Listening to music has an impact on your running, so should you or shouldn’t you?, asks Nandini Reddy.
Science supports listening to music while you run. But there are several pros and cons that you need to consider before pumping up the jam. Music can be a huge motivator especially when you need to keep motivation up. But let us consider two kinds of people – those who don’t listen to music and those who do.
Don’t Listen to Music
Runners who used to run with music have now stopped because of the constant irritation and distraction of the headphones. For some people the music works more as a barrier than an enhancement as it diverts their attention from their body. A lot of runners even consider it a safety hazard as we don’t pay attention to the ambient noises that might be important for our safety. Trail runners do not use music and they want to enjoy being part of nature.
We need to focus on our breathing while we run. Runners should have a deep breathing technique that involves diaphragmatic breathing. When your mind is distracted by music it is less likely that you will focus on your breathing. That means you switch to breathing from your chest. This sort of shallow breathing limits the delivery and circulation of oxygen.
The pain of Earphones
There are earphones that are particularly built for running. But despite all the design enhancements earphone can be an irritation and a distraction. The time runners spend in adjusting and setting the earphones in a comfortable position distracts them from the task of running.
In Favour of Music
There is a science behind using music to enhance your running performance. Research has shown that music increases concentration and provides ongoing motivation. Runners have also said that it feels like less effort when they run to music. They are also able to maintain a comfortable tempo when the right kind of music is played. Fast paced and motivating music is the key to a positive run.
A list of the pros of running with music
- Pumps you up for your runs
- Sets a consistent tempo
- Runs feel easier
- Motivated to run more
- Positive Influence on mood
While we consider the pros we also need to consider the cons
- Might not help you get the right pace for your race
- Distraction from headphones
- Unsafe as it blocks out your surrounding noise
- Disconnects you from nature
- Might undermine the benefits of the running experience
Music or no music – whichever you choose just enjoy your run.