Music/podcasts/earbuds etc. while you run?

So I’m curious if people on this forum tend to wear headphones/earbuds while they run? I do if I’m on a greenway but usually dont on trails. My thought process is that, since I’m slow, I’ll need to hear if someone behind me needs to pass (getting stuck behind the oblivious runner is a pet peeve of mine), and the earbuds would drown that out. On greenways, there’s usually enough room. But a single track trail can get clogged really easily.

I’ve also heard people say that they want to know what their breathing sounds like and other cues about performance that get washed out with music/earbuds.


When running around my neighborhood, I wear a single earbud for music or podcasts. When I am out on a trail I don’t wear any because I want to be aware of all the sounds around me. My biggest fear is coming across and scaring a wild animal without knowing it. At one of the local trails, I often come across boars. I normally hear them rustling around before I actually see them and I don’t want to get too close because they will charge you. If I couldn’t hear it, that would put me at risk.


Great point about startling animals. Even here in Nashville there are plenty of deer and you dont want to surprise a buck with his family!

Oh wow…that would be pretty terrifying to come across a pack of wild boars.

My two close calls were ones where luck intervened because they were silent. One was running up a steep hill…head down just step over step. I happened to pick my head up just a bit to look a few feet in front of me on the road. Sunning itself on the road was about a 6’ rattlesnake that was about three more full strides in front of me.

The other time I came around a corner on the trail and nearly ran smack into a large owl sitting on a real low branch. I have always loved owls but never been so face-to-face with one.

Both resulted in spiked heart rates and a trip back the other direction. In hindsight they were both pretty cool experiences, but still kind of crazy at the time.


That’s a great point! I see snakes all the time…but my real fear is spiders ha!

Training-almost never-but i am in the neighborhood with traffic and non-running people so I want to be able to hear. I also do a lot on the treadmill with a tv.

In an ultra, I do wear them. I’m slow, so they tale a long time. I also am usually alone so I like the motivation of some tunes. Occasionally an audio book as well.

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I run with the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3150. They don’t seal the ear canal, so they don’t block external sounds. The new Bose Sport Open Earbuds have a similar property.

I run with audio only a portion of the time. When I do, I use just one earbud and keep the volume low.

Love a good audiobook during an ultra!

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The only music I listen to while I run… is the beats of my own heart.

I never felt the need for music, that’s all.
For me, whatever sounds nature gives me is usually enough.

But it’s just me. Others may think differently, and that is absolutely fine.

on the roads I’ll wear bids or my bone conducting headphones, but most time there is nobody around.

on trails or during races I wear nothing…love talking to myself in my head

I use Trex Titanium bone conducting headphones, so it’s basically the same as having the radio on in the car… if you keep the volume sensible you still hear everything around you.

The last 3 ultras I’ve done listening to ‘Rise of the Ultra Runners’ audio book… just something to keep me in the zone and calm.

The bone conductors are also great for cycling, you can hear all the cars etc around you and still have some tunes on a long ride.

didn’t see this topic prior to when I created this poll earlier today, Headphones on the trail?

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Still interesting, glad to see you put that poll together!

Roads I will sometimes wear a single ear bud for podcasts. Kill. 2 birds with 1 stone. But I am all nature on the trails!