Monday, August 16, 2010

A Key to Running Faster?

Is it just me or do you hit “refresh” like a million times after you run a race to see your official results? There is one site, Active.com I think, that actually says, “The results are not in. Calm down. We’re sure we did great. Now go take a shower.”

It’s not just about the time because I’m pretty sure my Garmin got that right. At the end of the race my time was 1:48, but that was the gun time and it took me at least 30 seconds to cross the start. But what I really like to know is how I did comparatively. What rank in my age group? Overall? Did I win the race? For those who are bored, the race report is HERE.

Bummer of it is that the official results are still not posted. 48 hours after the race and still not posted. Seriously? I am wondering if I should sue on the grounds of mental cruelty or anguish. Okay, so it’s not that bad. I’m one for a bit of exaggeration from time to time.

The Week magazine posted an article from BBC.com this week about how listening to music actually helps a runner go faster. “In a study of Australian triathletes, researchers found that listening to music tracks by the likes of Queen, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers increased the athletes’ energy efficiency by 1 percent to 3 percent, enabling them to do more with the same amount of oxygen.” Apparently listening to tunes can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent!! Yowza!

You can read the full article HERE.

Do you run with music? Would you agree with these findings?

54 comments:

  1. I TOTALLY agree with this statement!!! I've done my own experiment of this nature. I would find a groove while listening to music and clock my pace. I'd turn the music off and look at my pace a minute or so later. I still felt like I was using the same level of exertion, but my pace was ALWAYS about 15 seconds per mile slower. I did this several times on several runs. Always the same result.

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  2. I feel you on the anguish of waiting for race results. Can you imagine if we didn't have the internet stalking option?

    As for the tunes, let's put it this way: I ran 14 miles with tunes and my average pace was 10:22. The next week I ran 16 miles with a friend and no tunes and my pace was 10:57. I think I like tunes.

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  3. Totally agree. Sometimes on my long runs, I tried to use the opportunity of being alone for 2 hours to listen to an audiobook, but found that my time totally tanked. Then, a friend of mine made me a techno mix, and I got a PR. I'm a believer!!

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  4. I am too nervous about getting hit by cars to enjoy listening to music while running. I get so paranoid about not hearing bikers and cars that I can't run at all with headphones.

    Also: I get lost easily, and distracted easily. Nothing worse than running along and then realizing you have no idea where you are.

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  5. Oh man I hate it when they don't post the results right away! On my first Tri they didn't post the pictures for almost three weeks, and then the race photog didn't even get me crossing the finish line!

    I agree with the music theory too. The run always seems to go faster if I have something to listen to.

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  6. I do run with music and totally agree with that statement! There's just something about having a beat to listen to that makes me want to run faster!

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  7. I completely, 100% agree. I was running with music until I saw Marcia. Felt completely effortless. Once I started talking and listening to those around me I lost all energy.
    And - those results! I'm sure their time is faster than mine.
    a girl can dream.

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  8. I'm the same with race results.

    On the flip side, though, I used to do timing and scoring for age group swim meets, and the parents who turn up at the T&S table 30 seconds after the event is over demanding their children's times drove me bananas! I sometimes reminded them that BC (before computers) you had to wait WEEKS for the times, and now they're on the locker room door within 15 minutes.

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  9. It might be true, but I never run plugged in. Only thing that stays in my little ears is the kind that suction in your ear, so I can literally hear NOTHING outside of the music. It feels so dangerous not knowing if a car is coming up behind your. Or dog, or creepy stalker guys. I've had experience with all....I'll listen to the wind and just pray for a good time.

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  10. I run with music!!! :D I dont know about all those numbers... but usually if i dont have music and im solo running it... i always do worse than when i'm listening to music... intersting study...

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  11. I train with music a lot but don't normally race with it... though I might start. More so I don't have to listen to the heavy breathing of other runners around me than anything else!!

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  12. I love my music and rarely run without it. I know that it helps my performance for sure.

