I’ve been running for around 5 years now & I can count on one hand the number of times that I have ran whilst listening to music. In fact, I can count it on one finger.
On the one and only occasion that I ran to the beat, I was pacing out my usual 7.5 mile route from my home near Southend Airport, along the seafront & back. I chose to listen to my iPod as my running partner had recently started a new job and I needed some way of taking my mind off the task ahead. However, the mp3 player caused more of a hindrance than a benefit.
For starters, I had no pockets or a band that would strap my iPod to my arm, meaning that I had to hold it in my hand. Anyone that has attempted an 8 mile run clutching their music player would agree that it’s pretty awkward. Secondly, I actually struggled to find a playlist that matched my tempo / heart rate. I figure that my indie rock music taste doesn’t quite sync with a 180+ bpm workout.
The aforementioned aside, I could have invested in one of the thousands of iPod accessories & downloaded a few apps that would match my iTunes / Spotify library to my running pace, but I opted against it. Why? I figure because although music can help you get into the zone and block out the outside world – I didn’t want that. I don’t have any issues with runners listening to music, but many of my routes passed through high traffic, urban areas. Places that required you to keep your wits about you.
We’ve all read the horror stories online, of runners being hit by cars. Many are fortunate and escape without any real injury, but there are some really sad stories of aspiring athletes and fantastic individuals not being so lucky. Even without music, I’ve had a couple of close calls, at times when I’ve wanted to shave a second or two off of a training run – we’ve all been there (haven’t we?).
Ok, so running & music don’t work for me, but I’d love to hear from some of you that it does. Has it helped you to break PB’s or do you listen just to block out the noise? Are you extra cautious of traffic or does it not really bother you?