Tuesday, March 6, 2018

THE POWER OF MUSIC

"Are you one of those runners who is "too serious" to run with music? Good. Stay that way. I need every advantage I can get."
~ Matt Fitzgerald



Through the years, I've done several posts specifically about the positive affects of music on overall performance.  Back in 2014, I shared this one based on a study done by ASAPScience.  I won't rehash the details as you can check out the video at your leisure if you so desire.  But, in a nutshell it explains how music acts as a mood enhancer, physical stimulant, welcome diversion and overall mental energy driver.  Please and thank you.  In summary, through extensive research, Almost all findings found that listening to music PERIOD, regardless of composition or speed, enhanced performance compared to no music.


About a year later, I posted this one written by Matt Fitzgerald which I found on Active.com. Again, you can check out the original post or read the article to get all the details.  But, basically he explains how the brain imposes fatigue based on predicted physiological limits.  If and when an athlete is highly motivated the brain will allow the body to edge a little closer to the point of discomfort as it seeks out a better performance.


Clearly there are many factors that influence an athlete's level of enthusiasm and motivation (ie. the roaring crowds of Boston).  But, science shows that music also happens to be another big one, not necessarily alleviating pain but making the pain more bearable by putting an athlete in a better frame of mind.  Personally, I find myself able to take it to the next level or to pick myself up if I'm struggling if a song I like comes on.  So, this makes complete sense to me.


But check this out.  About a week ago I read a small blurb in Runner's World magazine about the impact of music on recovery.  This was a totally new concept for me and I wanted to learn more.  I dug a little deeper and found the full details of the study which took place at Brunel University in London.  To my surprise I learned that music is a plays a key role in one's entire exercise routine beginning with the warmup through the workout itself and, as this report shows, through the recovery as well.  This struck a chord with me (no pun intended) as I often turn my music off post workout.  What I really should be doing, based on this research, is changing up my playlist to some chill tunes and continuing to listen as I cool down and drink my coffee...I mean stretch.  Who knew?  There were a few key takeaways in this article for me.

* Your playlist is key to getting the most out of your post-exercise recovery and can help you stick to your routine, scientists show for the first time.

* Slower chill-out music puts a positive spin on how you remember feeling after exercise. And that’s important because enjoyment helps make exercise a habit.

* Listening to music-specifically, 20-30 minutes of slow, sedate tunes - after a run can also speed recovery.  Chill music can lower your levels of cortisol, a hormone released when we're stressed.

As Dr. Costas Karageorghis excitedly explains, this study marks a new phase in harnessing the power of music in exercise.  In so many words, evidence shows that we can use music during all phases of a workout as a tool to tailor how we want to feel at that particular moment; the end goal being to improve our mood and disassociate the brain from pain.  So let's take yesterday, for example. I ran 18 miles and it was brutal.  I was tired from the beginning, my legs hurt throughout most of the run and I had zero flow.  When I finished, I wanted to lie down and do nothing for the rest of the day; not that this was an option.  Clearly, I did not have a positive taste in my mouth after this particular run and it kind of sucked.  Perhaps if I had put put on some tunes (---> Pop Chillout by Spotify would likely work well)  and taken some time to stretch, roll and unwind, it would have changed my overall mindset and left me feeling differently about the run.  Perhaps. I don't know.  I do know, however, that I will be trying it today as I need all the tools available to me to get through this training cycle.  Bottom line, music is some pretty powerful stuff.  And it's basically free of charge and totally legal.  So, if you are so inclined, turn it on and turn it up.

Listen to this:
RUN - PRONOUN


Want more?  Here's the daily songs that have been posted in 2018 to date.  A little bit of everything for you.  Song titles below.  Spotify playlist below that.  Happy listening.



RWM DAILY SONGS 2018

DIRTY COMPETER - JANELLE MONÁE
MATINEE - REYNA
Follow My Feet - The Unlikely Candidates
I Said Hi - Amy Shark
Follow Your Fire - Kodaline
LAYUP - NATURAL RATTLE - APRIL ALBUM
JOY - LOMA - APRIL SONG
PARAD(w/m)E - Sylvan Esso
Go Out Fighting - Dr. Dog
RUN - PRONOUN - MARCH SONG
UNTIL THE RIBBON BREAKS (self-titled) - MARCH ALBUM
Out Of My Head - Loud Forest
Panic Drills - Sleigh Bells
Warm Fire Lightening - Satellite Mode
Woman Up - Meghan Trainor
Out of My Head - Loote
GET OUT - CHVCHES - FEBRUARY SONG
HERE COME THE RUNTS - AWOLNATION - FEBRUARY ALBUM
Touch It - Busta Rhymes
Crazy - Lost Frequencies
Go Out Fighting - Dr. Dog
PARAD(w/m)E - Sylvan Esso
LOST SONG-NONONO - JANUARY SONG
JUST FOR US - FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS - JANUARY ALBUM


*Note:will continue to add songs to this playlist throughout the year.

2 comments:

  1. I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I really have enjoyed your well-written articles. I have bookmarked this site and will definitely be checking back for new posts.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. Really appreciate it!

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