Listen with your legs…Part 1

happy with the run

happy with the run

I am one of the runner who does not listen to music while on a run. I prefer listening to the various sounds of mother nature. The chirping of birds, winds flowing through the leaves, occsaional bark of the dog, men talking about world politics, women discussing their in laws and many more things. While running the anticipation of what sound I may encounter is an exciting thing. Earlier I used to listen to music on my I pod, but later I grew out of that habit. Then I decided I am going to run with all my five senses in tandem with each other. One of the major disadvantage of listening to music while running is that you dont listen to what you body is saying to you. It is very important to speak to your body when you are undergoing such physical stress. Under the hood of music you may be damaging your body. This is what I felt when I was running and listening to music together.

Many times I was running more than I had planned. More than what I had trained for. Now this maybe a good thing but it also worried me. Was I running more than what I deserve to run? It was like going into trance and not realising the pain you body might give you. but I asked my self, do I want to go into trance by listening to music. The answer which I got within myself was a big “NO”. I wanted that kind of high only by running and not by listening to music while running. Then when I reached home after I ran with music on, I used to get aches in the muscular area of legs. Specially in calfs. I realised that as a recreational runner I should be more careful about how much I run and at what speed I should run. No point in flowing with the excitement and later taking a break from running due to injury.

When i was running with music on, my sense of hearing was getting occupied with the music. I did not realise how far I had run or the pain in my legs was getting noticed by my brain after a lag. I somehow was getting the running high much earlier than I used to get. Runner’s high is a point at which you feel superelevated and is usually on cloud number 9. Its a point of getting extreme satisfaction on the extreme physical duress you underwent. The quicker it occurred the earlier you are feel satisfied. And this is something I wanted to avoid. I wanted to be satisfied because I am running and not because I was listening to my favorite music. After all these experience I decided to listen to the nature and more importantly to listen to what my body was trying to tell me.

Initially after I quit music, my mind was confused. It was listening to the sounds to which it was not used to. This was only while running. but i continued with it. The first sound which I realised was the sound of my breath. And let me tell you, it was the sweetest sound I had listened to. There was absolute purity in it. It was completely unadulterated music. The rhythmic inflow and outflow of air through my legs coordinating with the steps I was taking made running all the more beautiful. It was completely ecstatic. There are somethings in life which you have to take granted, because it becomes such an integral part of your system that you dont realise it lives with you and that is breathing. But the moment you notice its existence, it gives you a high. The next thing I realised was that the sound of my each footstep. I am not a lean creature nor do I run on air. This sound made me realise that I am a heel striker. and I intentionally was trying to avoid heel strike. Sometimes it is easier to avoid heel strike but most of the times when you have run a substantial distance, you cannot avoid it. Overall it was a good break from listening to music and running. There are many other factors and reasons on why I stopped listening to music while running which I will be writing it in the second part of the article.



  1. jarededwards10 · May 22, 2013

    I agree completely with you. There is so much more focus and pacing available to our minds when we let our running be our music. The rhythm of a song may be completely contrary to where our bodies need to be. Also, I found that the heavy beats made me land harder which took up way more energy than needed.

  2. Diana · May 23, 2013

    When I first started running, I listened to music, too. Or podcasts. Now, I can’t imagine doing that. I am much happier since I ditched the noise! =)

  3. Runnerboy · May 23, 2013

    That’s true. Somehow I feel music takes away attention from running. My pace was varying as per the song. For instance in a rock song i would run faster and in a slow song my pace would automatally reduce. Without music I can listen to my heartbeat and maintain my pace.

  4. TheKashaShow · May 25, 2013

    I really enjoyed this viewpoint on running without music. I teach clients to do all of it- with, without, and talking. Well written. Thanks for another first hand (foot?) account of running fully engaged! 🙂

    • Runnerboy · May 25, 2013

      Thanks for your comments. I feel running and listening to music does not go hand in hand. Both are highly motivating and adrenaline pumping activities and should be best done independently.

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