Happy Monday, y’all!
Before I jump into a rather serious subject *chuckle*, I would like to remind you that my giveaway for Armpocket ends tonight at midnight. Make sure to enter your chance to win this amazing fitness gadget here.
It is Week 4 of my half-marathon training! The training is as follows:
Monday – 4 miles
Tuesday – cross train for 30-40 minutes (Total Body + Booty)
Wednesday – 4 miles + Yoga
Thursday – cross train for 30-40 minutes (HIIT + arms)
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 7 miles + Abs
Sunday – rest day
Last Saturday, when I went for a 6-mile run, it dawned on me: I have been running without any music for the past month and a half! Somehow it just happened, which is somewhat crazy considering the fact that I was always dependent on my Ipod so much.
It goes back all the way to my Spartan training. *You can read more about races themselves here: Sprint, Super, Beast 1 & 2.* I remember thinking to myself: How am I gonna pull myself through without any music to pump me up when my energy runs low? But I managed without it. It was the first time, believe it or not, that I ran without any music. *Obviously, excluding the ‘unfortunate’ times when I was training and my battery died mid-run.*
And this got me thinking. It happens that in the past month and a half, my running has been the most enjoyable. I guess, at first I started out running with Sofia in a stroller and wanted to be aware of my surroundings for the safety of my daughter,so I didn’t listen to the music. Then I brought my dog, Bella, along with me and wanted to be aware of any people on bicycles, roller blades, etc. *Read more about how to run with you dog here.* And here I am, actually enjoying running without music. Who would have guessed?!
I turned to Google for help. According to Runners World’s poll, it appears that the majority of runners prefer to run with music:” 74% – say runners should listen to music while running, should they so choose. 8,354 voted yes, 2,974 voted no.”
I was not surprised to see that, especially that I was dependent on it as well. But then another question popped: What are the benefits of running with and without music? Here is the result of my brainstorming and research.
Reasons to run WITHOUT music:
- I personally feel more in tune with my body. I find it easier to focus on my breathing and foot strike when there are no other distractions. I am able to be aware of my effort.
- As I mentioned before, it is more safe. I can hear if a car is approaching. It is easier for me to react if I am in danger.
- I am not sure if it is a direct result of not having music blasting in my ears, but I have been able to reflect much more than previously. Before, I struggled with my inability to’get lost in my thoughts’, but not anymore. I’m enjoying to have the opportunity to explore what’s happening in my head and to be in tune with myself. And because of this, my runs seem to fly by.
- Finally, I truly started to enjoy my surroundings: The birds chirping, the breeze, the sound of my feet hitting the ground, Bella’s panting. It is incredible to be able to enjoy and to be in the moment.
Pro’s for running WITH music:
- It’s easier for runners, especially beginners, to get distracted from running discomfort to make their runs more enjoyable and easier.
- Music as an external stimuli can block of some of your fatigue and get you pumped. This can result in longer distances or even faster speed since a perception of your body’s limits is reduced.
- Upbeat songs can elevate your mood and create excitement.
- If you do it properly, music can create opportunity to change up paces.
- It is definitely a life savior on a treadmill since music creates at least some entertainment in otherwise monotone workout.
I came across some advice some time ago, I think in Runners World, that it’s optimal to go for at least one run without music for every two times that you run with it. To me it makes sense, since there are many races in which headphones are forbidden.
What are your thoughts? Do you run with or without music?