Tech Review: Monster & The Power of Music in Running

No recipes today, I hope you don't mind. I thought I'd mix things up a little and include another hobby of mine, running. I'm hoping I can get away with it - 'Sophie has to love running, because she loves food'?

Like most, a lot of my days are spent desk-bound. My 'day' job involves shift-working and due to the unsocial hours I find it difficult to motivate myself to the idea of a gym membership I'll actually use. Combined with a healthy appetite and sweet tooth, my metabolism most definitely isn't what it used to be.

I'll skip the motivational running chat, but what I will say is if you need an excuse to get outside and take some time out for yourself then this could be it. Anything that can pull us away from checking for updates on social media feeds every 10 minutes or letting Netflix load episode after episode!

I'm currently working on pushing myself longer distances and was curious to see what I could learn from Curry's workshop on the power of music in running.

Throughout history, there's been a strong link between music and sport. Think National Anthems, the New Zealand rugby team's Haka and Nessun Dorma as the theme of Italia 90. 

In terms of psychological effects, sport psychologist Dr Costas Karageorghis claims the following benefits:
  • increases mood and makes you feel energised/invigorated
  • makes something more pleasurable
  • lowers the perception of effort
  • shifts attention
  • regulates movement
And a benefit of these factors can mean up to 20% increased endurance!

Running synchronously to the beat of music is known to have the most positive effect. But it was also interesting to learn that its not just the beat of the music that can be used as a motivational tool, but the lyrics also.

For example, in order to stimulate and prepare for races during London 2012, Michael Phelps listened to Lil' Wayne's 'I am Me' before taking home 6 medals ("Ain't nobody f**king with me man...I know the game is crazy, its more crazy than its ever been.")

Sedative music is also used to beat pre-game anxiety and pressure for athletics. Audley Harrison prefers to listen to classical Japanese music before matches to promote relaxation and focus. Dame Kelly Holmes' beats her anxiety by listening to Alicia Keys.

Music is not only beneficial pre-workouts and during workouts, it has been found to reduce heart rate and stress post-workout.

Certainly information that may make you rethink your current playlists a little.

With this in mind, we were then introduced to Monster's range of sport specific headphones. 

Previously, I'd be running without realising that the uncomfortable sharp sensations I'd sometimes experience with my cheap headphones were in fact small electric shocks caused by sweat getting into them! Not only had they been shocking me as I ran, they also were pretty distracting each time they'd pop out an ear. 

Monster's iSport range claim to be entirely sweat proof, shock proof and to stay comfortably in your ears all whilst delivering good quality sound. The added bonus being that they're wireless and easily sync to any bluetooth device.

Curry's and Monster generously provided us all with a pair of the iSport SuperSlim headphones to take home and try for ourselves.

After a just a few runs, I've been well and truly converted. Never again will I get myself in a tangle over cables and have to fuss over ear buds flying out along the way.

I thought I'd run you through some of the pros and cons...

  • super lightweight 
  • 5 hours constant playback
  • 50 foot wireless range
  • sweat resistant ear clips that stay in your ears
  • ControlTalk for switching between phone calls on iPhones and your music
  • very good at blocking external noise
  • a little fiddly at the start to get in your ears
  • almost too good at blocking external noise, perhaps ensure volume is low when cycling or running near a road.

My music preferences tend to be limited to a few Spotify playlists for running shorter distances.

I tend to prefer a story to get lost in for longer distances as speed and pace isn't something I'm too worried about. Some of my favourite podcasts for this include Serial, Stuff Mom Never Told You and The Infinite Monkey Cage. If anyone has any other recommendations then please do let me know!

Fear not, I've not gone all health obsessive on you, I'm eating left over pizza whilst writing this...

Thanks so much to Joe Blogs & Curry's for inviting me, its encouraged me heaps.

You can read more about the Curry's workshop here.

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  1. Ooooh nice idea, I also have to be dedicated to my work out routine owing to my love of food!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London


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