The thought of throwing your trainers on and pounding the pavement without your motivational playlist can seem unthinkable. How can you run if all you have to think about is the fact that you’re running?? Or maybe you are a running purist and the thought of drowning out your steps would feel like you are lessening the whole experience.
Whichever method is your poison, there are pros and cons behind both, leaving you with a tough decision to make, to iPod or not to iPod?
Studies have shown that the use of music in exercise can make it seem easier as it reduces your perception of how hard you are physically exerting yourself. The distraction of music, especially good music, can lift your mood and increase the positive aspects of your temperament such as happiness and excitement. So that the hardest inclines can seem a little easier to tackle and that favourite song can push you to go a little longer with a smile on your face.
Music can be a motivational source to those who run as a means to an end, and who do it solely for fitness and not really about enjoyment.
Many running professionals do not use music in their training as it can distract from the other important aspects of running such as foot stroke and breathing. If you are not aware of your current foot stroke and breathing patterns then you cannot improve on your running technique to improve your time and get the most effective workout from your run.
Another important issue is safety while listening to music. When you are bopping away to your latest dance compilation or Daft Punk are keeping you entertained, you can be sure that your external perception will not be as sharp as it would be if you weren’t listening to music. You will be less aware of other runners, especially in competitions, and the safety indicators of car horns and other pedestrians will not register if you have your favourite tunes on full blast.
Listening to music while you run can be seen as a form of multi-tasking, which takes you away from the full experience of just running. As the basest form of exercise, is it really necessary to complicate running like everything we do in our modern lives? Can we not simply enjoy the wind in our faces and the blur of the streets and people on them as we fly past like the athletes we are?
One thing one can’t dispute is necessary when running is running shoes like these swanky New Balance Minimus shoes from Northern Runner. And, if you perspire nearly as much as me, then perhaps an eighties revival is in order with these sweatbands.