We all have wondered how the great Michael Phelps can go on his swimming workout for hours without getting bored in the water. For an average swimmer who does a few laps every week to a professional athlete, we know the feeling of having two ears full of water.
Listening to music while underwater can be a rare commodity. However, with today’s technological advancements, this is entirely possible.
So before you head out to your local pool for your regular swimming workout, find time to read below the reasons why you should listen to music while swimming.
Listen To Music While Swimming to Increase Endurance
Athletes who regularly listen to music while training show a higher level of endurance. That would be easy if your sport is running, cycling, or anything above water.
However, for swimmers to be able to listen to music, the perfect blend of a durable and waterproof MP3 player is a must. Those who do not train with music tend to get tired or lose focus easily.
The higher your endurance level is, the better the chance of sustaining your competition performance, and the higher chance of winning.
Reduce Perceived Effort
The ratings of perceived exertion, or the RPE, is considered as a recognized marker of intensity and of homeostatic disturbance during exercise or workouts. The RPE is measured during an exercise or workout to complement other measures of intensity.
Music, on the other hand, is a subconscious motivator and a stress reducer. Put them together and you get to divert your brain’s subconscious attention to sound perception.
The same part of the brain that processes muscle fatigue is the same part that processes background noise. This dual processing is linked to lower levels of tiredness, fatigue, and RPE.
Match the Beat with your Pace
Ever noticed how you always listen to upbeat songs when you’re going for a run? That is because you can match your pacing with the music you are listening to.
If you are swimming under water with no sense of time and you only get to see a glimpse of your coach every time you lift your face when inhaling, then you would know that the only way to know your time is when you actually finish a lap.
We should listen to music while swimming because not only does it give you a sense of time, it also increases your pace depending on the type of music you are listening to. You can even create a playlist of when you are warming up, doing sprints or when you are cooling down.
Music Can Increase Motivation
The beats per minute, or BPM, of a song can greatly benefit your swimming workout routine. To maximize your performance, go for songs with BPMs ranging from 125 to 140.
You can always look up a song’s BPM; if you are musically inclined, you can also count the number of times you tap your foot while listening to the song for 15 seconds, multiply it by 4, and get the song’s approximate BPM.
Higher Power Outputs with Music
Scientists have concluded that the BPM of a song can greatly affect the output of a swimmer. The higher the BPM, the higher the output.
For swimmers, music can translate to higher stroke rate, increased fluidity, and greater distance per stroke, or DPS.
Faster Stroke Rates
As explained, the higher the BPM of a song, the higher the output of the swimmer. Faster stroke rates can be one of those affected outputs.
However, a swimmer should not only have a fast stroke rate but also be fluid so as to cover greater distance per stroke. With the help of music, the swimmer can synchronize the body’s movement to the beats and rhythms of the song.
Synchronization refers to the body’s natural inclination to music. So if you are doing a sprint or about to finish with your last lap, listen to fast music. As the BPMs of the music increases, swimmer’s repetition per minute also increases.
So whether you are an amateur swimmer or a professional athlete, music is important. It keeps swimmers aware of the tempo and beat and, in return, the timekeeping ability of music can help swimmers pace their strokes.
You can definitely use this knowledge to your advantage at your next training or swimming competition.