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Training & advice

The benefits of training to music

Training to music has never been more popular and now it is being injected into track and field competition too. Anyone who was in the Olympic Stadium in 2012 or watching it on television won't have failed to hear the uplifting music that added to the atmosphere for both performers and spectators. Runners have been using music to train to since the first Walkman Personal Stereos hit the markets in the late 70s. Today it can more comfortable because there are more running specific products on the market and more enjoyable because the sound quality is better.

Running specific products

Headphoneshave come a long way since the late 70s. Sennheiser and adidas have combined to produce a range of sports headphones that offer comfort, stability and durability without sacrificing audio qualities. These headphones won’t wobble, come loose or create excess noise. Not only that but running apparel is often designed by specialists who realise that approximately 75% of the running market use music when they train. Running tops and jackets often have pockets for MP3 players and ipods and outlets for the lead from the headphones so that they sit neatly and comfortably for carriage.

Me time

Your running time may often be your ‘me’ time where you can get away from it all, go where you want to go and hear the sounds that you want to hear. This may be listening to nature and the sounds around you or it may be listening to your favourite tracks especially if you are running in a busy town or gym. However, you should be aware of safety in this instance. Considering the safety concerns of runners who benefit from running with music, Sennheiser make headphones fit for purpose; that not only handle sweat and rain but also allow external sound to filter in to make runners more aware of the environment around them. You may also want to try a new and innovative iPhone app specifically designed with runner's safety in mind. The new app is appropriately named 'Awareness!™ The Headphone App' and monitors outside noise via headphones featuring an in-line mic. For more information go to

Pumping up the pace

Academic research has found that music can aid performance. The feel and beat of the music will be reflected in the drive and effort you put into your training session. If your session is a recovery session you may want to listen to some chilled-out reggae beats but if hard efforts are what you are striving for then rock anthems or upbeat R & B may be called for. The faster the tempo of the music the harder you will work in your session.

Personalised playlists and training sessions

Something else that has come a long way is the ability to store thousands of tracks on your MP3 player or ipod and to mix and match them in any order you choose at the flick of a button. This means that you can put together play lists that complement your training sessions. You can match the beat with your pace or the lyrics and mood of the track with your mindset or the mindset that you wish to achieve. It may be that you want to gradually pump up the mood as you go through the session, starting slowly in your warm up and building to a crescendo for your final effort before bringing it all back down again for your cool down.

If you haven’t tried training to music it may be worth giving it a try. The research shows that it usually helps performances. Keep your music for training rather than racing though. Race Directors normally request that you take part without headphones to ensure that you hear the directions and requests of marshalls and other runners.