What to Listen to When Running?

I wanted to write a post on this topic for a long time but didn’t really come to a point where I could give a clear answer to the question. Having run for almost 2 years now, I have experimented with a lot of things that I can add to my run. In the beginning, I stuck to music alone which requires less active listening, so that I can concentrate more on the run. Slowly, I transitioned to listening to more than just music. In this post, I will be going over some of the things that you can listen to in your solo run. This is going to be relevant only to a solo run, as you shouldn’t be popping in your headphones in the first place when you aren’t running alone.

Instrumental Music

Generally, people who get into any type of exercise start by listening to there favorite songs during the workout. But here is a different approach that you can take. Instead of listening to songs, you can listen to just the music. This is superior for many reasons.

First of all, there is one thing that songs have that distracts the runner at times. The lyrics. The lyrics of songs are written in order to stimulate the emotions of the listener. It may be happiness, sadness, pride or even hate. Whatever it may be, this would affect the runner who wants to concentrate on maintaining his pace, rather than getting into a self-reflection phase. In addition to this reason of being able to focus more on the run, when listening to just the music, the runner can be more expressive in his run.

When it comes to what type of instrumental music to listen to, I would say that most instrumental music is fine. Unless and until you don’t listen to hard rock music or some specific genre of electronic music that sounds totally demonic, most music you find would usually be neutral in their messaging and agenda.

Sermons and Podcasts

I decided to put both of these under the same title as both of them are similar in a sense. Sermons and podcasts both are the recordings of a person speaking to an audience in an explanatory style rather than a narratory style. For this reason, they are easier to listen to than something like an audiobook.

Sermons are fun to listen to when running, and at the same time also serve to be informative and spiritually uplifting. If you would like to listen to some of the best Baptist preachings on the internet, install the app Faithful Word which contains some of the hardest preachings on almost every topic you can think of.

Podcasts are great sources of knowledge for any particular subject that you want to learn. As a programmer, I listen to podcasts that relate to technology, programming and even life in general. Sometimes if I am really in the mood, I listen to podcasts about running (while I am running). Running freak, I know 😛


I cannot end this post without talking about audiobooks as this is gaining so much attention and popularity across the running community. If you have read my blog post Kindle vs Paperback: My Thoughts, you would know that I have not been that big of a fan of audiobooks. The reason being I couldn’t really listen to audiobooks while simultaneously running. Very recently I decided to give it a shot. My initial thoughts: pretty cool.

It is way easier to listen to a book than to read it page by page. As I am getting used to it, I see myself preferring to listen to a book rather than having to read it. I do not have to keep my head down and keep scrolling through pages, instead, I can just pop in my headphones and do whatever I want.

Having said that, there is only one downfall of listening to audiobooks when you are running. You cannot run listening to it on your race day or when you are actively training. It just takes too much of your attention which as a result affects your performance. Other than that it’s all good.

Supplement: Rainy Mood

A final bonus tip before I leave. Sometimes when the thing you are listening to is too dry, you might want to add an ambiance. My favorite is Rainy Mood which allows you to customize the amount of rain, thunder and even birds chirping in the ambiance track. Install the app and play it along with any of the other things on the list to add an additional touch to your run.

That’s all for today!

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