Running is often see as monotonous, repetitive and boring, little do they know that I have carefully compiled the most colourful playlist consisting of Jay-Z, Ellie Goulding, Darude (yes, the Sandstorm song – you know it!) and Chase & Status. Passers-by don’t fully realise that I may be running past them on the street but I’m also in this crazy little world of my own, lost in my own thoughts because of the rhythm. I’m Olivia and I love running to music.
There, I’ve done it, I’ve gone and confessed the obvious – anyone who knows me understands that I will choose to wake up early over having a lie in so I get to run. It’s so engrained within my DNA now that if you were to subject me to a fortnight long holiday without my trainers, I would most definitely be miserable. It came as no surprise that I travelled to London specifically to check in with Currys to learn about music in sport and sport psychology.
Dr Costas Karageorghis, leading sports psychologist and served as deputy head of research at Brunel University and friend of Usain Bolt discussed the numerous positive effects of running. The BPM (beats per minute) is enough to let our bodies sink into a repetitive and autonomous stage where running is no longer an additional effort above walking or breathing – it becomes almost normal. Dr Karageorghis is the same man who once said ‘Music is a legal drug for athletes’ based on the way music tricks the mind through the power of distraction. I wholeheartedly agree.
Dr Karageorghis splits runners into “associators” and “dissociators”, the former being the primed and refined athletes who focus solely on the physical presence of their body when they run and nothing else. The dissociators are those who are more prone to rely on distraction techniques in order to complete a run which is why some runners mix up their routes, run with friends or mix up their playlists. Life isn’t just black and white, many runners are a hybrid of being associators and dissociators depending on frame of mind, level of confidence and familiarity of the surrounding environment.
Shortly after Dr Karageorghis, Lauren Karl, a person trainer from KB Personal training talked through the key elements of warm ups and cool downs (the often overlooked but equally vital part of any run!). Due to the fact that I was travelling from Bristol, I had convinced myself not to wear lycra to the event which made the warm up exercises really fun when I was standing there in a dress. I still maintain doing high knees and butt kicks in a dress is pretty skilful.
So this event happened just at the right time when I was reaching an extreme level of despair with all of my headphones, when you run with music you encounter all sorts of technical issues with headphones. Missing earbuds, sound in one earbud only, headphones falling out, headphones feeling heavy, headphones irritating the skin – honestly I could go on but I know you don’t really care about all these problems. So I think this has just been solved with Monster’s iSport Super slim headphones, and this is why:
- Bluetooth = no annoying cable making excessive noise above the sound of music
- Different ear bud sizes to cater for all varied ear sizes, (headphones that just have one ear bud type – we can’t all have the same size ear, surely?!)
- Five hours battery life – better than my cheapo Bluetooth headphones which promise two hours
It was only when I tested the headphones on a run one early morning, that it dawned on me that the headphones just felt completely natural, no annoyances or aggravations. I was impressed. There was no wire hanging about and the sound quality was brilliant – more bass than I’ve ever gotten through entry level headphones or even with the above-entry level headphones. Monster offer a variation of headphones from being completely noise-cancelling to letting in a little bit of surrounding noise which is really useful for people like myself who go out running first thing and need to hear a bit of noise in order to register a car’s coming down the road.
Finally that little playlist which shuts me off from the world, just became surround sound.
Find out more about about Currys Monster mashup here