Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are you a 'real' runner? Let's talk music

By: Stacey

Several years ago my husband told me he had read an article that said real runners don't listen to music. Therefore, after 20 years of running, I began to wonder "Am I a real runner?" I love to listen to music when I run. Unfortunately, I have been doing it so long, mentally, I think I can't run without it. It is definitely on the top of my Most Valuable Gear list! Janell, Dana, Debi, and Jennifer prefer to run without music while Dawn and I run with music. I decided to look into it a bit and find out if you can be a runner and listen to music too ... after all aren't we a society of multi-taskers? (I can chew gum when I run too!) Here is what I found out:

Surprisingly, several articles I read said that it's ok to run with music. Studies have found that music enhances endurance and can even change your mind-set by relieving tension and increasing positive moods. There, of course, are strong arguments against it and most professional athletes do not use music when competing. By listening to music one can not hear the sounds that running produces - breathing and the sound their foot makes when it hits the pavement (two key cues to your current level of effort). Runners that escape into their own "bubble" with their music tend to remove themselves from their surroundings, in turn can end up in an unsafe situation - they may not hear a car, an impending storm, an angry dog, or another runner. Of course, the biggest pet-peeves of non-music runners - music listeners cannot hear other runners and officials in a race environment. 

Below are top reasons to run with music or not:

Reasons to run without music:
  • Live a relatively noisy life and enjoy the quiet time
  • Use the quiet time to gather their thoughts
  • Driven by the sounds of their feet pounding the pavement and their heart beating in their chest
  • Appreciate the sound of your body working hard
  • Ultimately, they find music distracting 

Reason I like to run with music:
  • Although I too have a noisy life - I like background noise (I like music in my office and a TV on at home - ALL the time!)
  • I still consider it quiet time and a time to gather my thoughts - I have even listened to a Bible study lesson or sermon podcast while running
  • I like the time to listen to music I enjoy (I have a 13 and 16 year old - I do not control the radio)
  • I can still hear my feet hit the pavement and myself breath to an extent (if I concentrate on them too much I start to hyper-ventilate)
  • Some songs bring up great memories while others make me want to run faster and then there are others that just keep my momentum going
  • Honesty, I like to get lost in my bubble

In conclusion, I have found that whether or not you listen to music you are a REAL runner! So, if you are a (real) runner who prefers music, please be safe when you use headphones - buy earphones/earbuds that allow you to hear your surroundings (check out these clip on speakers - I have not use these but came across them when researching for this blog -http://www.safesoundsports.com), keep your music low or use in just one ear, and don't get so lost in your bubble that you can't hear the traffic, other runners, bike riders, or anything else that might get in your way.

I wanted to include for you just a few of my favorite songs on my playlist -
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield (always on my playlist)
  • Faster and Louder by Peter Furler (anything by him or the Newsboys)
  • Hold Me by Jamie Grace
  • Bellas Song at Finals from Pitch Perfect (several fun songs on the soundtrack)
  • We Found Love by Rihanna
  • Heartbreak Warfare (good momentum song)
  • Home by Philllip Phillips
  • Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by Coldplay
  • Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (So many good songs from the 80s)
  • Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson
  • Firework by Katy Perry (really anything by Katy Perry)
  • God is Enough by Lecrea
  • Used to Do It Too by Lecrae
  • This Life by MercyMe
(One side note, I have started going headphone free and just listening to music through my iPhone speakers. It's kinda the best of both worlds - I can hear my feet hit the pavement, myself breath, my favorite songs, and everything going on around me!)

I need some new songs for this weekend's marathon ... tell me, what's on your playlist?


  1. I added this one to my playlist before I ran the WDW Marathon last month - Go The Distance by Julie Griffin (I like this version better than the original - it has a good beat to it).

  2. I also listen to music while running. Though my first half marathon I LOST MY EARBUDS while making my way to the starting line. Talk about panic attack!! I made it though without my tunes.

    My favorites on my playlist are:

    Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys
    T.H.E.(The Hardest Ever) - Will.I.Am
    Beauty and a Beat -Justin Bieber and Rhianna(dont judge, LOL)
    Pretty Girl Rock- Keri Hilson
    Stronger- Kelly Clarkson
    Payphone- Maroon 5
    Shake it Out- Florence and the Machine
    Move Shake Drop Remix (Flo Rida and several others)

    1. oh great ones, Meredith. I like your style ;)

  3. I'll show my Memphis roots and suggest "Who Run It" by Three Six Mafia. Jay Z's Empire State of Mind is another favorite.

