A quick scan of many running forums or websites will reveal that (in the simplest of terms) there are two types of runners; those who listen to music when they run and those who don’t. The arguments can sometimes get a little bit irrational but essentially comes down to the added motivation from music versus the safety risk of having your sense of hearing blocked, meaning you may not be aware of passing runners, oncoming cars or the cloaked mugger with a switchblade sneaking up on you. I can understand both sides; I think if music is one thing that can get more people out running than otherwise would be then who am I to complain, but I also acknowledge the very real safety concerns.
Personally I do not listen to music when I run, for both the safety aspect but also that I like the chance to just clear my head and let my mind wander. That said though I love the extra pump up that music can bring and often I assemble a playlist for upcoming races.
Sunday morning will see me running the Sandy Point Marathon in Melbourne, Australia and here is a selection of the recent songs I will be playing in the car on the way to race:
- Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
- This Is What It Feels Like – Armin van Burren
- Fall Down – Will.I.Am (feat. Miley Cyrus)
- Not Giving In – Rudimental (featuring. John Newman & Alex Clare)
- Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
- Alive – Empire of the Sun
- Hall Of Fame – The Script feat. will.i.am
The list may not be for everyone, but they are songs that have been stuck in my head during my training. I often listen to them while stretching and have mental association to the songs now with some really good runs. These are just my songs from the last few months, I like to keep it fresh but certainly have a nice collection of songs from over time that I can list to and associate with happy times.
Do you have any songs you currently like to use to pump you up?
Has gadgetry turned the simple act of running into something much harder?
When I started running in 2003 I enjoyed the simplicity of pulling on some shoes and heading out the front door. I’m not even sure that back then I had a stopwatch on my watch so I think I occasionally used the one in my phone to measure rough times.
I’d come home from the run and measure out my route in my street directory with a piece of string (sounds really old fashioned hey – hard to believe it was less than 10 years ago) until I discovered the ability to measure my runs online.
When I started doing triathlon I purchased my first heart rate monitor and thought that was so amazing, even been able to send the data to my computer through infrared! Nowadays I have a Garmin 310XT which lets me record every run within an inch of its life. I am self-confessed running data junkie. I analyse runs for speed and distance, although I am getting better and don’t focus so much on heart rate or other variables. I still download my data immediately after each run though, much to my wife’s dismay and amusement.
So that is why an initative by The Naked Runners caught my eye – the Naked November campaign! This is not something that will add to my wife’s dismay or amusement in the way that you might think – it is all about running without technology (but keep your clothing on!).For me it is giving up my Garmin and associated data stream from that, however for others it might be that you can never run without headphones in and music blaring. I consider myself lucky in that I have never ran with headphones and only times I’ve tried at the gym they always fall out or get sweaty so I don’t bother and instead run with my thoughts and focus on breathing, stride or nothing at all.
I had my first naked run on Tuesday and I have to admit it was mentally difficult to not have the data to analyse. I didn’t mind it so much during the run, not having my splits and pace was a little annoying but I was able to just run by feel and keep it comfortable. But afterwards I missed not been able to record the data and look at the splits. I think I’ll try again a few more times in Naked November but I think I just have to admit that I’m data junkie. I would imagine that this might be even harder for those that run with music, but give it a go, enjoy nature and the simple act of running.
Have you tried a naked run? How did you find it?