From running with music to running without

I currently run to music (150 bpm is my slow pace, 160 bpm the faster) as it helps me to pace myself. However, I should probably start trying to run without music. I'm sure many of you have made the transition: did you find that you went off too fast or too slow, or was it okay? I'm a bit nervous that I'll not do as well without the distraction / pacing that music provides!

(By the way, XTC's Making Plans for Nigel is a great slow-paced running song.)



17 Replies

  • I love music (officially addicted) but got fed up with my earpieces falling out and apps going wrong etc

    I wouldn't want to go back now because I can really keep my pace perfect by listening to my breathing and feet on the ground. It's more pleasing to me now and I never thought I would want to be without music for anything

  • I am tempted to try it (I LOVE my music) and have gone as far as "one earpiece in" just to hear my feet and breathing... not quite ready for the jump to naked running but I really want to try it out...

    I say "give it a go"... you'll never know if you don't try... :)

  • Since graduating I haven't run with music and love the sounds around me.........but I do listen to music when I walk to work and now I also have the Zombies run app on my phone so I do run with that.............for earplugs that don't fall out I use Yurbuds they are great and you can still hear past them for traffic/people etc

  • Hi mummysaurus, I'm intrigued re the zombie run app! I'm still tending to stick with the stepping stones podcasts and occasionally run with my own music. My runs at present are up to 40 minutes....would the zombie app be of any interest to me, do you think? I'd welcome your thoughts please....

  • Hi, yep I think they would be ok for you as you can choose 30 min or 60 min run, you collect items on the run which you can use to play a game when you get home, I haven't done that bit yet the app costs a couple of pounds so not a bad investment

  • Thanks....will give it a go...could be a bit of a laff I suppose!

  • I switched to running without a couple or so weeks ago and now much prefer it. I find I run at a much more comfortable pace without, not subconsciously matching cadence to the music. I also find that, surprisingly the time goes quicker, or more smoothly, without. With music I find I am gauging how long I have been running by the number of songs, length of songs etc. Without music I just look at my watch when I want to know my time bu otherwise am just trogging along 'in the moment'.

    Also as I run off road in a nature reserve, it makes me feel more 'at one with my environment' if that doesn't sound too dreadfully hippyish. I'm not skipping along like Fotherington-Thomas saying "hello birds, hello sky", but it is much more relaxing experiencing the run with all the senses rather than seeing and smelling nature all around me while Napalm Death bellow 101 Greatest Grindcore Classics in my ears.

    If I was running in town I would probably want music.

  • Dig the Molesworth reference :)

  • Hi. I run without earphones outside but use the podcasts if I run on the treadmill. I can't use them outdoors as I run on narrow country roads and have to hear the traffic coming as the route is a bit of a rat run ( back road) to town. The beats help me pace a run but I think you find your own rhythm - good luck with it anyway

  • Normally I have music, but I pay no attention to the BPM, I just load up my favourite music and frankly I don't think the rhythm makes the slightest difference to my pace. All my favourite tracks now have running associations, probably the best was the intro to All along the Watchtower by Hendrix (the best intro of all time imho) bursting out just as I reached the top of a killer hill and started to run along the ridge. Boy did that lift me!! Today I ran without, as I occasionally do and didn't miss it at all.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • We only want what's best for yoooooooooooooooooooo!

    I am running without music a lot these days and found it's helped with my run rhythm. I was a bit all over the place when running to mixed tempo music but when I ran without it I seemed to run smoother. I count. Breathe two, three, four, breathe, two, three four. Sorta thing. It helps me any way. You will find out, through trial and error what suits you. It's fun to try these things.

  • Not sure I'm brave enough to try it 'naked' when I go out on my longer, slow run (2.75 miles or 32 minutes non-stop, here I come!) but I might try it on one of my shorter speed sessions. For that I've gone back a few weeks on the c25k app that I use. I had thought that if I could run 30 minutes without stopping at one pace, I should be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping at a slightly faster pace. Wrong! So, back to run / walk intervals...

  • I love running with music and have been perfecting my list by adding in and taking out songs that are too slow or too fast. I run in town and all I would hear is cars and my huffing and puffing. I have done it a couple of times when I ran out of batteries during a run. However , never say never and I may try it in the future.

  • I run with a selection of happy 80's tunes (which is the era when I grew up). They are all upbeat, but the bpm or rhythm doesn't matter to me at all, I use them just for the smile they put on my face.

    Having said that, my phone played up a few runs ago and I ended up doing 7 km without music. I was sure it was a lot slower than the previous run of the same distance, but when I checked at the end of the run it was the same - a difference of two seconds over a 50 minutes run.

  • I've never run with podcast or music (hence the stopwatch), nor met Julie and I think I would resent any audible intrusion on my runs!

  • Love the word trogging :)

    If you haven't ran a Parkrun yet try running without music there. I love it as you can be a bit more sociable. If you don't want to do Parkrun, try running with someone else it seems much less antisocial. If I'm running alone I tend to have my music on but i don't find it harder to run without. When i have music it runs through my mp3 on random. I skip past any songs that I'm not feeling though songs I haven't heard in awhile or songs with complex lyrics I prefer as it keeps me distracted

  • I haven't tried running without music yet as I run to the beat. I think I might try it on my two non-parkrun runs this week and see how I get on. I'm doing the Race for Life on Saturday but it's the Pretty Muddy one over and under obstacles so I doubt very much I'll be beating any records!!!

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