hour of training per day.
The research took into consideration things such as pre-run brain activity, heart rate variability, intra-run effort, time as well as post-run mood and heart rate levels.
The results showed that listening to music prior to the run improved the operation of internal organs including the heart and better prepared runners for their workout.
During the run, the findings showed that runners covered their first two laps faster than when they ran with no music. As the run progressed and the runners had to push themselves harder, the music had less of an impact upon their performance.
As the researchers explained, “Initially, participants were affected by music since they needed a time period to process all afferent information regarding peripheral receptors. As soon as the brain realized the exercise intensity, a mechanism called attentional switching occurred by directing attention to the most important signals.”
When the runners listened to music after their run it had the opposite effect of listening to pre-run music. Heart rate and internal organ functions returned to their pre-workout state faster, showing that music can help your body recover after a run.
What do you think non-music runners? Is this enough to make you consider a musical run occasionally?