Is It Rude To Listen To Music When With A Running Buddy?

Is it okay to run with a playlist AND running buddy? Our etiquette expert shares the proper way to handle the common situation.


Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!

Q: I listen to music when I run. Is it rude to do that when I run with others? I keep it low, so I hear most of what’s going on.

This is a great question to pose to a friend beforehand. I often will ask a potential running buddy what her preferences are and share my own. That way, we can decide ahead of time if we’re a good running-buddy match.

If music is what you need to get you through your runs, explain that to your friend. Say you’re happy to talk, but you’re going to keep one earbud in to hear the beat. Don’t be surprised if some friends say, “You know, it sounds like our styles are different and it’s probably best if we don’t run together.”

For the most part though, my guess is people won’t mind as long as they understand ahead of time what to expect.

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.