SSA Blog: Marathon Music Session

In October 2019, Eluid Kipchoge will attempt to break one of the great barriers in men’s athletics, the two-hour marathon. Supported by INEOS, Kipchoge plans to better his time of 2:00:25 set during the Nike Breaking 2.0 project in May 2017.

Kipchoge Marathon.jpg

Recently, Sport Science Agency has been working with a high-quality speaker brand to assess the affect that music quality has on performance. The impact of music on performance has been a research topic for well over 40 years. It has been shown to have a beneficial effect in numerous exercise situations, including running. Interestingly, in going back to watch the Breaking 2.0 documentary the team considered the shoes the athletes wore as you would expect from Nike, air-resistance and drafting, nutrition, hydration and of course optimising the athletes’ training, but music didn’t feature as part of the race strategy.

Music is a very individualised tonic, it’s rhythm, beats per minute, cultural impact and its potential to trigger positive emotional responses could all play a role in supporting performance both mentally and physically.

The Nike Breaking 2.0 project led to a fantastic attempt just falling outside of the magic two hours by 25 seconds, or less than one second per mile. As this new project begins to take shape and the marginal gains are again explored, a quality playlist and sound system could be the missing piece capable helping Kipchoge find those vital final few seconds.