Effects of synchronous music use in ultra-distance events

Curran, M. and Terry, P. (2011) Effects of synchronous music use in ultra-distance events. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 14 (Supple). e83-e84. ISSN 1440-2440


ntroduction: Music use during physical activity has been associated with enhanced psychological responses, reduced perceived exertion, improved performance and, to a lesser extent, physiological efficiency. Whether such benefits apply to ultra-distance athletes is unknown. The present study examined effects of music on a range of indices among athletes competing in 24 h and 48 h events.

Method: Ten elite ultra-distance walkers and runners (male = 7, female = 3, age range = 39–63 yr.), competing in events in Brisbane, Caboolture and Melbourne, participated in a field experiment. Participants were provided with a 120 min intervention (30 min each of motivational music, neutral music, audio book, silence) pre-loaded onto iPods, to which they listened three times during pre-assigned 6 h blocks (i.e., hours 6–12, 18–24, 30–36, 42–48). Music tempo was individually synchronized to match stride rate, and motivational qualities of music were rated by each participant using the BMRI-2. Participants were monitored using the BRUMS, FS, RPE, and HR. Lap times were recorded for each participant.

Results: As a group, participants derived a significant performance benefit from synchronous motivational music compared to the other three conditions during the crucial 18–24 h period (F3,556 = 15.1, p < .001), with each 400 m lap completed faster, on average, by 14 s (v no music, p = .003), 18 s (v neutral music, p < .001) or 27 s (v audio book, p < .001). No group differences in FS, RPE, and HR were found. Individual differences were very apparent, however, with some participants deriving benefits from motivational music and others deriving no benefits or, in some cases, a disadvantage. For example, Participant 7 completed laps 36 s to 62 s faster while listening to motivational music whereas Participant 3 was 18 s to 23 s slower with motivational music compared to the other three conditions.

Conclusions: A performance benefit from listening to synchronous motivational music may accrue for some individuals in ultra-distance events but not for others. The enhanced psychological responses, reduced perceived exertion and improved physiological efficiency found in previous studies were not apparent among ultra-distance athletes in the present study.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restrcited access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Abstract of a paper presented at 2011 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport 'Optimising health and fitness–Participation, prevention and performance' 19–22 October 2011.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 16 May 2012 07:53
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 00:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: music listening; motivation; psychological response
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2011.11.172
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21286

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