  4. I like Rock My Run mixes. Good variety and free :)

  5. I like to run without music sometimes. But for long runs I always listen to music. What I do is only keep one ear bud in so that I have the other ear free for listening to my breath and my surroundings. I highly recommend that! Of course I'm not running right now due to a stress fracture in my foot, but I love Mumford and Sons, "I will wait".

  6. I ran my first 2 marathons without music but now I feel lost without my tunes.

    Current power song is Pon de Relay by Rihanna

    Other favs:
    Fighter-Christina Aguilera
    Single Ladies-Beyonce
    Crazy in Love-Beyonce
    Sexy and I know It- (don't judge, it has a good beat).
    There You Go-Pink

    I'm lovin' The Only Way I Know by Jason Aldean & the boys. Great motivational lyrics for a run. Just a sample: Don’t quit 'til the job gets done, Don’t back up, don’t back down, You get tired and you don’t show it, Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more, That’s the only way I know, AND Hit the wall smoking and spinning, Still wasn’t thinking ‘bout nothing but winning. LOVE IT!

    Also like:
    My Hope is in You- Aaron Shust
    We Are-Kari Jobe
    Follow You-Leeland
    I Will Not be Moved-Natalie Grant
    My Own Little World-Matthew West
    Lifeline-Brooke Fraser
    A Little More-Jennifer Knapp
    Not for a Moment-Meredith Andrews

    1. That just made me laugh right out loud! I'm sexy and I know it! Hehe

  7. I prefer running with music but I can run without if I have to. Here is my Running Playlist:
    All-American Girl-Carrie Underwood
    Be My Escape-Relient K
    Believe-Third Day
    Blown Away-Carrie Underwood
    Break Me Down-Tenth Avenue North
    Brighter Than The Sun-Katharine McPhee
    Bring Me Down-Pillar
    Call My Name-Third Day
    Cowboy Casanova-Carrie Underwood
    Don't Wait For Daylight-Needtobreathe
    Drifting (feat. Dan Haseltine)-Plumb & Dan Haseltine
    Everything About You-Sanctus Real
    Eye Of The Tiger-Survivor
    Friday Night-Lady Antebellum
    From My Head to My Heart-Evan and Jaron
    Give You Glory-Jeremy Camp
    Good Girl-Carrie Underwood
    Good to Be Alive-Jason Gray
    Hello Sunshine-Barlowgirl
    Here's To You-Rascal Flatts
    Hold Me (feat. tobyMac)-Jamie Grace
    Holy One-Casting Crowns
    Home-Three Days Grace
    I'm Letting Go-Francesca Battistelli
    I Got a Feeling-Third Day
    I Want to Get Lost-Sanctus Real
    In Christ-Big Daddy Weave
    It's Not Over-Daughtry
    It's Your Life-Francesca Battistelli
    Life Is a Highway-Rascal Flatts
    Life Is Sweeter-The Afters
    Long Gone-Lady Antebellum
    Love Come to Life-Big Daddy Weave
    Love Like Crazy-Lee Brice
    Love You Out Loud-Rascal Flatts
    Perfect Day-Lady Antebellum
    Ready To Run-Dixie Chicks
    Right Beside You-Building 429
    Satisfy-Tenth Avenue North
    Savior Song-Rachael Lampa
    Set The World On Fire-Britt Nicole
    Shine On-Needtobreathe
    Should've Been Me-Citizen Way
    Sing, Sing, Sing-Chris Tomlin
    Strong Enough to Save-Tenth Avenue North
    Summer Nights-Rascal Flatts
    Survivor - Destiny's Child
    Take Over Me-Sanctus Real
    Take You Back-Jeremy Camp
    These Days-Rascal Flatts
    These Things Take Time-Sanctus Real
    'Til the Day I Die-Third Day
    Today Is The Day-Lincoln Brewster
    Took My Place-Third Day
    Undo It-Carrie Underwood
    Waiting All My Life-Rascal Flatts
    Walking On Sunshine-Aly & A.J.
    We Owned The Night-Lady Antebellum
    When Mercy Found Me-Rhett Walker Band
    Where I Belong-Building 429
    You Can't Hurry Love-Dixie Chicks
    You Know Better-MercyMe
    Live For Today-Natalie Grant
    Take My Life- Jeremy Camp
    Reckless- Jeremy Camp