|My brilliant little iPod shuffle|
Benefits of running with music
- blocks out the sound of traffic
- replaces horrible music being played in your gym or fitness club
- a good beat can help you achieve a great pace
- it can be very motivational
- you can listen to podcasts such as Laura from Couch to 5k
- might be the only opportunity you have to listen to the music you love
- you can be alone for your run, not having to talk to anyone
- the right music at the right time, place or run can be a magical and unforgettable combination
Benefits of running without music
- you notice your surroundings more and this could be a safety issue - being more aware of other people, traffic etc
- you are more likely to enjoy your surroundings - the sights and sounds of the countryside
- less likely to be the victim of crime (robbery etc)
- you won't damage your ears through playing music too loud
- you don't have to figure out how to carry the device
- running is a simple and pure sport - so why complicate it?
- you might be more aware of your body - listening to your breathing, your footsteps, your heartbeat, how you move your arms etc. and this adds to the beauty of running
I can see the benefits of both sides. Originally I got my wonderful little Apple iPod Shuffle as a birthday present and I used it mostly when I went to the gym because of the horrible music that was constantly played.
I have used it for running outdoors and it's okay sometimes. A small number of times there has been the right combination of surroundings, the run itself, my mood and a choice piece of music which all comes together to turn an ordinary run into a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
On balance I prefer to "run naked" - i.e. without any music etc for all of the reasons above. But there's no hard and fast rule: no doubt I will spontaenously pick up my iPod Shuffle for another run and probably wax lyrical about how wonderful it was!
What about you?