Thursday, 22 March 2018

Your mind is your stereo player and the environment your playlist - Run and enjoy

I started running in Dec 2000 and listened to music as I ran on a treadmill in our basement in a Chicago Suburb.
Once Winter was over I searched for the newest, lightest, Sony MP3 at the time, and listened to I think 16 MB of music (yes MB) and would never run without it. In Oct 2001 when I was running my first ever marathon, I met my dad at the half marathon mark and gave him my MP3 and then I really tuned in to my run.

I heard the sound of thousands of foot steps, I heard my own foot strikes, the cheers around, the music, the clapping, the bands, the music of individuals and so much more. My second half of the marathon was decidedly more interesting even though I was so much more tired. But I felt I was more alive, and I could think of positive thoughts of my last training run, that with every 8-9 minutes passing there was one mile less to go, that I could dream of the beer waiting around the finish line, and so on.

Ten years later, I was running on several trails and enjoying running out in nature, enjoying the spectacular views, listening to the birds,  the wind in my hair, the gentle ripple of the waves when I ran on a beach, or the crunching through the early morning snow in the Himalaya and getting down to the next level which could be ice, or softer snow or leaves and dirt trail and mushy water tracks... as when I was running the Everest Marathon in May that year.

I have NEVER listened to music since my first half of my 1st marathon, and in the hundreds of runs we have organised across India, I have always advised people to avoid their music and tune in to themselves and the world around them and therefore become a better runner and enjoy the run more. A few do, but many don't. I strongly advise them against music when they are on one of our cross country runs in particular, as apart from other things, not having music gets you to focus on the trail, the directional markings and also the beauty of the surroundings.

Here is a link to a brief article which also gives several reasons, many of which I have experienced myself and touched upon above,, and some others - read on https://www.active.com/running/articles/8-reasons-to-run-without-headphones?cmp=17N-DP20-BND50-SD20-DM10-T9-1090

and be your own music - the playlist is varied and vast.

Happy running

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