60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 62,620

music while running: ruminations

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

This started out as a comment on Cannie's page and grew too long.
i'm still thinking about the music while runniing issue. maybe because i feel guilty for enjoying myself with music on my run. for not giving myself the time to process my feelings and my thoughts during what is about the only time of the day i'm not working or spending time with my family: work, working out, meals with family, and cooking account for most of my non-sleep time (of which there also is not enough).
i do think though that i process stuff under the music when i'm running. and the thing is, i spend so much of my day exercising my brain with my work (translating and editing are basically solitary intellectual work, though editing what French researchers write in English also involves mind-reading sometimes) that i pretty much feel i need and am entitled to let my brain veg out and my body work outside. or actually, it's more that the music puts my brain in time with my body, links my brain and my body, and makes me feel i'm paying positive attention to both.
The music is also part of the reward and the endorphins. running and cooking time are the only time i listen to any music that is not husband or daughter's classical music choices. i like it and it's beautiful, but i need some rock and folk and country sometimes too.
do i sound like someone who feels guilty and inadequate for needing/wanting music to run to? yeah i guess so. and i need to get over it. we all need different things from our running or walking or working out time, besides the physical exertion and endurance and training and strengthening. Cannie wasn't saying my choice was wrong, just that it's not hers. and she's allowed to have her choice and so am I.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am fascinated by this topic and all the various points of view. Actually, I've never really thought about it much. I am not a runner but I love to walk (when the weather allows). When I walk alone I usually don't listen to music for the same reason ClaireinParis stated - I don't want to be surprised when someone suddenly appears behind me or around the corner. Of course if I walk with someone else,, there is no need for music. If I walk on my treadmill, I do listen to music to help pass the time.
    This has been very interesting!! Thank you.
    2588 days ago
    Very interesting subject! I don't run with music but more because I can't manage ear-phones or anything physical in my ears. Maybe I should experiment with some. I can't listen to music while working either, so the rare times I do listen, it's never background music. I have loads of CDs that I never listen to due to lack of time. Like sarawalks, I do plenty of classical music in my choirs, but I love listening to choral music.
    Don't ever feel guilty about listening to music. Why on earth shouldn't you? Especially if it makes you feel in tune (ho ho!) with your body. Go for it Striver, and get rid of the guilt feelings!! You do enough for your family and your work, you deserve a real break. I could go on, but I'm getting boring already. :-)

    2593 days ago
    This blog is so interesting and so are the comments. Since I do so much classical music with my choirs, I rarely listen to classical when I have a choice, and usually it is while running, walking or cooking, like you! When walking I often want to just hear the sounds around me and NOT music of any kind, but it varies. Like Cellista I have to really listen and I hate 'background' music. Drives me out of my skull. As a person who thinks way too much I can relate to your comment about the music linking brain and body. YES, we all really need that! Great blog, Striver! emoticon emoticon
    2594 days ago
    I find music to be a distraction, I use it if I run for a long time and the purpose of the run is length/km but if I need to process things I go sans
    2594 days ago
    Interesting...Music to me has a place and time..I can't listen when driving-especially is it gets busy or stressful. I listened to music while walking tonight for the first time (I usually talk with my Hubby or just listen to nature) and I felt I responded and moved faster. Was listening to Michael Jackson-love his music-Thriller!!! emoticon I can sometimes play soft music and fall asleep to it and other times it distracts me. I guess the mind is a complex thing-it can effect you at different times. And playing music when out walking or running-lots of things should be considered, like the others said - safety! I had a dentist work on a root canal of mine once and he had acid rock playing-he was able to relax-me I was about to come out of the chair-made me a nervous wreck!!! emoticon
    To each his own-if you enjoy it while running then more power to you! Your brain and body seems to love it and you probably do better with it going!! You go girl!! emoticon
    2595 days ago
    What an interesting topic! I am fascinated by the different points of view. I'm very interested in "music and the brain." Have you read "Musicophilia" by Dr. Oliver Sachs?

