I challenge you to leave your headphones at home this week during your outdoor runs.
The governing bodies of some races, like USATF and USA Triathlon events, ban headphones, and many other races discourage their use because they prevent runners from hearing race officials. If you listen to music during a race, you may miss out on experiencing the true race atmosphere. In most of the half marathons I’ve run, there were bands every other mile, so there was no need for individualized entertainment. I’ve never found the need to train with a special playlist when I wasn’t going to listen to it on race day.
Listening to music with high beats beat per minute can manipulate your running tempo and coerce your body to heighten exertion and speed up. Subconsciously, the body couples its stride with the music’s cadence enabling you to sustain a steady, rhythmic place over an extended period. However, music also reduces perception so that when you do run without music it may result in relapses to a slower pace.
When you run without headphones, you’re able to listen to your body, breathing and foot strike. This makes you more aware of what our goal pace feels like.
Music also distracts runners from being completely aware of their surroundings, especially crazy drivers, errant dogs, rabid raccoons, passing runners and cyclists.
Lastly, headphones will keep you from building camaraderie when running with friends.
Question of the Week: What other crutches could you leave behind to improve your runs?