The question that headphones while running is good or bad is highly debated. A number of runners depend upon music for motivation but whether headphones for running have positive or negative impact need to be looked into. In 2007, the portable music devices in its sanctioned events were banned by the governing body of distance races of United States, USA track and Field (USATF), and even its officials disqualified 144 runners at the 2007 Twin Cities Marathon but later this ban was amended and was only applied to those who compete for prizes in championships.

Sports psychologists have found that music has positive influence on athletes and it makes them feel running easy. The studies have found that your perception how hard you are running is reduced by 10%. Music as external stimulus works to block internal stimuli such as fatigue-related messages from muscles and organs from reaching brain and on blocking such messages, it turns the attention of the runner away from the amount of effort being put in by him. This makes runner feel that he can run faster and farther. Besides this, music heightens the mood’s positive aspect like happiness and excitement and decreases the negative aspects like fatigue, tension and confusion helping the runners to get into an optimal mind-set.

On the other hand opponents argue that listening to music has one big problem. You are not able to hear sounds such breathing or footstrike, which are essential cues which running produces as feedback is provided by them on your effort. Moreover headphones for running removes your attention from the environment you are in which can be unsafe as it may prevent you to hear the sound of a car or person behind you. And in races, you may become ignorant of other runners as well as instructions given by officials.

It is often said that running clears the head and how music has an effect on that. The supporters opine that when you are completely immersed in a task, time seems to get halted. You get an enjoyment in what you are doing and feel at peace and calm with yourself and this music helps to sustain this effect while running. In a way it becomes no less than a holistic experience whereas opponents say that listening to music while running prevents you to enjoy its experience.
Whatever negative impacts have been given, the importance of music cannot be under estimated as it highly motivates you with its thumping beats to give your best performance and you need to buy best headphones for running to achieve it.

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