Should You Run with Music On?

Running with music

Do you run with your earbuds plugged in, pushing along to your favourite music? To the purist, it is anathema. Still, there’s no denying that there are more who do listen to music than those who don’t.

However, there is evidence to show that running with music has certain advantages.


Generally, coaches recommend a running cadence of around 180 steps per minute. Too slow, and you risk injury. So, running to the right music and tempo will act as audio cues for the runner’s body to synchronise his movement to the music’s tempo. This allows the runner to correct his cadence naturally.

Olympic gold winner Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie synced his running pace to 'I’m a Scatman' by Scatman John. The fast tempo no doubt helped in his victory.


If you have gone on long runs, particularly under the hot Asian sun, having the right motivation is key to your success. As music elevates our moods, physical discomforts like fatigue is pushed to the background.

The effect of music on runners performances cannot be undermined. Apparently, listening to motivational music during physical exercises can delay the onset of exhaustion by around 15 per cent.

How does that work, you might wonder? Well, using music as an external stimulus, it can block your internal stimuli like fatigue. When your perception of how hard you are working your body is reduced, you will feel like you can run faster for longer.

To enhance your performance, listen to music with strong, energizing rhythms. The melodies be positive and uplifting of course.  And to gain the optimum results, the music’s rhythm should match your movement patterns and strides.


Many people run for relaxation, especially after a gruelling day at work. Or they just want to take their minds off matters, to clear their heads. So, having some music can actually complement your desire to relax. Couple that with a good pair of noise cancellation earbuds, it can help create an environment that decouples with the rigours of life.


The contrarian view against having music while running runs (pun intended) deeper than mere purist naysaying. Cocooned in a pair of noise cancelling earphones with loud music on can impair your spatial awareness of your surroundings. Traffic, people and physical obstacles might become a blur – and that spells danger.

What about you? Do you put on music when you run? No matter whether you listen to music when go on your runs, always remember to put on your pair of stylish and lightweight Sunday Shades sunglasses. They’re snug-fitting, comfortable, and most of all: offers good protection for your eyes. Check them out here.