Let me first say that I support just about anything that motivates a person to get out and get moving. Furthermore, if it increases their enjoyment that is even better. With that said, having grown up as a runner who participated in the sport long before running with music was a trend, I personally don't relate to the need to run with music.
The biggest concern I have is how listening to music while running decreases interactions and the shared experiences of being a runner or walker. The running community is so supportive and genuinely celebrates each other's accomplishments. It welcomes anyone that decides to move forward. At a recent race I went through my standard routine of cooling down with an easy jog backwards on the course. During this cooldown I like to witness runners and walkers enjoying the event and cheer them on. I have done this since I was in high school because our coach built a culture of supporting each other. Little did I know that the culture was she was teaching was simply known as "the running community". However, on this day as was clapping, cheering and giving little tid bits of advice I realize that the majority of people passing by aren't aware that I am there. They can't hear my clapping and encouragement. They aren't experiencing "the running community". They are tuned in to their music but tuned out to the full experience our community has to offer.
Who am I to say "TAKE OFF THE HEADPHONES". If they got you out the door and are increasing your enjoyment then have at it. But keep a few things in mind:
1. There is a complete experience to be had that you may be missing out on.
2. You may be working out too hard or too easy but you can't tell because you can't hear your breathing or the rhythm of your feet hitting the ground.
3. You are putting your safety and the safety of others at risk.
As I mentioned in my last blog about changing your perception this is another opportunity to try something new. I am not saying you should drop your music all together, music is a powerful thing. But be sure to run with only one earbud in. It's safer and you will be aware of the rest of the experience that is happening around you. And who knows you may learn to love the sound of your breathe, your feet hitting the ground and the birds chirping. Try it - Tune in to nature and the running community and Tune out from electronics.