A Soundtrack for Patriot’s Day

Headphones have become part of every runner’s training uniform now that technology has made it easy to carry an entire music collection in one compact device. More often than not, running playlists contain uptempo music, from pop to hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll. These songs make runners feel good, but there’s a scientific reason we like to run to a beat. Studies show music boosts runners’ endurance.

A 2017 study in the International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology looked at 25 men and 25 women between the ages of 19 and 25 and tracked how long their runs lasted with and without music. On average, the men were able to run for 16 minutes longer with music, and women were able to run about 13 minutes longer. Runners of both sexes achieved a slightly higher maximum heart rate when listening to music while running, too.

In 2019, a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research looked at the effect that uptempo music had on muscular fatigue. Ten college-aged men ran to instrumental music with a tempo between 137 and 160 beats per minute. Researchers found that listening to the uptempo music while running delayed the onset of muscle fatigue, allowing runners to run for a longer period of time.

The trip to the Boston Marathon® finish line on Boylston Street is an arduous one. The runners on Team Lahey are preparing to run the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston by training with their own playlists. Take a listen to their picks and consider giving a gift to help them reach their goals of funding cancer, cardiac and mental health programs and services.

Mary Bazylewicz, LICSW

T.J. Dye

Warren Ferris

Lauren Washnock-Maldonado, RN, BSN