Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

1 to 20 of 523 messages
02/06/2008 at 11:32

Hi guys

We've teamed up with Nike to host a month-long debate into the pros and cons of running with music, and want to hear what you think.

Does listening to your favourite tunes help you stay fired up and focused? Maybe you have different playlists for different sessions? Or perhaps you wouldn't dream of adding a soundtrack to your daily run?

Whatever your thoughts, we'd love you to share your experiences right here on this thread.

Feel free to post comments and questions for our two intrepid journalists too, and let us know if you have any questions you'd like us to pose to the experts.

Happy running! 

Edited: 02/06/2008 at 15:38
02/06/2008 at 15:50
see previous thread(s), all 50 of em
02/06/2008 at 15:53
[bangs head on desk..........]

oh dog
02/06/2008 at 15:54


Maybe Catherine means runners who wear earmuffs

02/06/2008 at 15:55

 looks like an eco friendly iPod

02/06/2008 at 16:02
i see where this thread's going
02/06/2008 at 16:05

No, I've deleted my message. I can't bear going through all this crap again.

Edited: 02/06/2008 at 16:06
02/06/2008 at 16:08
think for a while i saw about one new thread a week on this subject...couldn't RW just read those
02/06/2008 at 16:10

Nevermind iPods - I can't get my nike+ sportband to work properly!

I don't have an iPod/MP3 because I'm technologically incompetent (and don't have a computer at home for that reason).

I can't understand why it winds people up so much!  Is it because people who run without them feel ignored by those who do?

I've even seen marshals posting that they don't call out encouragement to racers who're wearing them.  How mean-minded it that?

02/06/2008 at 16:19

I love my music whilst running.  I see absolutely no reason why one should not have the choice of running with or without music.

Catherine RW - yes I have different playlists for different sessions with high tempo for speed and some funky/chilled for longer runs. It does take your mind off the pain and if you are unlucky enough to have to run on the roads (lone female runner) then it can also drown out the constant noise of cars, white van men beeping and idiots shouting silly things like "get those knees up".

Symes    pirate
02/06/2008 at 16:36
02/06/2008 at 16:49

I never used to run with any music playing because a) I couldn't find decent earplugs that would stay in and b) I thought it was for 'joggers' so no serious runner should entertain the idea.

 Now you can get hold of some really good sports head-sets I run with music in when I am on my own and without music when running in a group. I find music helps to stem the boredom when I am out on my own so I tend to stay out a bit longer, but seriously doubt whether it improves your running - only running with better runners does that in my opinion.  

 I say, run with music when on your own if you like, but if you really want to improve then join a club!

02/06/2008 at 17:13

You could always try the search function you know ....

From a security point of view, I feel far happier running without music. 

Athletes who tune into how they feel while they run are less likely to find music a helpful distraction while, for those who prefer to externalise their thoughts, plugging themselves into an MP3 player is just one of the ways they can get the most from their training

I often 'externalise my thoughts' if that's what you want to call it but don't need an i-pod to help with that....  though if Nike have any going free  so I can trial this theory as well....  

02/06/2008 at 17:14


In what sense have you "teamed up" with Nike? Might a little bias creep in somewhere??

02/06/2008 at 17:19

lol Joddly. I'm sure Nike is going to be super happy to hear more forumites prefer silence than music unless it can give them some more marketing tips... here's the current vote:

Edited: 02/06/2008 at 17:19
02/06/2008 at 17:27

When I was a slower runner I used to do longer runs with an MP3 player, however, now I find them a serious distraction... I now just have "arguments", "smack my boss" and all sorts in my mind now  as I'm running and by the time I get back home... I'm fresh, not angry and chilled for the rest of the day!

 I think people can become a little dependant on them... just go out into the hills, and run... and chill... and hear the sound of silence, it's fantastic in some places

Cheers Pug

02/06/2008 at 17:27
I run alone, and always listen to radio 4 on an old mobile phone with a single earpiece.  I don't run with music, but can see the appeal.  Each to their own I reckon.  Does anyone else get motivated by Farming Today and the Today programme?  Perhaps I'd go more quickly with Led Zepp in my ears. 
Edited: 02/06/2008 at 17:28
02/06/2008 at 17:29

Hi Joddly

Without giving too much away, Nike will be giving RW members access to some exclusive material over the course of the next four weeks, so it is in that sense that they are associated with the event.

As for how the debate evolves, that's entirely down to you guys...

Edited: 02/06/2008 at 17:30
02/06/2008 at 17:32

I know this debate has been had many times but I did want to make a comment on the article - should safety not feature in it somewhere? I don't mean the risk of getting your ipod nicked, I mean the general lack of awareness of other road users that running with music blaring out creates. I've been run into a couple of times by other runners who were completely away with the fairies listening to their music and didn't look where they were going. Grrr... I really do think people sometimes underestimate the importance of hearing - if you're going to listen to music at least be aware that you are a sense short!

I must admit I have occaisionally listened to music on some of my long winter marathon training runs, but mostly I run without. Especially now it's summer, the days are longer and it's easier to get offroad - who wants music when they can have birdsong at dusk?

02/06/2008 at 17:45
I tend to go out with my MP3 on 99 per cent of the time, the only problem it causes is road crosing and not hearing people coming out to either side or dare i say it from the rear. no jokes please., i find music motivates me especially rocky themes or the likes of on long runs
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