Running with Music?

Without a doubt, music can add a lot to a run. Music has the power to draw extra energy out and can make a long run fly by. I have, at times, used my shuffle on every run, but I have also gone the purist route and not listened to music on any of my runs for months on end. My take on whether or not to train with earphones is always changing.

This past week I ran a workout that I know is most important for getting me ready for a marathon: the 15 mile tempo run. For this workout I run a 20 minute easy warm up, then do some drills and strides before beginning 15 miles run at “marathon effort.” I say “marathon effort” because I live and train and 7,000 ft so “marathon effort” is usually 10-15 seconds per mile slower than “marathon pace.” The course I run is equally challenging to the Boston marathon and usually there is some wind to battle so my times may not reflect what time I can run for a marathon, but I can always make sure to run the right effort level.

As I was heading out the door to begin my tempo I was debating whether or not to grab my earphones. I decided to grab them but upon turning it on a little red light flashed at me indicating the power was close to running out. I thought to myself, well that answers that question, threw the earphones on our steps and headed out the door. In hind sight I was glad I didn’t use the earphones. I needed to practice what I want to be thinking during the Boston Marathon. If I get so used to listening to music on every run than what am I going to do with my thoughts when I am out there for 2 hours running with no music to encourage me along the way?

I think its important to be able to encourage myself without music. This doesn’t mean that I’ll never train with music but there are times when it is time to leave the Ipod at home. You can choose or you can just wait till the battery runs out.

This entry was posted in Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. TomsMVP
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I love music. I just can’t run without it. My mom washed my mp3 player and day later i bought myself a new one. I had a problem with earphones then i bought Sennheiser cx380 sweat and water resistant. I have noticed if i listen to a rhythmic song my heart rate raises for like 10bpm. So if i want to go for an easy run i usually upload some audio book . I listen to every kind of genres of music but they must be rhythmic. In races I always run with no earphones because I have to think about tactics, how i am feeling, how am I breathing etc. To wrap this all up I would say I can’t imagine my training without music…

    P.S. on unrelated note just purchased your and meb’s book from amazon can’t wait for them to arrive ;)

  2. Posted March 14, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink


    That’s a really interesting post, as I’d never would have thought athletes of your caliber would take the iPod on a workout like that. Makes me feel like less of a wimp for doing it. :)

    Like you, I go hot and cold on it — currently I don’t take it, except for long runs, which makes me appreciate both the days with and the days without.

    Have you had coaches that felt strongly about it one way or the other?


  3. Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Marcus. Who would have thought that an elite runner would have the daily dilemma of running with or without music. Personally, I gave up the music my first year of running. I just take so much more in when not listening to anything.

  4. Cynthia Docter
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    If I am running more than 3 miles I like to have my mp3 player with me. My top preference is some of the faster paced Christian music. Quite often on my runs though, I use it as time with God. I use it to pray and listen for guidance. I also just like to take in my surroundings and to be thankful for all of God’s amazing gifts!

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.