According to The Guardian's Adharanand Finn, listening to music while running can actually boost your performance by up to 15%. Reportedly, however, "the benefits of listening to music decrease with the level of intensity of the running. The faster you run, he explains, the less effect the music has."
"Elite athletes," says [Dr Costas Karageorghis, an expert on the effects of music on exercise, at Brunel University], "are usually 'associators', which means they tend to focus inwardly when they are running." Most other runners, he says, are "dissociators" (or are somewhere between the two). This means they look for stimulus and distraction from what is going on around them. "Judging by your times," he says, "you are probably an associator."
It is true. Apart from Vanbeck's rousing Flower of Scotland at the start, when I was standing still, afterwards I can barely remember the music played along the course. The first act I passed, folk group the Deadly Winters, made me smile, and at one point I found myself running in synchronicity with the beat of a heavy-rock combo. But they were moments that came and went in a flash. I can't say they helped my performance very much.
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