It’s official, running with music is faster than running with people talking.
For the past several runs I randomly chose to listen to either a podcast or music on my iPod Nano. Although I wore my Garmin, I ran without a specific pace goal. I just ran on feeling, like how I decide which tie to wear in the mornings because my eyes lack the requisite cones to help me make an informed decision based on the color of shirt I’m wearing. The point of my study was to determine if I ran faster listening to a podcast or to my musical playlist.
So, my study was not super sciencey because I knew what I was studying and the purpose of switching from podcast to music, nevertheless, I do have results. (I suppose you could say I know I run faster when listening to music when I know I’m conducting a study to find if I run faster with music or podcasts playing.)
My playlist consists mostly of rock and roll songs, but there’s some rap, a novelty song, opera, singer-songwriter stuff, and maybe a couple other things I can’t think of (I guess the choice of songs is another variable).
Results: Running with music, average pace 8:12. Running with podcasts, average pace 8:21. So there you have it. In case you’re wondering, I ran a variety of routes with various start times and distances. The average distance I ran was 4.70947 miles.
At some point in my life I acquired a CD with the Rocky I, II, III, and IV soundtracks. I have a playlist of all those songs which should propel me to victory in my next race, based on the above results. If it doesn’t I’m going to seriously doubt the power of music, and science.
Let me take a moment and tell you about my new favorite podcast. It’s called Good Job Brain! It’s four people (I think there’s four) and they sit around and give trivia to each other. I know, it’s awesome! They pick a subject, they each research some aspect of that subject, and then they tell various bits of trivia about the topic. You should listen to it.
I realize you’ll never listen to that podcast. I have a feeling podcasts are a little like music in that if you really want someone to not like a song you should say, “Hey, check out this new song! It’s great! You’ll love it!” It’s scientifically proven that no one has ever liked a song that a friend recommended to them.
Nevertheless, here’s what I heard on my 7.23 mile run today.
Bat Out of Hell-Meatloaf This song took up like 4.5 miles of my run.
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)-Styx A song about a guy out of work and too proud for welfare. Are there anymore people like that anymore?
Carry On Wayward Son-Kansas
Cum on Feel the Noize-Quiet Riot Worst spellers ever. This is mostly on my iPod because I wasn’t allowed to listen to it in 6th grade when it came out even though all my friends had the cassette. I guess my parents didn’t want me listening to bands who couldn’t spell, I don’t know.
Fight for Your Right-Beastie Boys Brilliant lyrics, I mean, cum on!
Flo-Smash Mouth About a guy dating a lesbian who’s not over her old girlfriend. Pretty sure mom and dad would have a problem with this one. Don’t tell my pastor either.
Grounded-The Supertones I believe this is a Christian band, but I doubt this would’ve received much air play at home. I really can’t tell you what the song is about.
Hair of the Dog-Nazareth The name of the band sounds Christian, but I don’t think they are. At least I’ve never heard a Christian song that uses the phrase “son of a bitch”.
Hammer to Fall-Queen Not their best. In some ways it’s good that Freddy died when he did. Those last few albums weren’t great.
Hells Bells-AC/DC Pretty sure this is a Christian song warning about going to Hell, where Bon Scott went to live.
Here I Go Again-Whitesnake
Then my run was over.
I doubt I will listen to much music while running in the future. I prefer the podcasts though I recognize they slow me down. I’ll bust out the music in running races. You can’t wear headphones in triathlons (fascist USAT).
Let me know if you live dangerously like me and take to the streets with headphones in each ear.