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in 2007, when he was preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon.
USA Track & Field, the national governing body for distance racing, had just decided to ban athletes from using portable music players in order "to ensure safety and to prevent runners from having a competitive edge." Rais resolved to hide his i Pod shuffle under his shirt.
On occasion, the speed and flow of the lyrics supersede the underlying beat: some people work out to rap songs, for example, with dense, swiftly spoken lyrics overlaid on a relatively mellow melody.
Extending this logic, Shahriar Nirjon of the University of Virginia and his colleagues devised a personal music player that attempts to sync music with a runner's pace and heart rate.Many fellow runners protested the new rule, which remains in effect today in an amended form: It now applies only to people vying for awards and money.For some athletes and for many people who run, jog, cycle, lift weights and otherwise exercise, music is not superfluous—it is essential to peak performance and a satisfying workout.Accelerometers and a tiny microphone embedded in a pair of earbuds gauge the runner's pace and record the pulsing of blood vessels.The device wirelessly transmits the data it collects via a smartphone to a remote computer that chooses the next song. After a certain period of exercise—the exact duration varies from person to person—physical fatigue begins to set in.