Music might make a run easier, but there are some potential cons
To run with music or not to run with music, that is the question. And it’s for the most part totally personal preference. There are those who love the added inspiration and distraction of their favorite jams (or podcast) in their ears. Others are purists who prefer to disconnect from tech and focus on the running experience.
For me, I used to be in the former camp, then quite firmly in the latter, and now it varies. I used to love having music’s pulsing beat keeping me on pace and distracted from what are sometimes long and arduous runs. But then I moved to Boston, where not paying 100 percent attention to my surroundings could lead to some pretty disastrous results - from distracted drivers to frankly creepy men, knowing what was going on around me seemed the smarter play.
So I got used to running without music, and when I moved back to Michigan that habit mostly stuck. I enjoy the sense that I’m more connected to the run when I’m music-less. I also like being able to hear my dog running next to me; I’d hate for any distress he’d experience be masked by music blaring in my ears.
The result is headphones that give you great situational awareness
However, now there are these nifty bone-conduction headphones that allow you to listen to music but not be totally blocked off from surrounding noises. They sit outside your ears and, according to the Shokz website, transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them. The result is headphones that give you great situational awareness. So, thanks to the Shokz Trekz Air headphones, I find myself running with music every once in a while these days.
Regardless of how you train, take a look at the rules and regs of whatever race you’re signed up for. There are some races that don’t allow headphones to be worn during the race.