There are many times in a workout when running with music is the only thing that seems to keep me going– especially a power song from my playlist. Music has an unbelievable ability to motivate you to pick up the pace (and if you choose songs with 180 bpm, it will also help your cadence!).
Although music can be a key part of a run or cross-training workout, there are times when running with music is not a good idea. For example, I only listen to music on my iPod when I am running during daylight hours in a very familiar area or in the gym. Even then, I keep the volume low enough that I can hear someone calling out to me. It’s important to keep this in mind, especially if you run in an area with high traffic. You need to be able to hear a biker calling out “On your left!” before it’s too late. I have seen quite a few people on our local bike path who are completely startled by someone coming up behind them on foot or on bike. Awareness of your surroundings is key to staying safe on the run.
There are also times I choose to go without the headphones. For example, I have started racing without headphones (many races actually ban them for safety reasons). As a result, I have started to really enjoy the whole racing experience. I feel like I miss a lot if I get caught up in my playlist– the scenery, the cheering, the whole race atmosphere. If I am headphone-free, I can also listen to my breathing. I feel more connected to how I am doing on the course at any given moment. I also never run with headphones in areas with heavy traffic congestion, in the early morning or evening, or in remote areas.
So the burning question: what’s on my playlist? Just kidding! I will share some of my favorites, and I would love for you to leave a comment with some of your favorite running songs!
- Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2
- In God’s Country by U2
- Magnificent by U2
- Stronger by Kanye West
- Fighter by Christina Aguilera
- Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve
- Lose Yourself by Eminem
- I’m Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys
- Pressure by Billy Joel
- Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees