How to Listen to Music While Running

Beginners' Running Advice & Motivation,Expert Advice on Running Accessories
How to Listen to Music While Running

Music. It has constantly been around us and can contribute so much to how we feel daily; it can really boost your motivation to get through errands, set the mood while preparing your dinner or just some background sound for your ‘me time’. But running with music has been an idea that works for some and not for all.

Is it safe? Does it improve your running? What type of music should you listen to? Discover the reasons as to why running with music can be a good idea for those who struggle to stay consistent and strong during their runs, as well as the risks of running outdoors with headphones.


Benefits of running with music

  • It can provide a source of motivation. 
  • A certain song can make you feel good and give you that extra push in the final mile!
  • Running for a long time with music can help pass time and allow you to stay in the zone. 
  • Your breathing pace can improve, when you’re listening to a particular beat or melody. 
  • Many studies confirm that the use of music during aerobic events can have positive effects on exercise, enhancing performance, such as faster running speeds and reduced blood lactate levels. But it has no effect on pacing strategy. Simply put, it influences exercise intensity and rating of perceived effort. This explains why we can achieve greater energy efficiency while exercising with music – running duration, breathing frequency and faster heart-rate recovery. 

Is it safe to run while listening to music?

It is a great feeling achieving a running session with the partial aid of some sound in your ears. However, there are a few risks when running with headphones outdoors; for example, if you’re tunnel visioned while jogging across a quiet area, it will be very difficult to hear any oncoming motor vehicles – which can be catastrophic. More potential dangers include running with music in badly-lit or isolated areas by yourself.


How to safely listen to music while running

  • Allow ambient noise
  • Keep music at a reasonable level
  • Avoid running with music in heavily trafficked areas
  • Leave one headphone out 
  • Stay vigilant
  • Consider Bone Conduction headphones (see below)
  • Consider a running watch with bluetooth (see below)

BONE CONDUCTION HEADPHONES FOR RUNNING

There is a new style of headphones which are quickly gaining popularity and could be a solution to the risks associated when running with music: Bone Conduction headphones. What are they? Well, they are headphones which sit on your cheekbones rather than your ears; they have a unique open-ear design so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favourite songs.

These headphones use patented bone conduction technology to send mini vibrations through your cheekbones to your inner ear, allowing your ears to be open to ambient sounds, for maximum situational awareness and safety. Shokz (formerly Aftershokz) is currently the leading brand for bone-conduction sound technology and here are a few options that are highly recommended. All the Shokz headphones range from £80-£160 and are definitely worth trying! 

SHOP ALL SHOKZ HEADPHONES

Shokz OpenRun Headphones
£129.95

• Quick-charge • Race-approved sport headphones for all UK Athletics road running events • 8 hours music + calls • IP67 waterproof • Wireless connection, Bluetooth v5.0 • Sweat, dust and moisture resistant • Moisture detecting alert for charging

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones
£159.95

• Shokz premium headphones: 9th generation of bone conduction technology with enhanced bass • IP65 sweatproof (against splashing water) • Wireless connection, Bluetooth v5.1 • 50% leakage sound reduction • 10 hours music + calls • Fully charged in 1 hour & quick-charge function (5 min = 1.5h of music) • Microphone: dual noise cancelling

Shokz OpenMove Headphones
£79.95

• All-round fitness addition to the award winning Shokz range! • PremiumPitch 2.0 wireless technology - Bluetooth V5 • Smaller size, IP55 sweat resistant • Excellent transmission with 6-hour battery life • Type C charging port

RUNNING WATCHES WITH MUSIC

A good running watch will provide you with useful information both during your run and afterwards, helping you track your progress and plan your training. Some watches also have the key features of GPS and music, which give you more of the ultimate running experience. Running watches can also educate you on how to run faster by working out your cadence, heart rate zones and VO2 max levels as you run.

More common smartwatches like the Apple Watch will suffice for those who run casually, but if you’re looking to train more regularly or for a long-distance event like marathon, then you’ll want to look at a dedicated running watch from the likes of Polar or Garmin. The main focus of these watches is solely on running (or multi-sports), and on your progress. Here a few options which have the music feature as well as many other useful attributes to contribute to your runs:

SHOP ALL GPS RUNNING WATCHES

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS Watch
£255.00 £300.00

• Display type: Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) • Battery life: Smartwatch Mode: Up to 7 days; GPS mode: Up to 24 hours • Memory/history: 200 hours of activity data • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo - speed and distance • Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor

Garmin Forerunner 745
£340.00 £400.00

Built to hold up to 200 runs, bumpy bike rides and long swims. Comfortable for training, racing and for everyday life, this multi-sport watch is the smallest and lightest full-featured running and triathlon smartwatch.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Multisport Watch
£510.00 £600.00

• Music storage up to 2000 songs • Downloadable training plans • Run workouts • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies • All-day stress tracking

Garmin Fenix 6 S Pro Multisport Watch
£510.00 £600.00

• GPS + GLONASS + GALILEO • Music storage up to 2000 songs • Plays and controls watch music • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies • Underwater wrist-based heart rate

Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar
£779.99

• Perfect for any athletic or outdoor challenge. Tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance • Scratch-resistant Power Sapphire™ solar charging lens uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life by 30% more • Powering advanced training features, sports apps, health and wellness monitoring sensors & more • Music storage up to 2,000 songs • Plays and controls watch music with touchscreen and buttons

Garmin Fenix 7 S Sapphire Solar
£779.99

• Music storage up to 2000 songs • Plays and controls watch music with touchscreen and buttons • Multi-sport and cycling profiles enabled (Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking, Triathlon) • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo + Multicontinent Topo maps • Also available in 1.3” (47mm case) and 1.4” (51mm case) display.

From all the explanations and research surrounding this topic, we can certainly determine that running with music benefits performance in a number of ways. People use music to make jogs more enjoyable and allow them to focus on their health: a win-win, right? 

If you practise running with music while maintaining a good level of focus on your surroundings (so having the volume at a reasonable level), then you shouldn’t encounter any issues. Just be sure that you stick to  a safe environment, or try using the treadmill for a practise run and see how you get on. Give it a go!

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