How music tempo can affect your running pace and recovery

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If you always run with a pumped up soundtrack, you may be onto something – research has found that listening to fast tempo music while running can help you increase your speed without perceiving it as more intense.

The study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, saw 12 runners undertake a session of a 10-minute rest, a 20-minute self-paced treadmill run and a 20-minute recovery period lying down. They carried out the session listening to either static noise, fast tempo music or slow tempo music, and had their heart rate and rate of perceived exhaustion measured at regular intervals throughout.

Runners who were given fast tempo music chose faster speed settings on the treadmill and had a higher peak heart rate, but didn’t report a change in perceived exhaustion. Additionally, the runners who listening to slow tempo music in the recovery period showed faster heart rate recovery and lower blood lactate at the end of the session.

It’s only a small sample, but if you already hit the roads to something speedy and warm down to Adele then you may be onto something.

READ: What is recovery and why do I need it?

READ: How to master efficient running recovery