The great iPod debate

Do you run with music?
Which side do you fall on?

There is nothing that will divide runners faster than a debate on whether you should or should not run with music. Now up until a week ago I decisively fell into the pro music category. I honestly could not think of anything worse than going for a run without music. Music in my ears helped me to block out the voices in my head telling me I was going to fail, the constant tweak in my knee and any other aches and pains that I have when running.

I was so pro music that I would go out of my way to find races that allow earphones. Those kinds of races are becoming rarer these days as more and more race directors ban the use of earphones on open road courses.

After a very poor performance at Northampton, I decided enough was enough, and I needed to start practicing without earphones if I wanted to compete in smaller races and perform as I do in training. So the other day I took the big step to leave my iPhone and earphones at home, and wow was it weird.

My biggest fear was that without the distraction of music, my brain would immediately fixate on whichever part of my body hurt the most and that I would get gradually more unmotivated as my run went on. In a desperate effort to stop that from happening, I made a conscious effort to concentrate on my breathing. I kept up a continuous two steps to one breath rhythm and to my surprise I actually managed to complete the run in a quicker time than I have before… and I made it up the hills too!

I am not sure that I am a complete convert to the anti-music team yet, but I will carry on running without for now to see if I can increase my run speed even a little, I will be super chuffed.

Your turn now. Which side do you fall on; are you pro or anti-music?

Until next time, happy running

Helen xx


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