Learn and grow through experiences



Which music boosts your running performance?

What the heck does music have to do with your workout? More than you might imagine! Music resonates with your body – in particular your heart rate. Hence the type and pace of tunes flowing into your ears impact your mental as well as physical states. How? Let’s dive into it the ExperienceZone way!

Music is the answer

Sounds connect people plus your body to its vibration. Ok, the last part of the sentence sounds weird. Essentially, everything consists of energy. Music is a high frequency composition. Since your body consists to more than 70% of fluid, it resonates with vibrations. Did you ever step close to a loud speaker in a club or a concert? You might felt your body cells vibrating by the bass. Even at decent volume, resonance exists on a more subtle and thus unconscious level.

More interesting is the mental effect. Its actually a function of the biochemical reaction taking place once music makes your cells vibrate. In particular, your heart beat adjusts to the external audio frequencies. This way bloods pumps faster through your veins plus you feel pumped up by the hormones produced in due course. Adrenalin gives you a rush, your lungs widen and your performance capacity increases.

How do you leverage music to peak perform?

When it comes to running, I’m usually a lone ranger. Music – or better the artist performing – is thus often my only buddy. How can you leverage music to increase my running performance up to 20% (!) in terms of distance or speed?

  1. Check your maturity level and goals: Are you a beginner or professional runner? The more advanced you’re the higher your average heart rate during running and thus higher the beats per minute (BPM), you can listen to. Reason being, your heart and whole organism is already used to train on a higher rate. Advanced runners, I usually recommend to tune into 120-140 BPM (it’s Techno and Electro time!), whilst beginners are advised to stick around 100 BPM (Hip-Hop horray!). Also, do you want to check your objectives? If you’re targeting towards speed rather than endurance, switch to fast music. In case, you’re up for long runs, play songs at decent BPM levels.
  2. Monitor and control your performance: For a decade, swiftly gadgets are available, which help you to track your heart rate and running performance, such as time, speed and distance. Engage in some A/B testing, which translates into you running one day at the same heart rate one distance or speed without music and the other day with music. This allows you to measure the difference assuming all other things being equal. Based on the data, you can adjust the kind of music in order to optimize your performance.

How long can you use your running shoes?

Running is a great sport. You can do it anywhere anytime. No excuses. What do you need? A functional shirt, shorts and good shoes. Latter are probably the most important part of your equipment. So, let’s check on what you need to consider the ExperienceZone way.

Your feet are precious

We’re designed to walk and run. Hence, we’re spending most time on our feet. That’s the healthiest way to move your body. Running is highly effective if you do it right. This requires clarity about your running goals as well as care about your feet. You only have two. They’ve to carry you for a lifetime. So, treat them right. Why’s that important. Your feet are only the ends of your extremities called legs. Duh, what is so special around your legs? Well they’re executing the orders from your brain and actually make you move.

Next to your feet, which represent the intersection between your body and the ground and give you stability. The most important part of your legs are you knees. Latter work your legs to enable walking or running. Knees are – next to your shoulders – one of the most highly complex joints of your body. Hence, you want to avoid overcharging them. Finally, walking and running impacts you spine. The healthier your posture and motions, the better for your spine. I could go on with which bone connect to the other in detail and length, yet I guess you got the message: The way you run has an impact on your whole body. The better you do this, the lighter the impact on your entire system.

Here’s an example: I used to hike the Scottish highlands a decade ago. The problem: I would walk too fast and too long (approx. 15 miles per day) with the wrong gear, walking shoes instead of hiking boots, which would have been more appropriate in mountaineering territory. The result: I spent 4 days on the Isle of Sky to regenerate my left knee, which I seriously harmed during that walk. Today I still feel pain when walking or running longer than 7 miles in my left knee. So I either take pain killers, seek a surgery or run shorter distances. I decided to go for shorter distances. Don’t like to take pills or take the risks associated to a surgery.

Learn from my experiences!

Don’t follow my path. Especially not in the wrong shoes. So, here’re my recommendations:

  1. Define your goals: What do you want to accomplish with running? Better endurance? More muscles and less fat? Whatever it is: Make up your mind about your training objectives. Once you’ve them clear, you can design a running program to achieve them. I needs to include the frequency of your runs, their length, your speed as well as the ground.
  2. Buy high-quality shoes: Hit a running shop. Seek advice from a salesman. Jump on a treadmill and get your running-style taped. Don’t take the purchasing decision lightly. Instead of buying discounted shoes, which don’t fit well or don’t meet your objectives, share your program with the salesman. The more details she receives, the better she can consult you. Let her propose you a couple of models. Choose the pair, which you feel best in – whilst walking and running. If you can afford it, buy two or three pair of the model which suits you best.
  3. Switch regularly. If you’re running on two consecutive days, switch your shoes after the first one. Your shoes require some rest. Dump your shoes (or bring them back to the running store for recycling) after 500-1.000 kilometers or 300-600 miles. However, don’t make this a science. The life-span of your shoes is dependent on many factors, such as how often you use them for how long as well as your running style. If in doubt, don’t use them anymore.

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