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The Right Track

Written by Stephanie Khoury

photo of running woman
It doesn’t matter if you listen to Miley Cyrus or Mozart to push you through that early-morning run. Kris Bly, M.S. ’13, found that the tempo of the music people listen to while running has no correlation to how fast they run and no impact on their performance.
In his final year at IC, Bly recorded the times of 36 recreational runners completing a 5K (3.1 miles) on an indoor track during three separate outings. Each participant ran once without music, a second time with music of various rhythms, and one other time with songs that all had 180 beats per minute (long thought to be the ideal tempo for “optimal” performance).
In the end, his research indicated that music had no influence over performance. His results countered other studies that claimed music could trigger peak physical performance. Bly presented his research at the 2014 American College of Sports and Medicine Regional Conference.



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