A fantastic way to boost your run is a playlist of powerful music. A song can do more than just motivate you, it can also be a valuable tool to increase your stride rate which can reduce risk of injury. Until the Walkman kicked off the ability to sport portable recordings of your own, there was not an option to run with music in your ears. As the technology evolved and iPods, smartphones and streaming music apps emerged, it has become easier to listen to music on the run. With new devices like Mighty you can even listen to Spotify on the go without your phone. Hitting the treadmill with a fresh playlist can fill your strides with miles of motivated beats.
But what about running outside? Is it safe to be tuned out?
Some runners might still feel hesitant to embrace the luxury of music on the go because music can be a distraction. Perhaps you train with others or go running with friends to keep you company where you might want to stay available for conversation. And then some runners just feel like safety is the main reason to drop the music from outdoor runs.
Being aware of your surroundings can be hindered by listening to music. If you need to be able to run safely without having to worry about cars, pedestrians, and other runners, should you still keep your earbuds in?
You can run safely with headphones, if you are willing to take the necessary precautions.
Here are some safety tips for listening to music while running outdoors.
- Be situationally aware of your surroundings
While it is clear that there are some benefits to running with headphones and also some dangerous problems with it too, such as not being able to hear noises surrounding you , it is our choice of preparedness and proper awareness that is the basis for the potential circumstances of running outdoors with music to be in our favor or risk our safety.
Whatever activity you are engaging in outdoors, if you’re going to be doing anything near roads and traffic or around any other environmental dangers then you need to be aware of your surroundings and if you add in the element of music you can lose awareness of your surroundings. Headphone manufacturers are very aware of this fact and have been recently creating headphones for fitness that allow the runner to enjoy their music while maintaining awareness.
- Choose the right earbuds or headphones
Wear Non-immersive earbuds or headphones. Non-immersive earbuds and headphones are especially designed not to exclude the sound around you. They were designed for runners in mind, and offer a fairly good compromise. They fit into your ears, but are designed so as not to cut out all other sound. Choose earbuds like the:
PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT FIT BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES
> Don’t wear noise canceling headphones
Noise canceling headphones block out sound around you.
Consider wearing on ear workout headphones.
Open Ear Headphones like the
Aftershokz AS400 Sportz 3 Open Ear Stereo Headphones that sit near the ear rather than in the ear make it possible and safe to tune in to music or voice communication without tuning out the world
With a strong audio power comes great volume-control responsibility.
Be sure to not turn your volume up too loud. It's important to be aware of your surroundings.
The Awareness! iPhone App. let’s you listen to music and control how much outside sound is heard and when so you can still hear things around you, like people talking, other runners approaching from behind you. You can choose how much, if any of your environment you hear.
> Unfortunately this App does not work with Bluetooth / Wireless headphones.
> Your headphones or earbuds must have a good inline mic
Music can be a fantastic addition to you run just as long as your situational awareness is in check and you can hear what you need to hear to be safe!
Do you listen to music when you are running? Outside or inside?
What earbuds or headphones do you use?
What other practices do you have for staying safe while running with music?