Clark, JC, Baghurst, T, and Redus, BS. Self-selected motivational music on the performance and perceived exertion of runners. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—Music is used by athletes and exercisers to improve performance outcomes, but it is less known whether its properties can enhance performance at maximal intensity. This study measured participants' performance time, average heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on a 1.5-mile running trial when listening to self-selected motivational music vs. no music. Participants were 17 runners (male = 8, female = 9) who completed 2, 1.5-mile time trials in a repeated-measures randomized crossover design. For the music trial, participants were asked to select and listen to a motivational song, which was scored by the participant for its motivational quotient using the Brunel Music Rating Inventory-2. Participants improved mean performance time by 10 seconds and increased average heart rate by 4.5 b·min–1 in the motivational music condition, but neither were significantly different (p = 0.09, 0.10). However, the music condition significantly lowered participants' RPE by 0.5 points (p = 0.02). That motivational music improved performance time, although not significant, is noteworthy considering the significantly lower RPE reported. Therefore, ergogenic qualities of motivational music may elicit a greater performance from experienced runners while simultaneously lowering perception of effort when working at maximal intensity.
1College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma; and
2Sports and Coaching Science, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Address correspondence to Dr. Timothy Baghurst, email@example.com.