Running Pro and Con: Should I Run With Music?

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In this day and age, seeing a runner with headphones is almost as common as passing one without. Finely tuned playlists and modernized wireless headphones have made the personalized concert experience a standard. “BUT AT WHAT COST?” asks the reactionary in each of us as we run through the analysis of media accentuated miles. Let’s examine the problem cerebrally with a Pro and Con-versation.

Con: What are you doing?

Pro: I’m going for a run…?

Con: Oh. And that will be with the headphones?

Pro: Huh? What? I’m plugged in. Can’t hear ya!

Con: Hmmm, well it was nice knowing ya!

Pro: Right now? Really? You want to do this now?

Con: You’re the one doing it. I am but the innocent bystander, unable to draw my gaze from the car wreck that is your life.

Pro: Bystander my left foot. And running with music is great. I tune in, the songs take over, and the miles just float on by. With music I can really get lost in the run. Also, music has even been shown to heighten the emotional impact of an experience, so music means more joy!

Con: Sure, you plug in, get in your groove, and then you float in front of oncoming traffic. How high of an experience does actually soaring through the air rate?

Pro: You are aware that turning your head and using your EYES can also alert you to the presence of moving objects, right?

Con: But aren’t you “lost in the run?”

Pro: Fine, I become “found” at intersections, and I do most of my running on trails and bike paths anyway.

Con: I will counter with all of the runners on trails and bike paths who jump and scream at each passing person that they didn’t hear approaching.

Pro: That can happen without music too, so I will grant you only partial credit. Plus, uptempo songs lead to some great uptempo runs that you may not have thought possible. Music facilitates better training.

Con: Oh definitely. I’ve been there. Running is rhythmic, heartbeat is bumping with the bass. You could outrun a mounted police officer if you needed to. And then you turn a corner and an icy tendril of fear creeps up your spine. Are you going too fast? Should you slow down? Your legs won’t allow it. They have to keep going. Van Halen is shouting about running with the devil, and you never let the devil get ahead on a run. Never! Then, whoops, the wheels fall off. You’re gasping, confused, and somehow still pleased with yourself. You’re prematurely exhausted.


Con: What?

Pro: Proud of yourself?

Con: A little.

Pro: Bye.

Con: Deuces!

Image courtesy of @kellykkroberts on Instagram

As a special treat for those who side with the Pro argument, check out the new music-storing New Balance RunIQ GPS Smart Watch and accompanying PaceIQ Wireless Headphones, as well as a small selection of accessories and apparel items that include features specifically designed to facilitate auditory enjoyment along your run.

IQ Gear

Shop the New Balance RunIQ GPS Smart Watch

Shop the New Balance PaceIQ Wireless Sport Headphones


Shop for Running Phone and Electronic Carriers

Women’s Apparel

Shop the Sugoi Women’s Fusion 4 Inch 2 In 1 Short

Shop the New Balance Women’s Ice Tank

Shop the Salomon Women’s Agile Short Sleeve Tee

Men’s Apparel

Shop the Sugoi Men’s Titan 7″ 2 in 1 Short

Shop the New Balance Men’s Ice Singlet

Shop the Salomon Men’s Agile Short Sleeve Tee

Shop the La Sportiva Men’s Sonic T-Shirt

Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.

Read more posts by Will

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