The Music Issue

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THE MUSIC ISSUE

DECEMBER 2023

Welcome to the MUSIC issue of POSSESSED. What does music have to do with running? Not much if you don’t listen to music when you run. But for those of you who do, you’re gonna love this issue. It’s the MUSIC ISSUE!

First things first: Let’s be clear that music isn’t just music when it comes to running. I mean to say it’s not inconsequential. The science of music and athletic performance is utterly insane and something to be taken seriously. In a way, music in sports can be viewed as a mysterious sort of doping. Music—literally any music—lights up those areas of the brain associated with movement (this is why you tap your feet without noticing), and the neurons in those areas begin to fire less frequently but with greater amplitude. Then, incredibly, those messages in the brain reverberate in your muscles, aiding blood flow, oxygenation, and everything else that our bodies need to move quickly over long distances. This phenomenon is magnified when we listen to music that we like or that we have an emotional connection to, but it still happens when listening to music that we don’t particularly care for, like the trash they always blast at the starting line on race day. Which brings me to an important point...

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