Playlist & Workout Safety

The last playlist I made was this one.  That was almost six months ago, which happened to be immediately preceding our last trip to Aruba.

Older picture of my iPhone.  It’s much more, ahem, cluttered on the home screen now.

It was time for a new playlist in advance of our current trip to Aruba.

This is what I created.  A real mishmash of songs but they work for me.

The reality is that in San Diego, I never listen to music while I run.

I run outdoors year-round (energy levels permitting) rather than running on a treadmill and I am extremely cautious and careful of what’s going on in my surroundings.

For me personally, I don’t feel I am 100% aware of everything going on around me with music going directly into my ears, since I am blocking out auditory cues such as someone’s feet behind me or others’ conversations going on around me.

Music also causes my brain to check out, which is great if you’re trying to zone out and get into a groove, but it causes one’s defenses to lower.

I am the victim of violent crime.  I am a survivor of some brutal and horrific things that I don’t wish to discuss on my blog, but suffice to say those things have caused me to be hyper-vigilant about safety when I’m outside running, or just even being outside.

That’s why I never run with music when I’m in urban San Diego.

Running on the streets in Aruba…

..and the beaches of Aruba

…and in broad daylight with hundreds of tourists, people, and passerby, I don’t worry as much.

It’s the few weeks of the year where I enjoy music while running, on some days.

Other days, I don’t listen to anything other than the birds chirping because I just want to admire nature’s beauty…

…and let my thoughts drift, sans music.

That is until one of these buses comes along and starts honking and drunk people start shouting and cheering at 11am and my quiet little birds chirping zone is interrupted.  But that’s okay because I’m on vacation!

From my last post about the Local Sights in Aruba off the Beach, I am glad you enjoyed that post.

And everyone had bets on the last couple of pictures.  Yes, that lady bit the dust about 20 seconds after I put my camera away and started walking back to my car. Makes me wish I had kept my camera out just a wee bit longer.


1. Do you listen to music while you workout?  Why or why not?

I think we all agree that music energizes us, helps us get better workouts in, helps to put us in a zone and if you’re doing the eliptical inside at the gym, by all means, I’d need all the help I could get, too, and music is great for that.

However, as I stated in the post, for me and my personal comfort levels shaped largely on personal experiences, music in my ears is a no-go when running outside.   To each her own, of course.  Just sharing my opinions and personal thoughts.

2.  Safety.  How safe do you feel while running or working out outside?  Tips or advice you want to share?

Before anyone mentions it, yes, there was a “famous” and extremely sad situation and crime that happened here to Natalie Holloway a half dozen years back.  Google it if you’re not familiar.

However, crime can happen anywhere, at any time.

In San Diego, I live about 10 miles from the Mexican border and yes, there is lots of crime in Tijuana.  There is lots of crime in San Diego, LA, Chicago, NYC, and even in small towns.  Crime happens everywhere, sadly.

I don’t think we should lock ourselves in our houses and not go out because of the potential for crime or something bad happening to us.

But we also shouldn’t do anything that’s foolish or take unnecessary chances or risks (i.e. running alone at night or walking on deserted streets)

Common sense, precautions, playing it safe, but still being able to live my life is my approach.

What are your thoughts?

3. And do you have a favorite playlist you’re dying to share?  Or any songs that you love to work out to?

I am eclectic in my musical tastes but I will say that rap, hip-hop, dance, and rock tracks all energize me.  Sometimes I listen to things when I’m working out that I would never listen to in the car, for example.  Plus, not everything I listen to in my earphones is family-friendly.

80 comments on “Playlist & Workout Safety”

  1. I always feel very safe running/walking etc. outside in my city.

    I listen to music about half of the time when I work out, but the other half I just listen to the sounds around me.

  2. I don’t listen to music when I run outdoors because I want my mind to focus and clear itself. I do, however, listen to music when I’m in the gym on the dreadmill because I want to block everyone else out…and then I mouth the words, because I have to…can’t help it. Running indoors is so much more torturous for me and making 5 miles in one go seems imPOSSIble. But, put me outside and I can run like the wind without my iPod and I’m perfectly fine.

  3. Hi,

    I read your blog all the time but rarely comment.

    Today’s post, though, hit home for me. I know several other runners who have been attacked and I am very afraid of it happening to me and my loved ones.

    And the dangers of running with an ipod don’t stop at attacks. Think about all the people who’ve been hit by cars because they were paying more attention to music than anything else!

    I actually used to love to turn my music on and just run, until one run when I zoned out with the music and tripped. I landed badly and ended up needing hip surgery to correct a cartilage tear that I incurred from the fall! Just wanted to let everyone know that the dangers are innumerable.

    • “I landed badly and ended up needing hip surgery to correct a cartilage tear that I incurred from the fall”


      “I know several other runners who have been attacked”–

      I am so sorry for both!!!!

      thank you for saying hi today and delurking. be safe and healthy!

  4. I love to run with music, but I am aware of safety also.

    When I was running last year, my long runs were from home, along the beach in Santa Barbara. Very very safe, lots of tourists and locals. I felt safe.

    When I ran/walked in other areas, out by Goleta (still safe), I didn’t listen to music because it was more remote. And when I was in college in Pittsburgh? I didn’t go by myself. Too many sexual assaults in Schenley park back then. And even in Goleta, early mornings along the beaches were some assaults also.

    I don’t run so much anymore, but I walk. I generally walk with music around my home, because I feel safe. When I travel and walk or run, I am hyper vigilant also.

  5. 1. Do you listen to music while you workout? Why or why not?
    Yep, sometimes! I like running to the beat and connecting with the lyrics!

    2. Safety. How safe do you feel while running or working out outside? Tips or advice you want to share?
    I feel much safer on a treadmill- it depends where outside though. My tips would be to be aware 100% of the time of your surroundings.

  6. Oh Averie, I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. It is horrible that we live in an age where these terrible things happen. Do know I applaud you for having the courage to speak up and share just how important it is to always be aware of your surroundings while out running. And I offer you all of my sympathies and think that even more admirable is that you refuse to live your life in fear.

    I don’t run with music either; last year I was hit by a car while out running and the damage was pretty bad. Even though I wasn’t running with music at the time, I still tell people how important it is to always be careful and alert out there.

    As for safety, I think you summed it perfectly. Take precautions, do what you can, but there is no way I’m going to live in a bubble! Thanks for yet another awesome post and enjoy those Aruba runs, girl! :)

  7. Glad you overcame that doll. I don’t listen to music while I run either, I’d rather clear my head. Hope your Aruba trip is fabulous!!

  8. Fantastic post, I have been looking for a good list of iTunes playlists for running with. This is one I will get.

    PS, have you ever used the RunKeeper app for iPod / iPhone, it is an excellent app that allows you to track your route out running on a Google Map and see your stats, highly recommended.


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