Once upon a time the extremely energy consuming action of running was reserved only for survival. Now people do it for fun. In silly short shorts. They may look silly but if you were to be attacked by a bear (or a mugger as is the urban equivalent), they would be the last thing you see as you flail behind them trying to run away only to be disembowelled (or relieved of your wallet). So how can we get good at it?

According to psychology professor Dr. Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University, music is the key. Music reduces your perceived exertion by 10% meaning a sixty-six minute run will feel like a sixty minute run. Different types of music work for different people. The four main categories are Rock, Dance, Urban and Pop. Think you know what you like best? Apparently not according to the good doctor. He has found that music can stimulate you better for a run when it is of a certain type regardless of your usual ‘like’ of it.

This year the Sony Ericsson Run To The Beat race on 27 September at the O2 will be used to test the theory further. We had an early look at what tests would be done. Geared up, in our very own short shorts, we were put through our paces running, lifting weights and doing lots of lunges to different types of music. We reported back on our emotional state, physical exertion, and enjoyment of the music. This data was collated and the good doctor was able to inform us that Rock is best for us. Take that all you squares that told us over the years it would damage us. So when do we use it?

How to train with music:
The effects of music can plateau as you get used to it, so it’s best to use it for two sessions and then take a break for the third. Rinse and repeat.
The best time to use the positive effects is when you start to feel your exertion becoming most difficult, or as you level off and need to boost your performance.
Make sure to contour the music around your expected heart rate. When you know you will be getting tired, make sure to have an upbeat track ready to boost you. Save the better tracks for the latter stages when you are getting more fatigued.

Who likes what?
Running: Gabri Salassi loves John Scatman when running. Each to his own.
Kelly Holmes used Alisha Keys in preparing for the 800m and 1500m events at the Athens Olympic games.

Tennis: Layton Hewitt uses the Rocky Soundtrack to get revved up.
Andy Murray listens to the Black Eyed Peas for inspiration.

Football: The Brazilian team actually make music, playing samba before a game.
Eboue is a big Congolese fan and likes to dance to it, to get in the zone.

Basketball: Urban music is the preference with Rap and R’n’B being the favourites.

Boxing: Rap music and themed songs like the Rocky tune, Eye of The Tiger and Charriots Of Fire.

All this talk getting you riled up for a run? Why not race us at FHM by going here.