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  13. Ha. I was just listening to "Fat Bottomed Girls."

    I think tunes do speed us up! I usually don't run with them though.

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  14. when a great song comes on, I automatically run faster!

    hey, wanted to thank you about posting about Melinda Hinson Neely's book about 1st time marathoners..she's going to put my story in somewhere in her book, and I wouldn't have heard about it otherwise!

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  15. Did you get the apology email for the late results and porta-potty shortage? I guess I'll drop my lawsuit.

    I def think tunes pep me up.

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  16. I looooove music, esp electronica and hip hop type stuff, but I'm sort of weird about music and running. Especially music and *RACING. It's true that it's distracting and can pump you up, but the safety thing is definitely an issue. And at races, a lot of people come to cheer everyone on and I feel like I should hear those cheers ;) Also, like someone else said, it's nice to just be quiet for awhile. However, I listen to This American Life podcasts on my loooong training runs. Sometimes I just need to get those over with and TAL just takes me away for hours! So I say either/or, depends on the sitch, to each his own, and all the jazz.

    Anyway, I hope you really got your PR!

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  17. I definitely agree with the music makes you faster statement. I am a music listener!

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  18. I do the exact same thing! hahaha!!!

    my blog switched from runnernic.com to www.runnernic.com -- you would think it wouldnt make a difference but it did! :)

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  19. Madonna makes me run faster. I train with music. I bike with music (one ear only). I also race with music, but honestly I don't listen to it. It is weird, it is on but my mind is too focused to listen.

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  20. Seriously, in this day and age it's hard to understand why the results are not instantaneous. HAHAHA, having to wait is SO painful.

    I do not listen to music while I run outdoors. I don't like headphones and I like the quietness. However, on a treadmill I need it cranked and fast.

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  21. I can see music taking you away from the action and giving you a "technical" high rather than a natural or chemical high.

    I'd need to research a lot more to believe in the 15%!

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  22. i definitely think music helps me go faster. but sadly my ipod broke a billion years ago so i run without

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  23. i am obsessive about the results and i hate waiting

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  24. I love tunes, yup, I'm definitely a tune whore.

    Did you get that e-mail that I sent you? It had the results in it.

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  25. I think at this point I may by physically unable to run without my iPod blasting in my ears. Doesn't necessarily have to be music, I often listen to a few different podcasts, but I need to have some noise along the way.
    Ideally I'd have a band run along with me, but there are very few who are willing to do this for you. Kinda like Survivor in those Starbucks commercials. Maybe if it was a smaller singer I could just carry them on my back. Someone like Prince, or maybe Shakira.

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  26. When I run in the woods, I don't usually run with music. I love the sound of nature. Also, it helps if I can hear mountain bikes riding up my...

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  27. So funny that they mention Red Hot Chili Peppers, because I just ran to them yesterday after 8 miles of no music and I sure did pick up my pace. Look at that! :)

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  28. They're up!
    http://www.runningguru.com/RaceResults.asp?ResultsID=194&EventID=89

    did you get the email? they apologized for the delay

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  29. I definitely agree.

    Music is a distraction - and sometimes, at the end of the race (or training run, or workout, or whatever) you need a distraction to avoid feeling the pain and disregard the mental status of STOPSTOPSTOPSTOP that is going through your head.

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  30. Oh, I soo hear ya w/waiting for race results.

    and speaking of online race result sites, have you used Athlinks.com? It's pretty cool. It has all of YOUR race/results, and ANYONE else you'd like to size up;-)

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  31. Seems like porta-potties and race result postings are not top of the list of priorities for this race; I think think this race is always way more than that town can chew off. I'm hoping you won some monster prize, bigger than those silly AG pans. haha. And I seriously have issues running 2 miles without music, I swear it helps pump my body faster!

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  32. Oh and just wanted to say again, congratulations on a fab 1/2 Saturday :).

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  33. I am learning to run without music, but sometimes, I need it seriously to keep my feet moving. I'm always amazed that I tend to run faster with music (maybe my feet are trying to keep up with the beat??)

