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Why you should run without music

Why a run without music is sometimes the best run you could have

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Runners feel very strongly about whether music is appropriate while running. Some, let’s call them the purists, feel that listening to music while running is blasphemy. Others would never leave the house without music or a podcast to keep them company.

If you’re someone who’s typically a music listener and are open to the idea of switching up, here’s a list of reasons to try running with just your thoughts. It might surprise you how pleasant it is.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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Lets your mind wander

A run can be really creative time in your brain. A 2012 study done by Psychological Science suggested that people who allow their brain to wander can get a creativity bump. So if you’ve got a deadline or are struggling to come up with an idea, taking the time to go for a run can help get the creative juices flowing. And try running without music–it’s harder to let your mind wander with a stimulus.

Keeps you safer

Unless you’re using headphones that allow you to hear what’s happening around you, running with your ears open is a good safety practice, especially in high-traffic areas.

You’re a little more in tune with your body

When you’re running without music it’s easier to take stock of how the run is going. Especially if you’re coming back from an injury, doing a few runs with just you and your two feet can be a great idea to make sure that your body is feeling good.

Trail runner Tara Berry on the Hardrock 100 course. Photo: Tory Scholz

It’s calming

If your run is your escape from the business of your life, then trying a run without music can actually feel more calming that a run with it. Especially if your daily life requires a lot of phone time, running with no music frees you of your cellphone, which can feel really nice for an hour.

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