Ever tried to run to the radio or to someone else’s playlist? Usually it’s annoying and out of synch so you punch the fast forward button to relieve the discomfort. When your stride rate and the beat of the music don’t synch, you don’t perform as well. That’s because what is really important to enjoy your workout is for the music to match your tastes and your tempo. These two key factors – music preference and stride-matched music – are key to achieving that glorious experience of near effortless running.
The exercise scientist experts concur. A recent NPR interview with Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D. from London’s Brunel University further why this occurs. The renowned researcher explains in this interview (it’s really worth listening to) that synchronizing your music taste and tempo to your running taste and tempo leads to improved workouts. He shares two of the primary outcomes of running with apps like UpBeat Workouts for Runners:
(1) Improves your running performance measured by your time to exhaustion or fatigue
(2) You can run longer than without any music or with asynchronous* music
What Karageorghis has discovered is that running to synchronized music can help you be a better runner - the title of my new book on running – and after all, isn’t that we all want, to get inspired to be better, to be a better runner.
*Asynchronous music is a term that means that the beats of the music do not match the cadence (strides per minute, SPMs) of your run or walk.
Footnote: Terry, P., Karageorghis C. I. (2006), Psychophysical Effects of Music in Sport and Exercise: An Update on Theory, Research and Application