For GEC educator Laura, motivation comes in listening to her body being pushed beyond its limits. For her colleague Tess, nothing takes her beyond mile 22 like the sound of a solid beat that’s about to drop.
running: with or without music?
laura runs to the beat of her heart
My life is noisy. I’ve got people talking, phones ringing, dogs barking and neighbours who think that karaoke at midnight on a weekday with the windows open is a good idea. There’s very little quiet in my life. So, when I run, I choose to do so sans music. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good tune and when I started running, music was my motivator. But as running became easier and part of my regular routine, I discovered that I preferred quiet over music every time. I say quiet rather than silent because running is not a silent activity. I love hearing the subtle sounds of my feet hitting the pavement; my heart beating in my chest; my breath steadily inhaling and exhaling. These are the sounds that motivate me now.
run without music to:
- appreciate the sound of your body working hard to keep you going – breathing never sounded so good.
- be alone with your thoughts - you two could use some alone time.
tess runs to the beat of music
When I first started running, I swore two things: I would never run with other people and I would never run without music. These rules served me well for the first seven years of my running career. However, when I joined a running group in 2010 while training for the Paris Marathon, I broke rule number one and, with it, cast aside rule two since it felt anti-social to run with my headphones. In 2011, I was the only one on my team training for a full (marathon) and I found myself spending a lot of lonely kilometres out on the seawall. It was time to dust off the old mp3 tracks and turn back to my beloved playlists. Running with music not only keeps me company but helps me to escape my head. For the same reason I love listening to music during savasana, I love to have tunes act as “white noise” while I melt into my run.
run with music to:
- keep your pace and motivation steady.
- fall in love with albums all over again – Beck’s “Guero”, anyone?
but of course, safety first
Only use your headphones during daylight hours and when running in traffic-calmed areas. Make sure to keep the decibel level reasonable so you’re still in tune with your surroundings. If you do a lot of trail running, put the headphones away so you can hear Mr. Grizzly Bear coming before you end up nose to nose.
The great question remains: with or without music? Do you swear by your prized playlists or get carried away in the quiet of running? Join the conversation on Facebook.
- need new beats to kick it up a notch? check out our playlists
- ask a runner: how to stay motivated
- Whitney hits the trails running