Recently, author Adharanad Finn wrote an article on guardian.co.uk about his experience with music when running the Rock n Roll half-marathon in Edenburgh.
Finn, who finished 8th in the race, is an accomplished runner. He noted that there was music all along the race course, but that the music didn’t help him personally very much. Finn quoted Costas Karageorghis, an expert at Brunel University on the subject of music and exercise, who said “Elite athletes are usually ‘associators’, which means they tend to focus inwardly when they are running.” Furthermore, Karageorghis points out that “other runners (presumably folks with less than elite athletic ability) are ‘dissociators’ which means they look for distraction from what is going on around them.”
Karageorghis points out in his recent book entitled, Inside Sport Psychology that listening to music while running can improve performance by up to 15%. However, the benefits of running to music wear off as one runs at greater levels of intensity.
It seems that these impacts of music upon “disassociators” are good news for the average runner, who looks for ways to stay motivated and get “out the door” for the next run.
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