One of the first things people talk about when discussing their running preferences is whether or not they run to music.
It’s a topic that splits opinion, with some people claiming they struggle too much if they don’t have tunes to distract them, and others refusing to listen to anything.
Now, a new study from the University of Edinburgh has looked into whether music actually does make the sport easier.
The researchers examined how fast runners could move when they were mentally tired.
Participants were asked to complete a cognitive computer task for 30 minutes.
There were nine physically active people who then completed an interval running workout, and nine trained runners who did a 5km time trial.
Both sets did the test with and without music while running. The runners were even allowed to choose their own motivational songs, such as Everyday by A$ap Rocky, Addicted To You by Avicii, Run This Town by Jay-Z and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.
The results showed moderate improvements in the interval runners when they listened to music. In fact, they were able to run just as quickly as when they were not already mentally fatigued.
There were also small improvements made by the 5km time-triallists when they had music.
The researchers said this was likely due to changes in the runners’ perception of effort.
Dr Shaun Phillips, one of the academics involved in the study, said: "Mental fatigue is a common occurrence for many of us, and can negatively impact many of our day-to-day activities, including exercise. Finding safe and effective ways to reduce this negative impact is therefore useful.
"The findings indicate that listening to self-selected motivational music may be a useful strategy to help active people improve their endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued. This positive impact of self-selected music could help people to better maintain the quality and beneficial impact of their exercise sessions."