I just love the fact that everyone is talking about walkmans and CDs - this thread is like an archaeological dig.
I must admit that I like to run with the radio on. I run in the countryside and have it on a low level so I can still hear cars coming towards me or up behind and I can't say I've ever been surpised by something coming up that I didn't hear yet. I should add that I'm uber slow though and being out on the road for a couple of hours without any music would drive me a bit nuts. I don't always take it for shorter runs.
As for breathing I have to say that it seems to make any difference to me whether I have music on or not, my breathing is still rubbish! I'm not sure that I need to lose the radio to concentrate on how I'm breathing either. Everyone is different and what works for some won't work for others and you just need to see what feels best for you
I was well confused reading those first few posts about CD and walkmans before realising the thread started in 2002.
I run with music. Might just be psychological but I find if mp3 dies half ways through a run then I struggle. Probably won't be popular for saying this, but I always have music with me on race days as well. I usually switch it off for the start / finish to get the boost from the crowd / support. I don't have it blasting and would like to think I've never bothered anyone with it (getting in the way, it being too loud etc). Just take extra care if you do wear earphones and keep the volume low.
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