USA Track & Field banned athletes from using earphones during competitions in 2007. Studies have shown that music can improve performance by helping athletes ignore pain and fatigue, increase endurance, and improve metabolic efficiency. Fast-paced songs with strong beats, such as hip-hop, rock, and pop, are the most popular types of exercise music. Apps like Songza and jog.fm help people match the beat of their workout music to their running pace. Music can function like a metronome, helping someone maintain a steady pace and reduce energy expenditure.
In 2007, USA Track & Field, the governing body for competitive distance running, banned athletes from plugging in earphones and listening to music during competitions, “to ensure safety and prevent runners from gaining a competitive advantage.” The move was in response to countless studies that have found that athletes perform at a higher level when they sync their minds and bodies to a musical beat. Numerous studies have found that music helps athletes ignore pain and fatigue signals, increases their endurance, and can even improve metabolic efficiency. And so, music helps athletes of all levels, whether competing or just training, to run longer distances, cycle further and swim even faster. Costas Karageorgis of Brunel University in London, a leading authority on the psychology of exercise music, has called music “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.
Researchers have found that fast-paced songs with strong beats are particularly inspiring. The most popular types of exercise music: hip-hop (27.7 percent), rock (24 percent), and pop (20.3 percent).
Most treadmill runners seem to prefer music at about 160 beats per minute. Apps like Songza and jog.fm help people match the beat of their workout music to their running pace.
In a 2012 study, Karageorgis and his colleagues found that music can function like a metronome, helping someone maintain a steady pace and reduce energy expenditure.