Can you Talk While Running?

· 2nd May 2019
Learn about the benefits and disadvantages of having a conversation with a partner while running.

Many runners prefer to run alone because they think that’s best for their performance. There are also others who need a running partner who shares the same aspirations and passions. It’s common then to ask if they can run and talk at the same time? In this article, we’ll answer this question.

Do you talk while running?

There are those who say that talking while running makes you tired faster and you’ll experience shortness of breath. And then, there are those who need a running partner who they can talk to. Otherwise, they become bored and quit before the first run is over.

Now, what do experts say about this? Some experts say that it’s better to run without talking because this way you’ll breathe through your nose and your concentration increases. On the other hand, they also indicate that the conversation can build up resistance.

Couple running outside in summer.

That’s because we need more oxygen in the body while we run and talk at the same time. And we breathe more times than if we were “just” running. While this exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs in the body, all organs are nourished and they function better.

Talking while running makes it more enjoyable

It’s said that running lightly while talking could be equivalent to intense running, but without saying a single word. Of course, it’s not easy since not all bodies are the same, but it’s true that the physical effort you put in is greater when you talk and run at the same time than when you don’t.

When running and talking at the same time, the activity is more fun and enjoyable and we forget we’re exercising. Of course, having a running partner is not the only way: we can also listen to music or watch a TV series while we’re at the gym.

However, it’s not the same as having someone running next to you, someone who makes the same effort. During the conversation on different subjects, you can run for longer distances and have a clear mind with less mental effort.

Of course, everything depends on the intensity: a light run is not the same as a moderate or fast run. In the first case, it’ll be easier and even recommended to talk. This way, you’ll keep on running even when it’s monotonous or boring.

How can you tell if you have the ability to talk and run at the same time? If you can have a fluent conversation without “missing your breath” or feeling that your heart beats too fast when you do a mild to moderate exercise, then there are no problems combining running and talking.

Why shouldn’t you talk while you run?

Keeping a conversation while running can distract us and keep us from paying full attention to the landscape, road or other possible dangers. We can trip or collide with someone in the opposite direction. We may even miss the signs of fatigue or pain that our body shows.

There are those who say that talking while running can lead to a mind-body disconnection. When running, we can focus on the movements of the body, on our problems, projects or ideas, and even take the opportunity to meditate or reflect.

Couple running outside in winter.

On the other hand, you can run with someone without having to constantly interact with them. It’s enough simply knowing there’s someone else close by and that they can help if need be.

Talking or not talking? How we exercise is a personal decision. The only thing we can say is that’s no good getting stuck with a routine.

For example, if you like to talk while running, then give yourself the opportunity to be alone once a week at least. The same thing applies the other way around: if you like exercising in solitude, invite someone from time to time to join you. It can help you to perform better.

Mañas Mañas, I., Franco Justo, C., Gil Montoya, M. D., & Gil Montoya, C. (2014). Educación consciente: Mindfulness (Atención Plena) en el ámbito educativo: Educadores conscientes formando a seres humanos conscientes. Alianza de Civilizaciones, Políticas Migratorias y Educación. https://doi.org/10.1016/0040-4020(96)00517-0