    I'm not a runner, but as a walker I am similar to Cannie and Claire's point of view. I feel I need to know what's going on around me, i.e. cars, people, dogs. I live in a neighborhood with no sidewalks. In any case, I can't listen to music and do something else at the same time. I'm amazed at people who can work while music is playing. I just can't! I also can't listen to rock music. I know this makes me sound like some prehistoric idiot, but rock music is simply noise to me. I love all other kinds of music EXCEPT rock. In fact, when I used to go to the gym I sometimes listened to Aretha on my Zune. Now, when I walk, I listen to BBC documentaries. Don't I sound like a stuffy, snobby, whatever???

    But seriously, I know some people run/walk to clear their heads and love the quiet while others find music stimulating. To each her/his own!
    2596 days ago
  • CELLO23
    Blimey - talk about being hard on yourself! I'm absolutely sure you're processing all sorts of stuff while out running to music - big time multi-tasking, brain and body. My work is in a very similar headspace to yours (writing and editing), and I need that physical shakeout to get gummed-up grey matter loosened and creative again. So go for it and enjoy!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Like the comment about mind-reading!
    2596 days ago
    I think it is GREAT to be able to run while listening to music. I was never able to do that because I used to run in the forest and didn't want to feel like my heart stopped when someone suddenly appeared of nowhere because I hadn't heard them coming! It is the same reason I cannot listen to music when I am on my hikes. But I do know that if I did listen to music I would feel much more energetic. And I certainly do when I cycle on my stationary bike! And the Beachboys are some of my favorites! :) Go Striver, you are doing so great and being such an inspiration!
    2596 days ago
    Research shows that exercising with music:

    1. makes you exercise harder
    2. makes it seem easier
    3. can help you go longer

    Sounds like exercising with music is good. I always run with music, I turn my run into my own dance party.
    2596 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Oh, dear - I am so sorry to hear it brought up some guilt but I am so glad you blogged about it so we can clear this up and you can ENJOY your runs and music. I don't run with music because I key into lyrics too much, which trigger my emotions. I also don't run with music because I have a hard time focusing anyway, and I just know I would run in front of a car or some other disastrous thing. I also tend to distract myself way too much, so that is my time to quiet my brain. I definitely think I would enjoy running with music, and I can see there will come a time when I do - this is just what works for me now. I talked with a friend about this - she does not hear lyrics, only the beat, and it helps her run better and I know other people say the same thing. So please please please - run and enjoy and, whatever you do, please don't feel guilty. Okay, we're good, right? emoticon emoticon
    2596 days ago
    Since the running is for you, I would think that you should approach it in whatever manner makes it the most fulfilling for you. Enjoy that music! emoticon
    2596 days ago
    If you are like many of us, your run time is your only truly 'me' time. As such, no set of precepts should interfere with your enjoyment of it. If one day you want to run and ruminate in quiet, do so. If another day you need the crash of AC-DC, do it! If another day you want to play the waves swooshing to shore, how is that any less your run than any other day? Suz has it right, just keep running!
    2596 days ago
    I feel better when I run with music. I feel like I let go and open my mind because the music pushes me to do so. It's hard to explain. Music is usually always on when I am awake and I can have it on, the music I listen to when I run is definitely different then what I listen to normally (more hip hop and hard rock instead of classic rock and jam bands).
    2596 days ago
    There's nothing wrong with running with music. You have to find what works best for you! What keeps you going and motivated? I used to run with music but then I started running with a couple people. After that, I could not run with music because I was so used to going without. I enjoy the silence and just my thoughts and whatever else is out there. Do what you like. Just keep on running.
    2596 days ago
    omigosh!! feeling guilty??? NOOOOOOOOOOOO! My background is in music therapy - music fires the muscle fibers, it helps provide a consistent pace, you can "trance out" and process lots of stuff, while getting the body and breath in sync - synchronized in a very healthy way. Music has been used to help regain movement, coordination, and deepen heel strikes for effective stroke patient rehabilitation -- feel guilty?? It's a natural match up and is used by high performance athletes all-the-time!!

    Matching up your mood with the music will provide a variety of therapies, psychological, emotional and on a cellular level as water and minerals all respond to vibration - it helps put things in an orderly pattern. The release even if you don't "think" about an issue is fantastic!

    You can sit and write your dissertations anytime, but you will do a better job of writing when you give yourself that time to yourself with your running and music.
    2596 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.