When it comes to running, perhaps you are nothing short of being passionate about the sport. In other words, you dedicate much of your waking time to lacing up those shoes and hitting the great outdoors for a sweaty, but greatly fulfilling run. You may have also participated in a handful of races—both amateur and professional—as well as even earning a few medals in the process. True, you are in it to win it, but at the same time you love running for the sake of feeling good and happy.
That said, perhaps you listen to music as you run, or maybe you are interested in getting started in doing so. Especially when it comes to getting a runner’s high or achieving your next personal record, you might want to test out whether listening to music can help you out in the process.
In any case, we got you covered! Our article will provide you lots of in-depth information on the benefits to listening to music while running, as well as offer you some song recommendations to get you started. In essence, we are taking your most frequently-asked questions and breaking them down for you to easily understand, so that you can get around to implementing it in no time. Soon enough, you will be well on your way to a better, more productive practice.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business!
First things first, it is important to take a step back and consider the benefits and potential drawbacks when it comes to listening to music while working out. Some runners tout the merits of blasting songs through their headphones while others advocate for pure silence while on the trails.
Here, we give you both the pros and cons of listening to music while running, and ultimately, it is up to you to decide where to take it from there:
Especially when it comes to pushing yourself on that intense six-mile run, having some upbeat music can alter your perception of how your body currently feels. In other words, you might not feel as much pain and strain while blasting some of that hard-core rap music, all the while feeling light as a feather once you finish the run.
Particularly if you listen to calming music while running, you might find that you will feel more relaxed and at ease with yourself. Your pace might become more consistent, you might feel more comfortable, and overall, you might even feel happy! This is partly due to the fact that music takes away from the stress and fatigue (as stated in the previous point), which then causes your mood to lighten up.
Despite the music at times, you will still experience some bouts of fatigue on your run, especially longer ones. However, blasting some loud, aggressive tracks can be surprising, offering you that extra burst of energy to sprint all-out to the finish line or the end of your running route. In the end, you will feel that rush of endorphins like never before, which goes to show that that last-minute sprint really did pay off.
Whereas listening to music is great for distracting yourself from the pain and fatigue in your muscles, it can also be a downside to fully concentrating on the run at hand. Especially if you enjoy a particular song, you might start losing focus, and as a result cause your pace to slip up, thereby not challenging you in the process.
Of course, listening to music blocks out external stimuli in the environment. Such features include traffic, pedestrians, and other things outside. Especially if you live and run in the urban jungle, you have to be particularly careful when it comes to crossing stoplights and avoiding cars and bicycles in the way. With music, it can be dangerous when trying to avoid such external factors, due to the volume you choose to put out into your ears.
Related the previous point above, listening to music in high volumes can adversely affect your ears in terms of hearing damage. While not related to exercise, it nevertheless is related to your overall health, which can make it problematic when it comes to listening to conversations, let alone traffic on future runs.
If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of listening to music while running, this video is a great one to start with:
With a plethora of different music genres out there, it can be a daunting process of navigating, let alone sifting through, the ideal kinds that will make your running experience just a bit more motivating. You will also have to consider the fact that you might not like certain genres of music, which can make listening to them while running more of an inconvenience rather than something helpful.
That said, here are some of the most-common or most-effective music genres that you can listen to while running. While you might not like some of them, we give you the freedom to choose just what will suit you the best:
Although these are two very different types of music, rap and hip-hop end up getting lumped together into the same category due to their lyrics and tones. In other words, they are the epitome of aggressive tracks, which can fuel you up for some of the most-grueling workouts out there. From people like Kanye West to Chance the Rapper, you have a wide variety of diverse artists that not only tell stories, but also in an aggressive manner in which you can vicariously take out while pounding against the pavement.
You might be surprised to discover that there are varying degrees of metal within the genre, including death metal, thrash metal, and industrial metal. All the same, these different subgenres have the common feature of being just as aggressive and loud as rap and hip-hop music, so you can be sure to get a sweaty and satisfying workout in without much trouble. You can get with the likes of classics like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, or more-recent favorites like Linkin Park—the possibilities are truly endless!
