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Looking to gain that extra edge on your sporting performance? Trying to calm that temper? Or hold back those nerves?
Trying to train your players more efficiently? and help them deal better in match situations?
Then this is the place for you! Brain SPEC is the product of Mark Simpson. A table tennis player himself he is using his experiences and what he has learned from his sport psychology training to help you enhance your own or your players' performances!

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

4 Effective ways to use music for your run

Music is a very powerful tool. It can alter your mood, perceived energy levels, focus, determination and many other things. When used correctly, music can enhance your workout and performance, when used badly it can ruin it. Therefore it is important how to use music in its most effective ways to ensure your run is the best it can be. Here are are a few pointers to how to use music. It is important to point out these are general rules and may not work for everybody but why not give them a try, research has shown these to be effective for a significant amount of people so the chances are you could be like those people!

1. Pick the tempo for your run and match it to your music.

People have a natural call towards rhythm, its what makes people want to dance, its what makes people unknowingly tap their foot along with the beat. If that tap is out of tempo with the music the brain gets confused and feels unnatural. Therefore it will naturally want to join with the beat of the music. This will also happen with your strides. So if you have a set speed you want to run, pick music at that speed and your brain will naturally drag you towards that pace. There are apps available that can help you to do this, but I am yet to personally try them so I don't know how good they are, since I still use my old-fashioned, heavy, non-touch-screen iPod.

2. Pick music that will lift your mood.
Sad, slow music or music with unhappy lyrics can potentially have a negative effect on your mood, which will in turn affect your motivation to push yourself during the run, it can also build up an association between being in an unhappy mood and exercising/running. This means your brain will learn that you are often unhappy when you are running, and therefore start to not want to go running as that makes you unhappy.upbeat, positive music can have the opposite effect and make your subconscious feelings towards running more positive and also help you feel as though you have more energy to push yourself during your run.

3. Have distraction/emergency songs.
use music with a meaning to you or something you really like and save them for later in the playlist or queue them ready to be played when you most need it.It seems obvious but music can distract you from the pain, the boredom, the tiredness of the run. Putting the music that is most powerful at distracting you in the parts of the run you will most struggle with (most likely the end!) will help you to forget those troubles and power through.

4. Have a Get-ready-to-run song. 

Sometimes the hardest part of running is forcing yourself to actually get up, get ready and set-off. Having a Energetic, motivating song that you always play when getting ready to run will put in you into run-mode! It can be as cheesy as you like, for instance the theme tune from the film Rocky is a sure winner, but it needs to be a positive, energetic song that will help get that blood flowing. Continuously doing this will create the link in your brain that hearing that song means it will prepare the body to run... one suggestion here is perhaps not picking a song that is popular at the moment and regularly on the radio... not only will that lessen the effect but also you don't your body to start getting ready to run, e.g. sweating, breathing heavier while you're stuck driving to work in a traffic jam.


These are 4 simple tips that can help to improve your running, so give them a try, see how the work and feel free to comment with your own tips in the feedback. If you would like to work with Brain-SPEC to optimise your training and performance get in touch via the email address for more information.

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