/Tune in or Tune out? Running with music

The sounds of everyday life affect us to a greater extent than we think. Fast food chains use fast tempo music get us to eat quicker, store music encourages to shop more and loud noise often affect our concentration.

So what about music for running or exercise? Which side of the debate are you on?


A good song can make training easier, because music has been shown to affects our mood. Music can cheer us during physical activity. We know that a loud and fast tempo song will increase our pace. And a little angry and defiant music can make us stay out longer.

For many the case is that they would never have started running at all if it had not been for music and while not all continue to listen to music for every run they often argue that it hasn't hampered their ability to connect with their body or achieve an efficient rhythm. Those advocates of running with music point to the fact that you do not have to listen to the music full blast and that is why there is volume control.  They counter the argument against using music that you use don’t always need to use your music but it can an extra stimuli on occasion and like any running tool, the user needs to practice caution when and where he/she uses it.


Those against running with music have in many cases started out with music but cite the fact that running without music blasting in their ears has given a whole new appreciation for the sport. They point to the fact that they are much more in tune with their bodies. They pay attention to their breathing and the way their feet hit the pavement. They can focus on their effort level and surroundings, rather than the song that's playing in their ears.

Being able to hear the sounds of the environment in which they run, particularly in a busy area notifies the runner to react in time to any event.

The idea of mindful running and exercise has increased in popularity lately and those against running with music argue the mind needs time away from the multi-tasking society to relax and concentrate on the task at hand.

A Runner's World survey (of 3,523 runners) revealed that 75% of respondents were "for running with music", while other surveys show even higher results.

Let us know which side of the debate you are on?