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  • Writer's pictureShannon Wilson

Podcast or Music?

“Music is my medicine, but music is what keeps me running.” Heritier Ndele


When I first start talking to people about running, one of the first questions that is frequently asked is “what do you listen to while running?” In its simplest form, this question becomes “do you listen to a podcast or music when running?”


Many people prefer running with a podcast playing in the background. I have a friend who swears by running to true crime podcasts on her runs. She doesn’t allow herself to listen to these podcasts unless she is running. In that way she uses the podcasts to motivate her to get out and run. Runners who listen to podcasts during their runs share that their runs go by quicker because they are focused on the story instead of the run. Still, runners also share that listening to podcasts causes them to run slower.


The majority of runners choose to listen to music when running. Many runners claim that the perfect song at the right time can increase motivation during their run. Runners also agree that music helps them go faster than podcasts as music gives a beat to match the run to.


When my friend suggested running to podcasts, she also gave me a list of her favorite true crime podcasts. While I usually run with music, I knew I wanted to give running with podcasts a chance. I downloaded one of the podcasts she suggested and tried it for 3 runs. The podcast was interesting to listen to and trying her method I chose not to listen to it unless I was running. She was right, this did help motivate me to go for my runs. On the other hand, since I am training for a half marathon, I follow a coaching app on my runs. Listening to a podcast with the coaching continuously cutting in, drove me nuts. I also realized that the podcast didn’t actually distract me enough. Often when running, I tell myself I can run until the song changes, but this wasn’t an option with the podcast. Music not only keeps me running, but the beat of the songs help me maintain a pace.


I understand how running with a podcast in the background works for some runners, but for me I will stick with music. Let me know if you have some good recommendations to add to my playlist!


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