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  34. I don't run with music. I like to hear nature. Cows mooing, tractors, and if I'm lucky I hear silence. It's great.

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  35. I am one of those weird people who never runs with music... I go for silence if I'm at the gym or outdoors. If I'm at my home dreadmill, I'll usually watch a movie while I run. I've honestly never even tried running to music. I spend so much time listening to my kiddos, that I appreciate the silence!

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  36. I also never run with music. Some races will not allow ipods on course (so I've heard); others will not let the elites use them. Not that I'm elite or anything....

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  37. I agree with the findings; however I do not run with music.

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  38. I live for stalking the race site after the race....I mean - I worked hard....I need instant results. :) I am trying to run more without music and really listen to my body and figure out my pace. I do have queen and madonna on my ipod though

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  39. Maybe you run faster, but you don't get less tired. Might not always be productive at the right time... I never run with music.

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  40. I don't normally run with music, but I find that when I do, usually on long runs if I do, that it usually helps distract me, which is probably a bad thing as I'm then not concentrating on my form.

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  41. Funny this is brought up because this past weekend I ran a 1/2 marathon and before the race, my Ipod had frozen up on me leaving me in a panic. The music sets my tempo and pace and without it, I wasn't able to concur the huge hills I was challenged with. When I passed other runners that had their Ipods going, I wanted to ask if they would share an ear plug with me and I would run along side. I will usually run the first 1/2 of a race without and know the second most challenging part I have my treat of music to look forward to.

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  42. That is way too long to wait for results! What gives?!

    I run with music if I am running alone. For me, it helps. I think it does help me run faster, but the bigger benefit is providing a distraction.

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  43. I absolutely need music - don't want to listen to my heavy breathing or anyone else's! Also helps me to keep pace....know where I want to be by the end of a certain song, etc.

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  44. When I used to run races I used to refresh the results page like a mental patient with OCD. I HAD to know how I compared to all of the other runners. Glad to know I'm not the only freak show out there.

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  45. When I run with my dog, I won't listen to music. I wouldn't want him to think I'm ignoring him...not that the conversation is very good. If I run alone, it's country tunes.

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  46. I think those in the experiment were thinking "Hold your breath, it smells like Queen and Madonna in here! And maybe if I run fast enough, I can get the heck out of Australia!"

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  47. I HATE waiting for the race results. I'm so impatient.

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  48. I enjoy music, podcasts, and audio books as much as the next guy, but I can't stand having all that crap hang all over me when I run - it's more of a distraction than anything else. Give me my shoes and my Garmin and I'm set.

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  49. Booooooo. waiting sucks for anything. Race results, herps test results (negative. heehaww!!)

    I totally agree that music can increase performance. I try to run with podcasts as much as possible so that I am not falsely boosting my training levels and will listen to music on race day. Seems to help in my head. *shrugs*

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  50. I totally agree I cant run without music it helps to pump me up and I use my fingers to keep the beat and it helps me to take my mind off of running and getting tired etc plus some songs just rev me up so I want to run faster. One of these songs strange enough is the the Star Spangled Banner by Miri Ben-Ari in violin

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  51. I tend to run a bit faster if I have tunes going. I don't know if Madonna will make me run faster but some of my tunes definitely do. I have ran without music and unfortunately for me, I am a lot slower. Having said the above, I usually run with just one earphone on and the other is tucked away--safety first :).

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  52. with all the fancy chips and what not I can't figure out why it takes so long for our times to show up!! i mean my garmin is only so accurate

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  53. I am a big fan of the running playlist!!!

    21 Guns (Green Day),
    Figheter (Christina Aguilera),
    Lose Yourself (Eminem),
    all manner of gospel music
    and anything by Michael Jackson are all on my list.
    Also, "Run to Cadence with the U.S. Marines: Part I" - yes, it's an actual album - is my new favorite.

    I don't run with OUT music. Gotta have it.

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