To run with or without music?


A question I get asked a lot “can I run with music?” when people are joining our run club.

While I would rather you mingle with the group, and experience the group atmosphere of run club, here are a few ideas about running with and without music.

People run for a variety of reasons;

  • weight loss
  • fun
  • switch off
  • fitness
  • race preparation
  • and more

Whatever your reason is, it’s totally ok. But if you are wanting to improve your running, either speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, you might consider running without music (at least for the short term)

And here’s why:

  • Listening to your feet can give you a huge amount of feedback to what is happening with your feet and in fact your entire lower limbs. Are you thumping like an elephant? Or do you glide like gazelle? Losing control and landing heavy can mean a loss of energy and therefore costing you time and efficiency. Strengthening your glutes, hip flexors and feet muscles can give you more control and therefore your step will become lighter and faster.


  • Breathing – are you sucking all of the air out of your space, or are you a quiet breather? There is no one perfect way to breath, everyone is different, but the key is to get as much air in your lungs as possible with each breath. You want to expand your belly rather than shrugging your shoulders while doing short high chest breathes. Something I find helps is starting your running with a relaxed, full breathing cycle. High stress, or rushed lifestyles shorten our breathing and if you are coming off a stressful day then trying to do some hill sprints, you are already out of breath. Try incorporating some belly breathing for 60-120 seconds before starting your run.


So should you run with or without music?

If you want to change your running – speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, it might pay to listen to what is happening with your feet and your breathing and then you can get an idea of what you can work on. Then you can add your music back into your runs later 🙂


Happy running!