Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Should I Listen to Music while Running?

A common question I get is "should I listen to music while running.  My answer is always...wait a minute...yes...I mean, no...Hang on a second and let's think about it.

In all seriousness, it really depends.  Now keep in mind that this is just my opinion.  Listening to music has been proven to increase performance, so it would seem like you'd want to always listen to music.  I'll be honest, I can get seriously pumped up and ready to race while listening to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor but for me, there's a time and place to jam while running. However, it's also been shown that loud music during exercise can - over time - damage your hearing.

If you are in the gym on a treadmill, or on a track running laps, then I say rock out!  It's a safe environment and you don't have to worry about any real hazards.  You're also probably not there as long as you would be out on the road for a long run.

If you are running on a trail or on the roads then I would recommend that you leave the tunes at home.  Here's why.  When you're running on a road, against traffic so you can see the cars coming, you need to be aware of your surroundings.  That's hard to do with one of your five senses taken away.  You might think a trail is OK, and while it might be most of the time, it can be very dangerous. I live in Asheville, NC and I LOVE to run on trails.  However, the trails are mostly mixed use meaning I could be coming around a corner and all of a sudden there could be another runner, a speeding mountain bike, or even a bear.  I'm not kidding!

One other reason I suggest leaving the tunes at home while running outside is that sometimes, we really need to just unplug for awhile.  Running for me, has always been an escape.  So unplug, and enjoy the sound of your breath and your footsteps as your cruise toward your new PR.

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