We often think that music can boost our workout performance by distracting us from the outside world – preventing our internal voice from acknowledging the of aches, pains and fatigue – but that not necessarily true for every workout or every person. Some personalities might just be better off with out.
Sports psychologist Costas Karageorghis explains in an article from the Guardian:
“Elite athletes are usually ‘associators’, which means they tend to focus inwardly when they are running.” Most other runners, he says, are “dissociators” (or are somewhere between the two). This means they look for stimulus and distraction from what is going on around them.”
Also, you might find that music tends to work well for some sports – like running and cycling – where your pace is critical to your performance. If the tempo of your music gets you to run faster or pedal harder – it’s done its job! On the other side, however, you might find that listening to music during complicated workouts and sports can be too much of a distraction and causes your form and performance to suffer. This message also carries over to learning new exercises, where focusing on your form is even more essential to prevent injuries.
So, during your next full or half marathon – where you need to pay attention to your body and track your fatigue – music might not be your best bet.