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British newspaper The Independent recently ran an article called +Can Rock Music Make You Run Faster?+
It's more than just an "I ran a marathon that had bands" article. The author, Claire Soares, digs up some research, too. She writes:
+The race was the brainchild of Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist at Brunel University. His latest research, due to be published in the US Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, found that when listening to tracks from Madonna to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, most runners found the exercise more pleasurable than usual, even those on the verge of collapsing on the treadmill. In general, they ran further and for longer; some found that their endurance levels were increased by more than 15 per cent.+
The world of music and sport is a very interesting one. On my website run2rhythm Dr Costas Karageorghis has an article.
When I founded the run2rhythm website http://www.run2r.com the purpose was to provide runners with modern music that was capable of matching average running steps with music beats per minute. Most people run with music that is way out of sync with their steps. It's a bit like dancing out of rhythm - no one likes to do that.
There is a wide body of evidence that proves that music is a great motivator and improver of athletic performance. When matching BPM with running steps such as at run2rhythm these objectives are met. The improved performances result from the fact that running with good rhythm creates efficiencies.
I am soon to release a research paper that examines and explains the difference between beats and rhythm and the strangeness of 'slow' sounding music being fast and 'fast' sounding music being slow.
From personal experience, I have noticed that certain rock songs help me through the last few miles of a run when I'm exhausted and don't think I can go any further. I have also noticed that if I start my run listening to rock music I run faster and burn out faster. Of course, there are days when the most motivating song just doesn't cut it, but overall, I'd say yes. Rock music (or any music of your preference) can make you run faster. It's all motivational.
Cool thread... I got into running this summer due to in large part my Nike+ iPod nano. I thought the mixture of running feedback and music was great motivation and made the running more enjoyable (and yes, I know the Nike+ feedback is a little off). Thanks to the run-2-rythym guy for the info about the bpm, I would like to read more now. Just if anyone cares, I put my Nike+ PowerSong on "B.O.B" by Outkast which has 155 BPM that works great for me to finish a race or run. I listen to "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead to motivate me mid-run to get a negative split - its build up and crescendo are key. Any other suggestions? I know not everybody has the same musical tastes, but I am always trying to broaden my horizons.
Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
~ Terry Pratchett, Men At Arms (1993)
Lately I've been listening to very aggressive rock music which helps to motivate me. I guess angry=motivated In the past I have listened to techno and the repetitive beat really seemed to put me in a zone...almost trance-like. It seemed to make strenuous running seem less strenuous and I could run longer. Definitely worth trying if you ask me.
I suppose rock music can make you run faster, but rock is a broad category, which makes me think of a funny experience at the Lilac Bloomsday 12k in Spokane, WA last May. This is a big race (50,000+) with several rock bands along the course. One band, not far from the start of the torturous "Doomsday Hill," must not have gotten the memo that their music should be upbeat and motivating for the runners. This somewhat scraggly-looking middle age band with a biker-chick-looking lead singer was doing a cover of the old 70's Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit" when I ran by. Those of us older than about age 40 know this is a dark and dreary song about drug use. Ha! Ha!! I was dreading the upcoming hill and with that un-motivating music in my ears, I didn't know whether to cry, drop acid, or kill myself... (kidding)
Anyone else have a story about bands along the course?
I am not sure if it is the rhythym of the music or just the music itself. I run to music from time to time. It acts more of a distraction than a motivator to me. I listen to alot of genres when i run. Some being country and some being variations of rock. I think it has to be something sentimental to the individual. It has to motivate you. I sing the lyrics in my mind with or without the headphones in to "We were meant to live"-for so much more. I cant remember at the moment who sings that. But it has to be a motivator i believe.
>I sing the lyrics in my mind with or without the headphones in to "We were meant to live"-for so much more. I cant remember at the moment who sings that.
Quick Google search indicates the band is Switchfoot.
Wow dfitz0223, I suppose the only thing worse then hearing "White Rabbit" would be a song with the word "stop!" constantly repeated in the lyrics!
I completed the Big Sur half marathon on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised to hear a variety of music on the course. As we came through a tunnel there was a bagpiper playing (he could have been a little more upbeat, now that I think about it). A few miles later there was a ZZ Top cover band. That music definitely had a good pace to run to.
Further down the course was a ragtime/brass band that was surprisingly uplifting. You never think "I'm going to run to ragtime," but the bpm was quick enough to keep my legs going a little faster than normal. And it was fun.
But the best "band" on the course was a group of Japanese taiko drummers. Not only was it cool to watch, but the speedy beat of the percusion stayed in my head long after I passed them. That's probably a sign of a good course band, that the music they play stays with you and helps you run faster.
Hey, that's a great idea about the Japanese drumming. I might have to find some on Amazon.com and sprinkle it in with other music on my Shuffle.
I was a "band nerd" in college and the percussion section had some cool drum cadences that were always crowd pleasers for parades and stuff. Maybe some enterprising Active.com member ought to hire a local marching band and market a CD of high-energy drum cadences for runners! I'd buy it .