Listen to Music While Running a Marathon Pros & Cons

Running a Marathon With Music

I think most of the runners I know train sometimes with headphones, listening to music as they run. Listening to music while running a marathon may be a great way to pass the 2-3-4-5 hours it takes to most of us to complete the 26.2 distance.

Running With Music Sports Watch

MOTOACTV listen to Music while running
MOTOACTV Fitness Tracker & Music Player

The fast pace (Kenyan) runners do not run with music or use headphones. But for the rest of us humans, running a marathon or training for marathon with music is a must. Music helps keep the thoughts ‘clean’, music helps keep a steady pace, helps maintain an enjoyable workout.

The current buzz in the running world gadgets is the MOTOACTV fitness tracker and music player. The new running watch is a player of music too, with a 8 GB or 16 GB internal memory. One cool feature this running fitness tracker has is a music beat analysis of your pace relative to the sound tracks you listen to. The MOTOACTV can tell you how you are preforming compared to the track you are listening to!

If you do not have one, you can get MOTOACTV here.

Pros for Listening To Music While Running

When research is done about running a marathon and listening to music, it comes out again and again that music has an impact on the runners results. Here is a test done on cycling athletes, from the they buzzed up the pace when the music tempo was paced faster.

“Johnson, V. (2004). Effect of musical style on spontaneous exercise performance. 
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 24, 357.
As in the previous study, subjects were asked to do a “normal cycling workout” while researchers varied the tempo and genre of the music played in the background. The faster the tempo, the higher the output—the musical genre didn’t matter. Subjects were responsive to the musical tempo, even if it was in a genre of music (e.g., polka) that they were unlikely to have listened to or didn’t like.” Continue reading this post..

Here is a wireless sports bluetooth headphones for listening to music while running long distance. These sports headphones are hands free so there is no bother to using them during long marathon training sessions.

Cons Of Listening To Music While Training For Marathom

There are other cons of using headphones and running long distance or training for a marathon with music. It is less safe to run with headphones, if you are an urban runner, you will not hear any car crossing your way, not will you be aware of a fast moving bicycle rushing by.

The cons of running a marathon with music are detailed very well in this review dedicated especially for this topic by Sir Jog a Lot:

This is actually a widely debated subject in the running world. There are hundreds of different pros and cons of listening to music on the go. I’ve listed just a few here and you can make up your own mind.

Pros: –

  • Motivation
    Runs can be long and, depending on where you run, a little boring.
  • Keeping rhythm
    Some people base their foot strokes on the tempo of the beat they’re listening to. This is a very good method of keeping to a strict pace.
  • 2 birds with 1 stone
    It doesn’t have to be music you’re listening to. You could be catching up with the week’s news, listening to a football match or learning another language while reaping the rewards of a running session.
  • More energy
    There’s nothing more uplifting than hearing your favourtie tune and that can reflect dramatically in your running.

Cons: –

  • It’s unsafe
    Being unable to hear traffic, other runners or strangers in the dark is a serious disadvantage.
  • Missing out on your running community
    If you live in London then this won’t apply to you (because nobody talks to anyone else down here) but keeping your headphones in alienates you from fellow runners.
  • Timing
    For those that have a good sense of rhythm listening to music can throw you off your stride or affect your breathing patterns.

Here’s where I stand. I completely agree with the timing disadvantage. One thing I’ve noticed when I’ve run without headphones is that I can regulate my breathing by counting how many steps I’m taking. At the beginning of a run I’ll breathe in for 3 steps and out for 3 steps. As the run progresses and the intensity increases I’ll shorten that to 2 steps. This has meant that I’ve not over-done it in the early stages and achieved a good overall time. Continue reading this post..

If you still need some great music to pace up your workout, you need to get this new volume of high energy 105 running tracks! With hours of music and a shuffle mode in your iPod or MOTOACTV watch, the running music tracks can make any running workout a breeze!

So lace up, plug those earbuds and pump up the music!

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