Monday, May 10, 2010

MBE: Music

Monday Brain Exchange (MBE) is sponsored by Jill, who blogs at  Finishing Is Winning. This week's topic is Music.

Question: Do you listen to music when you work out? When you race? What are you top ten favorite songs to get pumped up to?


I started running using the Couch to 5K Program, so I used my ipod shuffle loaded with podcasts to help me track the intervals. Once the intervals were over, I used my own music to keep me occupied. One day  after finishing the program, I was running on a very hot day and could hear/feel my earbuds moving around in my ear. It irritated me so much that I yanked them out and ran without music, and it didn't suck.

At first I worried about how I would be able to get through my first 4 mile run without music, but I did fine. I found the lack of music helped me focus on my breathing and stride better, and enjoy my surroundings, so I've been running without music ever since. Every now and then, I'll run with my ipod for a little variety, or if I am running on the treadmill, but both are very rare. I think music alters my stride/pace because it sets the tempo, which is ever changing, and I can't ever find the perfect playlist.

I never race with music anymore -- I did for my first few 5Ks when I was still using the podcasts -- but most races discourage it. With the addition of triathlons to my race schedule where the use of headphones is cause for disqualification (and the logistics of using an mp3 player are not worth the trouble), it's not even something I consider anymore. I brought my ipod to use during my first marathon, since I'd be running by myself, but I opted to run without it (left it in my hotel room) and I'm glad I did. I never needed it and I think I enjoyed the experience more because I didn't tune out my surroundings.

8 comments:

The Green Girl said...

I find it rare to find runners who can run sans music so it's refreshing to see someone out there who prefers to go without.

onelittletrigirl said...

I am honestly surprised to hear so many people don't listen to music. Here in NJ, I guess because the "surroudings" aren't so great, IPODS are a must have. I hardly ever see a solo runner without one.

As Green Girl said, it is refreshing!

Kitzzy said...

I used to be one of those runners that couldn't run without music, but once you do it's liberating. I can zone out in a different way and really enjoy my run and those around me.

I was really surprised to see people at the Muddy Buddy running with their iPods and I think even iPhones. I wonder what they did it with them when they went into the mud pit or if they got them all muddy.

Kim said...

I think once you get used to not having the music, you realize you don't really need it. And I admit, despite the rant on my blog, I ran with music my first 6 months of running. it was an armband radio, iPods were too expensive at the time.

At first for me, I just got tired of having one more thing to keep track of, and then my running group doesn't allow headphones during a run. I'm glad someone else doesn't listen to music while running!!

Lauren said...

I really want to limit my music-listening. I think it builds mental strength too :D

Robin said...

Interesting! I quit listening to music when I run, too - a few months ago. Recently, I took my ipod w/ me, but found the earbuds bugged me and I ended up running w/out them. Haven't listened to music since. I believe the beat affects my stride, too (in a good way), but I get annoyed at the wire, the earbuds slipping, etc... not worth the hassle. More focused on running without them. :)

btw: how's the stair climbing coming along?

Hugs!
r.

Robin said...

Kitzzy,

Any interest in running the Women's Half Marathon with us in Nov? Looking for your race schedule, but not seeing one. Will be fun... handful of us so far.

Kitzzy said...

@Kim - yeah the logistics of the headphones and cables was just more trouble than it's worth.

@Lauren - it sure does!

@Robin - definitely not worth the hassle.

The stair climbing is going well. I am not doing it every day, and usually just twice a day when I remember. Every single time I run up the 5 flights of stairs, I am amazed anew at how much it raises my heart rate. I really should wear my HRM next time to see how much it changes.

I would love to do the Women's Half in St. Pete, but I am doing the Space Coast Marathon and I think they are one week apart so that is a bit too close for me.

Here is my training schedule with a list of possible races. They aren't all set in stone, unless they are in bold (which means I've registered for those)

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AiJ-teq_U6T1cGg1cF9nLVVxMEhHVzZQY1l3Z3llQlE&hl=en

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