A blog by runners. For runners.

Running with music: yea or nay?


My sister and I are both avid runners. She runs longer distances, while I enjoy shorter mileage at quicker speeds. Our differences don’t stop there, whenever she heads out for a run, she immediately grabs her favorite companion, her iPad, even if  I’m running with her. She literally can’t run without music and yet, I prefer my breath to be my only soundtrack.

This got me thinking about running with music versus without. How some wouldn’t be caught dead without their tunes, while others find it more distracting than helpful. Although this choice can simply be one of preference above all else, I took a looked at the pros for running with and without music.

The pros of running with music

  • Music can help you control your cadence.
  • The tempo of the music can affect your running speed. The faster the music, the faster the pace.
  • Many get into the running zone more quickly with music, tuning out the world and focusing solely on the run.
  • Music can help to distract you, making it easier to lose yourself and compelling you to believe your run is easier.
  • Upbeat music mixed in with slower tunes can help with interval training.

 The pros running without music

  • Without the distraction of music you are more in tune with your body and breath, allowing you to focus more closely on your body’s internal cues.
  • In turn, when you’re more connected to your internal cues you’re less likely to overdo it and cause injury.
  • Running without music allows you to disconnect from sensory overload.
  • Running without music can be a form of moving meditation, allowing the runner to clear the mind more easily.
  • Running sans music heightens your awareness to your surroundings, very important if you run in busy, traffic-filled, urban areas.

Bottom line, there are pros for both running with and without music. Let us know your preference and favorite reasons for your choice in the comments below.

Written by Lisa Chase.

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