The pros and cons of running with music

Let me start out that I’m a big fan of music.  I always have been, and I always will be.

My dad use to be a disc jockey for the local radio station in one of the small mining towns I grew up in.  I also use to play viola. Therefore my music tastes range from classical like Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart to 80’s rock like Touch by Noiseworks.

So it was a given that when it came to running that I would need music to get me through the distances.

However over time I learned to appreciate my runs without music, and I soon began to realise the importance of running without music.

Here is are my pros and cons of running with music

The Pro’s of why you Should Run with Music

It’s motivational

Music is powerful, and can instantly effect your mood.

Did you know in some sports music is banned as it can give the athlete an unfair advantage?

If you’ve ever run using the nike app, they have the option to select a “Power Song”.  We all have a power song, you know it’s the song that can gets you pumping, makes you try harder, push yourself further and makes you super happy at the same time that you just want to pump it out.

It helps pass the time

If you’ve ever had to train for a long period of time you know how boring it can be if you are doing it on your own.  Music, Audiobooks  or even podcast’s help to pass the time.

It may only be for 60mins or it could be fore 3 hours, but when you are on your own, sometimes you just need the distraction, and music definitely helps pass the time.

It helps you enjoy the run

When you’ve got a good playlist going, you feel like you can conquer anything, which in turn makes you enjoy your hard work.

The Con’s of why you Should Not Run with Music

It makes you concentrate on your body

02Aug2014_0959When you run with no music you can listen to exactly what your body is doing.  You can hear how your feet are landing, you can listen to your breathing.  It helps you concentrate on your form and can make you a more efficient runner.

It makes you more aware of your surroundings

It’s a safety aspect, because listening to music inhibits the ability to hear what is going on around you.

We’ve all heard stories of preventable injuries and deaths of runners.  Take this story for example Beach Jogger Killed by Plane.

It helps you enjoy the run

Take notice of where you run, and enjoy the view.  You will notice little things, like a bird or a flower.

Running without music makes you appreciate where you live.

The Verdict

It’s up to you if you decide to run with music or not.

But try not to rely on music for all your runs.

When I’m out running in the Grampians, it’s a welcome change to listen to the sounds of the bush.


Do you run with or without music, and why?
What’s your favourite song right now?

  • Great post! I am like you in a lot of ways in this, I love Music (especially Taylor’s new album) but I also have found with running it has its time and place.
    If I am running along city streets near traffic, I do listen to music, but I pay very close attention when crossing in intersection, the music is just there to take away the notice of all the cars.
    I listen to music (or audio books) on most training runs. But my longer runs, or runs in the mountains I do not listen to anything.
    I use those as practice runs to teach my mind to help me get ready for races, because a few years back I quit listening to music when running a race, I just found i enjoyed listening to the people and my surrounding better.
    However, with that said, some days you just want great music that make you almost want to put a dance into your step and then turn it up and let the legs flow… Oh ya that is how I handle the high school tracks, LOL

    • I use to rely on music for all my runs.
      When I ran run Melbourne last year (2013), I ran with a pace group. I ended up chatting to the guys in the group for most of the run, and didn’t feel the need for the music. I’m glad I did that, made me realise I don’t need to depend on music.

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