When I started to really get into distance running (think college, back in ’04 and ’05), it was not an easy thing to go running with music. I think I had some old school headphones that weren’t made for running and the mp3 player that I ran with was the size of a walkman, and there was no way to strap it anywhere on your body… so you had to carry it. #firstworldproblems
It was a pain, and more of a hassle than anything. At that time, Twin Cities Marathon, the first marathon I ever ran!, didn’t allow you to run with music and I took it to heart so started running without music. Over the years, I’ve stuck with this and I love running with nothing but my thoughts. Plus, it meant that I could overhear some really good convos on the trails. 😉
But, my thoughts on running with music have changed. I’ve started to actually build this into my training more and more. First of all, the technology has changed quite a bit. It’s much easier to pop in some wireless headphones, put your phone in a pocket and Bluetooth a Spotify playlist (<– upgrading to the $10/month premium account is literally one of the best investments I’ve made this year… so worth it) and you are ready to go!
Secondly, sometimes I feel like my mind just needs a break. Don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons why I love running is because I can think all the thoughts in the world and get my mind straight. It makes it easy to digest and process those tough emotions, and a favorite is to problem solve for issues that I face. But sometimes… I just don’t want to think. I truly want to escape and I don’t want to think about the decisions I need to make in life or how I feel about certain things.
And music help me gets there. Focusing on the lyrics or the beat makes it easy to shut off my mind (which does not happen very often) and just… run. I love running with music for this reason.
Lastly, I think running with music can seriously have some positive results on your running. I mean, there are some people that actually think running with music is cheating (I know). I’ve noticed that with my mind distracted, I think less about how sore my legs are and am willing just to move a little bit faster. And of course, you can’t forget when you listen to some peppy music — the beat really gets you moving.
What headphones work best for running with music
I’ve been lucky enough to try out some new headphones to see how they work on the run.
I love wearing wireless headphones because you don’t have to worry about having cords everywhere and sometimes I feel like it can pull the headphones out of your ears. So, immediately, these UA Wireless Headphones checked off a major box on my list.
The second? The fit. The fit is so important when it comes to headphones that you’ll wear when running with music. I am also a little bit challenged because I have my targus pierced so it can be hard to find headphones that a) stay in and b) are comfortable.
I’ve run with these in the wind and rain and they stay put! I do have to fidget a little bit more with the targus ear, but it never falls out and stays put pretty well. The shape requires you to twist the earbud in to your ear so that you get the best fit.
Lastly, I love that these were designed in partnership with JBL, which is a clear leader in the sound/headphones/speaker business. There is some AWESOME bass that can come through these little headphones, which is exactly what I love to listen to when I’m out there running.
When shopping for running headphones, I’d make a little checklist yourself with your priorities. I know some people aren’t as particular about wireless or have a targus piercing they have to accommodate. But, it makes it that much easier to find exactly what works for you.
Do you run with music? Why or why not?
Any headphones that you would recommend?
What’s your favorite music to listen to? Does it change when you run?
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