Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

41 to 60 of 523 messages
02/06/2008 at 21:14

Depends on my training

On my own, yes, I use my ipod.

Running with training partners, obviously no.

In a race of a distance under 10k, no.

02/06/2008 at 21:16
The last time I expressed an opinion on this subject I got mugged. That's mugged as defined as being a surprise and unwarrented attack.

However I've now learned my lesson. As a devoted fan of live music, I have now resolved never to set out for run unless I am accompaned by at least one of the following - a string quartet, a gipsy violinist, a celidh band, a tribute band or a Welsh choir.

On a more serious note, if you find running so unpleasant that you have to resort to the means of taking your mind off it, then perhaps it just isn't the sport for you.
02/06/2008 at 21:23
 i love running to music. it really energises me. i have the volume such that I am still aware of my surroundings and am putting myself in no danger/ nor anyone else in danger. the music helped me through the FLM. I could manage short runs without music;but i prefer it with. I can understand though how frustrating it is in a race when you are trying to overtake a person blasting away their i pod. i think at sensible'background' levels;people should be able to listen to music if they wish. if they do not wish; they shouldn't be critical of those who do. everyone is different in this world and it would be boring if we were all the same
02/06/2008 at 21:28

Let's be honest here. Runner's World is going to say running with music is bliss because Nike is throwing the cash around. It's the same with rubbish races such as the British 10k, which are never given the kicking they desrve because they throw the cash about.

 Personally, used to listen to music when I was a jogger, don't now as can't run with music on.

02/06/2008 at 21:41


I don't think Nike will be fussed what the outcome is. Think about it, they have two products out at the moment- Nike+ (with music) and sportband (without music), so whatever the outcome they have a product that covers both angles.

 I personally enjoy listening to music and podcasts whilst I run, although when training seriously, I like to skip the music and concentrate on my pace and breathing.


02/06/2008 at 21:43

I dont think it comes down to people finding running being "unpleasant". For me listening to music whilst doing longer runs makes the whole experience even more enjoyable, just a bit of company I guess.

At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preferrance. Some hate it, some love it. 

I think there maybe a problem if someone absolutely cannot run without an ipod at anytime and at any distance.

02/06/2008 at 21:43
I run to my own rhythm - no ipod - always found sufficient natural (music) noise to distract when the going gets tough.
02/06/2008 at 21:45
It's a shame to see Muzzy persisting with his line that opponents of iPods are opponents of deaf runners. They're not, and have never said they are. Enforced silence (or tinnitis or whatever) from hearing loss is one thing; voluntary distraction through headphones something entirely different. The former is not a safety issue, the latter is. Or rather, the former is a safety issue but it's one its sufferers are aware of and can compensate for.
02/06/2008 at 21:53
well said M    
02/06/2008 at 21:57

Totally agree, Muttley. Nicely put.

02/06/2008 at 22:09

FF runs to music most of the time except club nights.  I don't get annoyed at runners passing me without headphones and always switch off my music to bid good day.  I find the fierceness of some non-ipod wearers completely bizarre.  My music helps me to switch off and stop thinking for sometime...white noise in a midst of a chaotic life (I work full time nights as a midwife and have four children).   As for birdsong...I live in the country and they wake me at 0400 with that noise!!!  If I'm struggling up a hill a change of track will get me up there!  As for safety I turn my music off to cross the road but run mostly off road ..... occasionally, if I'm out early, i'll turn my music off to out-stare a deer or two.

Live and let live I those who run in sillence, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy running to my tunes.

02/06/2008 at 22:12

I mostly run with music when I'm training to motivate me for tempo running and intervals.  I tend to run faster if there is pounding beat and I'm having amazing fun whereas if I've got time to appreciate the scenery and the sounds around me, then I find I'm not necessarily running at my best level unless its an LSR day.

That said, if I'm running in a public place, I usually only have one earphone in (I know musos will be shocked at my lack of stereo!) but it means I am more aware of my surroundings than if I'm plugged in fully and cranked to the max.

I always take my iPod to races but have pretty much never listened to it as my pace is totally different as I get caught up with other runners whereas when I run on my own, I'm not so aware of my pace being too fast, too slow or inconsistent without music (I now have a HRM to help me out with that one!)  Plus in bigger races, the atmosphere is so brilliant, I wouldn't want to miss out

02/06/2008 at 22:20

My Ipod keeps me going. I try to listen to music with the same or similar tempo to my running. That way i can run in time to the beat and it stops me from slowing down. Its added motivation for me as well cos I think "I'll just keep going till the end of this song"

I do, however leave it at home when I'm running in the evenings and when I am using it, I only listen at a volume that means I can hear the music and know whats going on around me.

As for during races, I agree with Melissa. I have it just loud enough for me to hear both my music and the support from the crowd.

02/06/2008 at 22:24

I use a Nike+ thing with no head phones.  I can't stand the noise in my ears!

02/06/2008 at 22:29

I always run with music on when training - not in a race,  I feel it gives me a boost, but I am still aware of whats going on and remember how to cross a road.  There seems to be a bit of snobbery coming out here:  if you need to listen to music while you are running then you are not a proper runner.  Some people like it, some don't - doesn't make you any more or less of a runner. Music can enhance a lot of experiences - I find running is one of them.

Each to their own 

02/06/2008 at 22:44

Agree with LWR.

Runners = purists and no ipods  ?   Joggers = riff raff like me who listen to music occasionally   ???    

Really ?

Each to their own and neither should enforce their views on others nor affect others with their choice. Suggesting listening to music makes you a jogger /because you don't enjoy running is bizarre. I listen to music when I cook, drive and er 'play'..... it doesn't ruin those activities nor does it suggest that I hate those activities.

The wearing of ipods etc in races/on roads  being safe or socially polite is a separate argument 

02/06/2008 at 22:46

Well said, Mrs Pig!

02/06/2008 at 23:02

Headphones in training = good

Headphones in races = bad

02/06/2008 at 23:39

I wonder if it's linked to the why bit of running. Varying as it does, I can see why this subject gets a bit heated. Personally I'm in the silent camp, and I do have to admit that although I think everyone should be able to run with the soundtrack they chose, I just can't understand why anyone would want to run with music. But that's probably because I run for 'headspace', as much as anything. I never really got on with any kind of consistent meditation practice, and I think that running works for me as a close alternative. It's the time that I'm completely present - aware of my body, of my breath, of the breeze on my skin.....of the van man honking his horn and shouting "hello sexy" (Sexy? Sexy? In this gear? With this blotchy red face? Looking this close from keeling over?) . That's the thing: I get to be focused and contemplative, but also I'm connected to what's going on around me.

It's downtime thinking. I'm not thinking about anything much, but I get the feeling that stuff is ticking over. For me listening to music means I'm not listening to what's around me, or to myself. But then what I want out of running, and how i respond to music, won't be the same as someone else. Which is fine, just as long as no-one wants me to run with music I really felt for the both of the journalists - look forward to seeing how the experiment turns out really. Even if it is a little cruel and unusual (to me at least)

Edited: 02/06/2008 at 23:40
02/06/2008 at 23:43

Eloquent, but missing the point. I don't think anyone cares whether we listen to music or not in training.

Really, no one cares.

Races? That's different. But training -- people do what they want to do, and that's OK.

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