Let me preface start by saying that this is not an official research but the result of a survey done by the website Pour Moi, which asked some runners to run with certain music and then measured their performance. Having said that, the bottom line is that music has an influence on the speed you are able to express in a run(but we already knew that) and especially that some artists and their music make you run faster and others slower.
The artists played to the twenty chosen runners are all either British or American, and the music genres are pop, hip hop, and R&B. If they wanted to find out if jazz or classical slow you down, they just had to call me and I would confirm it, although it’s great to run while listening to these genres as well.
Once you have established, however, that music affects running, which artists or performers make you go faster and which ones slower? Let’s see.
Beyonce dominates the rankings: if you listen to her while running you can gain 33 seconds per km (seems a bit lunar to me as a result, but let’s take it at face value) and a whopping 23 minutes and 12 seconds over the marathon (although the result is a projection since none of the subjects analyzed ran that long, so it counts as my summons to the next Olympics). Harry Styles makes you 31, Taylor Swift 17 and Kanye West 4. Lady Gaga 3 and Cardi B only 1.
Drake wins the ranking as The Slowdowner of the Year. In fact, the Canadian singer is accused of worsening runs by as much as 21 seconds per kilometer, which translates (again in projection) into a whopping 14 minutes and 42 seconds more on marathon time. Total disaster.
At the bottom of the worst of the worst-so the best of the worst or the worst of the best-is Katy Perry, who makes you lose only 0.01 seconds per mile and only 42 seconds in a marathon.
A bit of truth
This research clearly has no statistical or scientific value: the sample is too small and the methodology is highly questionable, especially when it derives marathon data from a projection. As has been shown elsewhere, however, music has a psychological effect more than acting on a physical level, modifying athletic performance: it calms, relaxes and disposes in a better mood. When the training then is very intense, music is totally irrelevant because you are so absorbed in the effort that you do not pay attention to anything else.
It certainly doesn’t hurt.