Research shows that listening to tunes while working out improves performance! Some results have shown a 15% increase in endurance when people listened to music compared to working out in silence.
Music was meant to move you! But it doesn't have to be dancing.
Listening to tunes can take your mind off how hard you're working.
Music can motivate you to feel upbeat, energized, and keep going!
What to Play?
Ideally, tracks you workout to should 145 beats per minute. This was found to be the 'sweet spot' for matching pace, higher bpm are popular but have no additional benefits. Tracks below 120 can slow you down.
Workout playlists should be individualized. For example, I don't do well with songs that start out slow when running. I need an immediate beat!
Upbeat songs are more positively distracting than sad or slow songs.
Mantra Songs! Rocky theme song for example...or Kanye's STRONGER or T.Swift's SHAKE IT OFF... These are tunes that have a key phrase or lyric that sticks in your head and makes you motivated.
Design your playlist to support your specific race. For a marathon, I play my least favorite songs in the beginning because I know the race itself will push me for a few miles. Through the middle of the race, I want my strongest, most motivating songs to play to keep me going my hardest during the toughest miles. For cycling, I want songs with huge beats for climbing and will even make a climbing specific playlist for rides with lots of elevation.
When to Tune Out
Music isn't always beneficial.
Some races ban headphones, so always check the rules.
Athletes who train for long hours might want to spend some time in silence to protect their hearing health.
Busy roads, city streets, technical trails, and steep descents might not be the best time to be focused on music.
Group rides generally discourage headphones; keep the volume low or 1 ear free to keep the peace :)
Sample the tunes that get me going and get inspired to create your own!!