The Effect Of Music On 10k Performance

Hi everyone

I conducted an experiment into how the playlist you listen to while running can impact on your performance. To do this I ran 5 10k runs, one to a different genre of music.

I have written up the results with some analysis in my blog which can be found below. This is not a virus or spam or anything, 100% genuine

Twitter @runworldguide

It would be brilliant to get your feedback on the results. I recommend trying it yourself (obviously in training and not races as it's prohibited)




  • Hmmm. As you point out in your summary these results were based on one run each.  Here are the times for my 5 last runs on a roughly 40 minute run I do regularly; 38:57, 37:50, 36:08, 37:48, 35:37. I ran noneof these to music. As you can see the spread looks fairly similar to the kind of differences you got (in fact rather more variety). I really don't think you have got enough evidence to be able to say anything significant about the results. To be statistically significant you would need to do a lot more runs with each playlist.

  • I'm pretty sure different styles of music can affect performance. Bars often play music with higher bpm as it has been proven to make customers drink faster. My dad had to stop listening to ZZ Top and AC/DC when he was driving as he noticed it tended to make him drive too fast.

    When I was doing an ultra last month and wanted to make sure I stayed slow and steady, I put an old Harry Nilsson album on repeat on my iPod. If I wanted to zoom off like the clappers, I'd stick on something dance-y, or something loud and rock-y. I don't often run with music, but when I do, I choose it carefully.

  • Thanks for your feedback. You both make good points (I never knew it was proven about drinking!) 

    As I said in the blog, the results are obviously only based on one run and everyone has days where they run faster/slower for no real reason, but it is more about making you think about what you listen to.

    It is not saying 100% that this will help or this won't, more an idea about  something that could work over a period of time if you give it a try to freshen things up in your training.

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