A longing to escape, a need for motivation: are you also one of the many people who find it impossible to go for a run without your earphones? Apart from the obvious pleasure associated with listening to music, certain precautions should be taken when choosing the musical option.

1. Pleasure and Performance

Do you run faster and further when listening to music?

Some scientists claim we do. Costas Karageorghis, a British university professor, reports a 15% increase in performance.  

Explanation: music can mask our perception of our effort level and even of the pain we feel during particularly intense training sessions.

A British study also revealed that cyclists consume 7% less oxygen when working out to music on a home trainer.

Having said this, the tempo of the music can be deceiving.

Most of us have experienced the added stimulation when listening to one of our favourite songs with a fast beat. It is important to keep to your own pace in order to sustain your effort levels throughout the session without burning out after a few minutes because you cannot slow down, listening to your favourite beat...

pleasure and performance with music

2. Beware of Addiction

The runner's essentials? Program your playlist according to your mood and the requirements of the next session.Ideal for adding a recreational, or even a festive, aspect to your training.

However, in doing so, runners take the risk of not being able to do without their favourite tunes and melodies.  

It would be advisable to switch off the music:

  • During group sessions. In such a situation, wearing headphones should (generally) be avoided. They isolate you from the other runners, even if the sound is turned down low, and make it difficult to hear or take part in conversations! – which is neither polite nor friendly. You entirely miss out on the benefits of running as part of a group, as well as its social aspects: it's a real shame!
  • During competitive events. It is preferable to take in the atmosphere on the way, hear the spectators cheering you on, listen to the organiser's instructions and avoid any musical "distraction" from your efforts. Music can also have an effect on your stride and modify your effort levels with the risk of performing badly.

3. Stay Attentive toYour Surroundings

But, as you are surely already aware, music isolates you from your immediate environment, especially when the sound is turned up loud. The music conceals or distorts traffic noise and imminent dangers. Be careful and, if you are running alone in relatively unfrequented areas, keep an eye out for any potential attacks and lower the volume…

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