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Is running with music bad for me?

Running with music can have both positive and negative impacts on your running experience.

  • On the positive side, music has been shown to enhance mood, motivation, and overall enjoyment of exercise. Music during running increases participants' positive emotions and perceived exertion, leading to improved endurance performance.

  • However, there are potential drawbacks to consider. One concern is that running with music may distract individuals from their surroundings, including traffic or potential hazards, which can increase the risk of accidents. Wearing headphones while running or cycling can impair situational awareness, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

  • Relying heavily on music during running may hinder the development of internal cues, such as monitoring breathing and pace, which are important for regulating intensity and optimizing performance. It is suggested that external auditory distractions, like music, could impact pacing strategies during running.

To strike a balance, some researchers recommend using music intermittently during training sessions. This approach allows for periods of focused attention on running technique, pace, and internal cues without complete reliance on external stimuli.


  1. Karageorghis, C. I., & Priest, D. L. (2012). Music in the exercise domain: a review and synthesis (Part I). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5(1), 44-66.

  2. Schwebel, D. C., Davis, A. L., O'Neal, E. E., & Walton, M. A. (2012). Evaluation of headphone use and pedestrian injury and death in the United States, 2004-2011. JAMA otolaryngology–head & neck surgery, 138(7), 662-666.

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