Again, just like with the previous genres that were discussed above, the rock genre has a lot of different subgenres to please just about any musical palate out there. For instance, there is classic rock from The Eagles and Journey, or more-current groups like Muse and the Foo Fighters. While some tracks might be more laid-back and slower pace, let alone less aggressive, than other genres, their strong guitar riffs and rhythmic drums are sure to still get you excited to run faster and harder than ever before.
Particularly common among youths today, electronic music is a versatile genre that can be used for just about any occasion besides running, from parties to casual venues in the everyday life. What is interesting is the fact that such music is produced synthetically, through the use of machines rather than actual musical instruments (or at least, through digitally-altered technology). There are your dance tracks to fire you up, as well as chill ambient melodies to help you pace yourself. Current artists like DJ Snake and Kygo are good ones to turn to, as means of getting “turned up” for your next practice!
Believe it or not, some runners actually tout the benefits of listening to classical music while running. Some people might say that classical music is too soothing, even boring, to get fueled up for runs, but in fact, there are some energetic pieces out there that are just as encouraging as some electronic music out there. Plus, having some calming tracks can put you in a meditative mood as you are running long stretches on the road. Try out the favorites like Vivaldi and Bach, and you will see what we mean!
For some various types of music to listen to while running, this popular playlist video will help you get well on your way:
Now that you have an idea of what kinds of music genres are ideal for running out there, it is time to consider just what kind of listening devices you should use to listen to them. With technology growing more than ever in today’s society, we have seen rapid improvement in designing some of the lightest, sleekest, and well-featured devices to make running all the more convenient. Here are just some below:
An old classic, Walkman has been the standard device of running since it was first invented several decades ago. Besides being used for running, they have also been used for walking and doing chores around the house. The downside to them is that they tend to be rather clunky and heavy, as well as some of them being only compatible with tapes or CDs (which have since been outdated).
After Walkman comes the iPod, which has made an effort since the turn of the century to be smaller and lighter than its music predecessor. It also comes with more features, from skipping to looping songs that you would not have otherwise been able to do on the Walkman. However, iPods are solely used for listening to music, for they cannot help you track your mileage or time your splits, let alone make phone calls in case of an emergency.
Especially for smartphones, many people end up using their phone’s storage space to add songs in, or use streaming through websites like Pandora and Spotify to mix things up each time. Not only that, but also your phone comes with location tracking to help you map out your itinerary, as well as including applications which can estimate your calorie burn and mile splits.
The drawbacks, however, are that it can be annoying to continuously grip your phone as you run, which can get sweaty and unpleasant in the process. Not only that, but also the unstable movement while running can cause the phone to slip and fall to the ground, possibly breaking its screen, which is not ideal, either. There are, however, some ways to carry a phone while running, as we highlight in this article.
For some hard-core athletes, headphones can be an accessible device to use while running. With popular brands like Beats by Dre out there in the market, many consumers are turning to them for that hands-free running experience. However, some runners might find them rather heavy and clunky on the head, as well as easily able to slip off from all of the bouncing in running. In addition, some have noise-cancelling properties, which might be good to stay “in the zone” while exercising, but also makes it unsafe to run through traffic on the road.
Again, with technology growing nowadays, inventors have come around to create devices which focus on being active, while also having all of the features associated with smartphones. That said, GPS wristbands are perfect for mapping your workouts, calculating calorie burn and timing, and all the while having music options to keep you going. Then again, being relatively new, there still remains to be progress in expanding such devices to incorporate phone-calling services, as well as more music space inside.
Finally, there are also lots of great MP3 players out there for your choosing. They are focused solely on getting you the music that you want, all the while being relatively portable in style for easy carrying around. Again, they do not contain phone-calling or exercise-tracking features, which some runners might want to benefit from.
Here, we include a playlist you might enjoy:
1. “Dog Days Are Over”- Florence + the Machine
2. “Run the World”- Beyonce
3. “Titanium”- David Guetta feat. Sia
4. “Lose Yourself”- Eminem
5. “Beautiful Day”- U2
6. “Stronger”- Kanye West
7. “Radioactive”- Imagine Dragons
8. “Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor
9. “Can’t Hold Us”- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
10. “Turn Down For What?”- DJ Snake and Lil Jon
In terms of running and listening to music, it is not a bad idea to consider. With the benefits of doing so, it is time that you get started getting pumped up for your next workout regime. Comment down below your favorite songs to work out to, and share this article with your friends and family if you think they need it!