Running for Beginners: Should You Run With Music?

running with music

I have been running for a long time now, but until recently, the idea of running with music was not very practical.  The advent of the iPod and the mp3 player, along with earbuds really has made it much easier to take some tunes with you while you run.  But the question still remains, should you run with music, or not?

Advantages of Running With Music or iPod

There are several advantages of running with music.  For example, listening to music or can help you divert your mind away from the physical work you are doing.  If you tend to get bored while you run, it can help entertain you as well.  Not only that, but I have found that music can help me feel better when I am drained of energy.  Somehow listening to a power song during a run really helps to get me pumped up and finish strong.  I have found this to be especially true toward the end of the run when you tend to be drained and want to give up.

I personally also like to listen to some podcasts downloaded from iTunes when I go for a run.  And audiobooks are another great option as well.  I figure as long as I am running for 30 minutes to an hour or more, I might as well learn something about a subject.  Of course, I do add in some music here and there to get a good mix.

The Disadvantages or Running With an iPod or Music

So there are some good aspects of running with music.  But there can be some reasons why you may not want to run with music as well.  For one thing, running with headphones is more dangerous.  When you are listening to the music, it is harder to pay attention to what you are doing with your running.  This is especially true if you are running in a heavily congested or traffic area.  If you choose to run in such  a high traffic area, you may want to hold off on the music.

Also, running with music can distract you from having good running form.  People who run without music are able to focus on their breathing, running stride, and alignment much better than someone who is more concerned with the next song in the play list.

If you are running with music, then perhaps you are doing so because you actually hate running.  People that enjoy running don’t need to distract their minds away from it by using music.  And runners also learn other ways to train the mind for running than using music.  People who have been running for years have done so without using ipods or other devices. These people have learned to enjoy running for the sake of running.

Personally, I did mention that I often run with my ipod myself, but I also often run without it and I try to focus on my running and enjoy the outdoors a little.  I also try to stay away from high traffic areas, and keep safety in mind.

So there are some reasons why music can help you run better and get you pumped up and excited about running, especially if you are new at it.  Just remember that if you do run with music, that you should not do it near traffic, and keep safety in mind.  In addition, try to run without headphones sometime if you normally run with them.  The change will be good for you, and may even help you enjoy your surroundings a little more.
What do you think?
Do you think that running with headphones and music is essential, or do you see some downsides to it?

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