Emotion Regulation of Others and Self

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Lane. A. M. (2008). Using music to facilitate fatigue management during long-duration, high-intensity exercise. Paper presented in the Symposium: Chariots of Fire: The Multifaceted Effects of Music in Sport and Exercise at the Music, Health and Happiness, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 November 2008


Music has the potential to make a significant impact on sport and exercise performance (Karageorghis, 2008). The main body of literature addressing the use of music in sport and exercise is directed towards its psychological (e.g., mood, emotion, cognition, affect; Sanchez, Grundy, & Jones, 2005), psychophysical (e.g., ratings of perceived exertion; Yamashita, Iwai, Akimoto, Sugawara, & Kono, 2006), psychophysiological (e.g., heart rate, exercise lactate, oxygen uptake; Karageorghis, Jones, & Low, 2006), and ergogenic effects (e.g., increase in work/power output, endurance, efficiency; Atkinson, Wilson, & Eubank, 2004). In applied sport psychology, music has been used as part of the psychological preparation of athletes (see Lane, 2008; Terry, 2004).
Lane (2008) used music as a strategy to condition certain psychological responses among professional boxers. Athletes self-selected up-beat songs with considerable personal meaning when an increase in vigour and excitement was the goal. These songs were played during the warm-up for each training session. When relaxation was the goal, the boxers selected sedative music characterised by a slow tempo. It was apparent that athletes preferred listening to music when compared to the use of more traditional relaxation techniques such as progressive muscular relaxation. The present study investigates the use of music listening to maintain positive psychological states during long-duration and high-intensity exercise.
Repeated bouts of long-duration intense exercise are associated with steady increases in fatigue (see Lloyd, Lane, Pedlar, & Whyte, 2007). A prolonged state of fatigue becomes dysfunctional for performance when coupled with unpleasant emotions such as anger, tension, and depression. In this instance, fatigue provides the individual with information pertaining to non-achievement of their goals, and unpleasant emotions arise out of frustration associated with perceived underperformance. Successful endurance athletes learn to manage intense fatigue through accepting it as a necessary consequence of performance. Athletes who manage fatigue tend to associate it with the process of working towards goal attainment (Carver & Scheier, 1990) and concurrently experience positive mood states such as happiness and calmness (Lane, 2007). The rhythmical qualities of music can be used as an analogue for skills needed to maintain endurance performance thereby distracting an athlete’s attention from sensations of fatigue. For example, the high tempo of the song “Ace of Spades” (142 bpm) by the heavy metal group Motörhead was chosen by a rider who wished to enhance his cadence.
This field study investigates the use of music in the management of fatigue using four highly trained cyclists who completed the Ride Across America race in June 2008. This is a six-day continuous cycling event that presents considerable psychological and physical challenges to the participants. Riders completed a range of psychometric instruments before and after listening to music during the event. Unstructured interviews were used to establish the thoughts and opinions of the cyclists who experienced the music interventions in an externally-valid setting. This research will enhance understanding of the psychophysical and ergogenic effects of music and facilitate its use as one of the psychological interventions that enables athletes to dissociate from fatigue during long- duration, high-intensity exercise.


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