Will Ed Sheeren make you run faster?

A study has found that it doesn’t matter what type of music you like, whether it be classical or death metal, listening to your own choice of music could improve your pleasure of taking part in competitive sports and improve your performance.

As well being an enjoyable distraction or a motivational tool to running on the treadmill at the gym, listening to your favourite music could actually help you perform better during your activity.

The journal of strength and conditioning research conducted a study on college running on a treadmill in a high performance lab, with and without personal music listening.  Each student performed two 1.5 mile treadmill runs on different weeks, once while listening to music, and once without listening to music.  Each subject rated how difficult the run was during and afterwards (their rating of perceived exertion) and their times to complete the 1.5 mile run were also recorded.  The results found that the runners performed significantly better on the run while listening to music, trimming almost 30 seconds off their time on average.  However, the ratings of perceived exertion was found to be about the same whether they were listening to music or not.

It is well known that listening to music triggers a wide-spread bilateral network of brain regions related to attention, memory, motor functions and emotional processing. Music exposure also enhances emotional and cognitive functioning in humans. This study now demonstrates that listening to music during your work-out will help you boost your performance.


Bonette, Randy et al. The Effect Of Music Listening On Running Performance And Rating Of Percieved Exertion Of College Students. J Strength Cond Res.  2010 Jan; 24:1

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Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes – https://flic.kr/p/h1oJ27