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How Does Music Aid 5 km of Running?

Bigliassi, Marcelo1; León-Domínguez, Umberto2; Buzzachera, Cosme F.3; Barreto-Silva, Vinícius1; Altimari, Leandro R.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 305–314
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000627
Original Research

Abstract: Bigliassi, M, León-Domínguez, U, Buzzachera, CF, Barreto-Silva, V, and Altimari, LR. How does music aid 5 km of running? J Strength Cond Res 29(2): 305–314, 2015—This research investigated the effects of music and its time of application on a 5-km run. Fifteen well-trained male long-distance runners (24.87 ± 2.47 years; 78.87 ± 10.57 kg; 178 ± 07 cm) participated in this study. Five randomized experimental conditions during a 5-km run on an official track were tested (PM: motivational songs, applied before 5 km of running; SM: slow motivational songs, applied during 5 km of running; FM: fast and motivational songs, applied during 5 km of running; CS: calm songs, applied after 5 km of running; CO: control condition). Psychophysiological assessments were performed before (functional near-infrared spectroscopy, heart rate variability [HRV], valence, and arousal), during (performance time, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion [RPE]), and after (mood, RPE, and HRV) tests. The chosen songs were considered pleasurable and capable of activating. Furthermore, they activated the 3 assessed prefrontal cortex (PFC) areas (medial, right dorsolateral, and left dorsolateral) similarly, generating positive emotional consequences by autonomous system analysis. The first 800 m was accomplished faster for SM and FM compared with other conditions (p ≤ 0.05); moreover, there was a high probability of improving running performance when music was applied (SM: 89%; FM: 85%; PM: 39%). Finally, music was capable of accelerating vagal tonus after 5 km of running with CS (p ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, music was able to activate the PFC area, minimize perceptions, improve performance, and accelerate recovery during 5 km of running.

1Group of Study and Research in Neuromuscular System and Exercise (GEPESINE), Center of Physical Education and Sports, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil;

2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Madrid, Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation (CRECER), Seville, Spain; and

3Department of Physical Education, North University of Paraná, Londrina, Brazil

Address correspondence to Marcelo Bigliassi, bigliassi@live.com.

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.