Should You Listen to Music While Running?

But what’s the harm in listening to some pump-up jams during a hard workout?

Yes. Pump up the jams.

This one goes out to all the beginners–all the brand new, struggling runners who never would have made it to the second lap if not for the sweet sound of Jay-Z thumping through their headphones–the only distraction from the searing pain pinballing back and forth between legs and lungs.

There is no reason you should feel shame for wearing headphones.

white earbuds

Yes, many of us came to running in search of time alone with our bodies and minds, and the chance for a quiet hour or two in which to reflect. Certainly those types of runs should be honored and enjoyed–sans technology–on a regular basis, as needed.But what about the filler runs? Those heavy-legged training runs when you have to force yourself out into the rain? Studies have shown that external stimuli, such as music, can block out some of your fatigue and spur you to longer distances and faster miles, reducing your perception of your body’s limits. Just try waiting until the last six miles of a marathon to kick on your playlist of pump-up jams, and tell me you didn’t get the mother of all second winds.

To be honest, I never would have started running at all without music, and though I only use it for around 30 percent of my runs now, it hasn’t hampered my ability to connect with my body or achieve a “flow state.” It elevates my mood, helps me change up my paces, and gives me a needed burst of power late in a race. Sure, I enjoy plenty of my runs with the company of friends or my own thoughts. But if you see me tearing across the finish line like I’m the star of an action movie, imbued with the power of endorphins and 1,000 guitar riffs, you better believe I’m doing it with a soundtrack.

pic 1

With a High Quality Cell Phone Headset, like the Shaka Tech Earbuds it is pretty safe to run while listening to music.


  1. kari_ontherun · January 8, 2015

    Run the majority of my runs with music in the ears. Hard workouts as well as distance or long runs. Definitely boosting some of those runs. But some other hard runs have been done with other runners or alone and the effort put in those runs did give results as well.
    I think that when the mind ain’t too keen on pushing the body, that having music can help giving this extra kick.
    Will try your suggestion to start the music when only 6 miles from the finish line.


    • shakatech · January 8, 2015

      its good to know music inspires you on your runs, stay on that great track 🙂


  2. To be honest, I couldn’t run without music. It helps me to relax and to stay motivated. Just switching or editing my running play list is a huge motivator :).


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