Strava has just announced new Spotify integration, which will make soundtracking your best mountain bike trails or gravel rides far easier. Riders can now listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts from Spotify while recording workouts on Strava, with no more switching between the two apps.
If you listen to music while riding, having some of your favorite tunes playing can certainly give you that extra motivation while training or even give you that extra last surge of effort to grab a KOM. It can be seen as a distraction by blocking out audio awareness, but some of the best headphones are now open-ear bone conduction headphones like Oladance Open Ear and Shokz OpenRun Pro and allows you to listen while still being able to hear your surroundings.
Surprisingly, a lot of research has been done throughout the years on the impact of music on athletic performance. For cyclists and runners, matching your cadence to the rhythm of the music is a common technique. Professor Andy Lane of the University of Wolverhampton discovered in 2012 that listening to music while exercising can serve as such a distraction that it can lower the rate of perceived exertion by up to twelve percent.
There was also recent findings from Brunel University that have shown that listening to mellow music can help boost your cycling recovery too. So whether you are stomping the hardcore punk rage of Hatebreed or chilling with Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, there are positive gains to be made, and Strava adds the new feature enables riders to instantly “tap into the motivation that gets them moving”.
It will be especially beneficial and of interest to cyclists who use the Strava app to log rides directly via a smartphone mounted to the handlebar or during an indoor training ride, but maybe not so useful if you carry your phone in a pocket.
The new feature is available now to Spotify free and premium users, and Strava is taking over Spotify's 'Workout' playlist on April 20th.