SHOULD YOU BE RUNNING WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC?
It’s a question which has been debated many times before, during, and after a run no doubt; here’s my ‘two cents’ when it comes to running with music…
There are several studies which suggest listening to music (especially upbeat tunes or tunes you really like) can have a positive affect on your cadence and lower your perceived effort when running.
That sounds positive right?
So, here’s the twist, and something to think about before you head out running with music. Using music as an aid is great when you need a kick up the butt at the end of a run, or for a specific session occasionally. Using music as a crutch (like most people) because you think you ‘need’ it, is where its impact can be lost, or even become detrimental…
I hear this statement all the time when I raise the topic of running with music.
“I like listening to music when I run!”
My response is simple, is it the enjoyment of listening to music, or just your avoidance of feeling the discomfort that running brings, that you are listening to music…
Listening to music while running means you’re paying less attention to your body, how you feel, and your surroundings. If you are training for a race, what if the race doesn’t allow headphones, what will you do without your crutch? What if you lose your headphones mid race, or one malfunctions, will this ruin your race?
Finally, if you are always listening to music running (whether it be an easy or hard run) you’re constantly using one tool to strengthen your mental performance tool box. Ask any experienced runner, you’ll need more than just one tool to get you through those tough times when running.
Remember, music has been shown to help you increase your cadence and lower your perceived exertion; but using it for every run is setting yourself up for an epic fail down the road.
USE MUSIC AS AN AID, NOT A CRUTCH WHEN RUNNING!
*** TOP TIP ***
Start with 1 or 2 runs a week where you don’t listen to music, maybe one easy and one hard session.
Focus on how you feel, your breathing, and begin to learn more about your body while running.