Should I run to music or not? - Women's Running

Should I run to music or not?

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  July 3, 2014


Laura Byrne may be a sports PR but she is also a complete running novice….until now. We at Women’s Running have asked Laura to not only start running but to bravely blog about the highs and lows for all the world to see. adidas will support Laura’s goal to morph into a runner by the Reigate Half Marathon in September. This is Laura’s third blog post…

Running was intimidating – until now

After writing about pain in last week’s post, I’ve decided to talk about something a bit more fun this time – music! Every runner I speak to has an opinion on this, and recommendations vary a lot.

When I started running I never listened to music. I wear headphones to hear distance and split time updates from an app on my phone, but I always found music interfered with my breathing no matter what I was listening to. I also run with someone else most of the time, so it’s quite nice to be able to chat to each other.

Lots of people talk about running as a kind of therapy, using it as an outlet to work through problems and issues or just escape from the day to day. There’s an argument that to really get into this ‘zone’, you should be focusing on yourself and your route, and that music is a distraction from this.

However, I do know lots of runners who are convinced that a good beat or inspirational track can really be the difference between giving up and achieving that extra mile. I’ve got a friend who swears by a classical music soundtrack to her runs, despite the fact that she’d never bother with it in normal life!

I’m still deciding – I like listening to what’s going on around me, but similarly when I’m struggling at points in my route it does help to focus on something other than my tired legs. I’ve been testing out a combination of music and no music at different points and so have my own Spotify running playlist ready to go for whenever I feel myself flagging (no classical in there though).

There’s lots of existing running playlists on Spotify, but it’s really about personal taste – I’ve not found any that work for me yet so I’m about to try the adidas #boostyourrun Spotify tool. It creates a specially curated playlist based on your city, favourite running track, estimated distance and how far they want to push yourself. It also suggests popular running routes in your area which is useful as I’m beginning to get bored of my usual ones – I find it mentally more difficult when I know what to expect so I’m planning to keep mixing it up and finding new places to explore.

My top five running tracks of the moment:

  1. Fade – Jakwob ft. Maiday
  2. From Nowhere – Dan Croll
  3. My Girls – Animal Collective
  4. Changes – Faul & Wad Ad
  5. The Mother We Share – Churches

Getting into running is an ongoing series of trial and error, so it’s worth trying a few different things and seeing what works for you!

Want to be featured on our Inspiration pages? Email us at [email protected] or talk to us in the comment thread below – we will do our best to get back to you soon. Follow us on twitter via @womensrunningukYou can find some ideas in our animated ‘Workouts’ section here.

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NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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