The Pro’s & Con’s of Running With Music

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Running with music is a widely contested subject, here is where I weigh in

There has been a lot of debate in the running community about whether or not to run with music. It seems to depend on the person. I am categorically pro music (for now), I cannot run any other way and I feel like people who run without music are made of stronger stuff than me! The only time I can stand it is if I have a running partner and only because I am trying to put on a “look how strong I am” front!

Here is my list of pro’s and con’s for running with music – I’ve tried not to be biased (I swear!) so you can decide whether YOU should run with music based on your own circumstances.

Pro’s of Music

  • Motivation – When you are near the end of a long run and your JAM comes on! you can get yourself to push through the pain (even if it is only three minutes)
  • Distraction – I am a heavy breather and the sound of my own panting makes me feel like things are harder than they are! so music detracts from the aches and pains associated with a run.
  • Keeps Focus – Everyone has busy lives and sometimes I struggle to “switch off”, I won’t be running my best because my brain is buzzing with other things. Music helps me to shut off and focus on being in the moment and what I am doing.
  • Helps set your pace – I have tried this a couple of times and used the tempo of the music to time my feet/ running rhythm to “settle in” to my run. You can also use the BPM (beats per minute) of a song to help you set a pace. is a website that can help you choose songs by BPM

    Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via / CC BY-NC-SA

Con’s of Music

Photo credit: Chris Hunkeler via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
  • Safety Concerns
    • Hearing – Having the music too loud can damage your hearing – (not a problem for me since I am hearing impaired but you should take note :p)
    • Traffic – You can’t hear traffic when crossing the roads, or potential upcoming traffic hazards.
    • Distracting – Yes this is a negative too because it can stop you from paying attention to the potential dangers around you e.g. passers-by, dogs etc
  • Body Cues – Running without music allows you to pay more attention to how your body reacts and helps you get more in tune with your running gait.

What do you think of my pro’s and con’s ? do you think you should run with music? let me know in the comments section 🙂

*See my “Motivational 10k Race playlist” for an idea of my running music*

You may also be interested in the Running Pinterest Board for tips, tricks, motivation and more expert advice!


Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

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