I've been running without music for the last 6 months. My initial reason for ditching the mp3 player was that I found it easier to do gentle runs without it during my period recovering from ankle problems. I grew to like running without music, being able to hear the river, and the wildlife around me. The lack of pressure was a welcome change too. I found that listening to the same podcast each run, I remembered landmarks for each comment from Laura, and tried to reach further past these landmarks on each run. Having goals, and trying to improve, is a good thing. Running just for the pleasure of it is a good thing too, and I discovered that this is easier without the music.
Anyway, I've gradually increased the frquency and distance of my runs since the problems in march, running without music. I've continued to time my runs with Mr Garmin. I don't look at him until the run is finished, then I sync him on Garmin Connect. The last two months I've managed to get back to consistently running 3 times per week. 5km on tuesdays and thursdays, then 11km on sunday. My 5km time has hovered around 32-33 minutes for the last few weeks. I know that I can put in a faster time if I only run once during the week, but that isnt my objective. I want to run further, and more often.
I read somone talking about audiofuel podcasts, and how the music gets you to run quicker, so I had a look at the audiofuel website. It all looked very interesting, but I really wanted something for this mornings 5km run. So in the end I decided to go back to Laura's C25K+ stamina podcast. I'd used that a lot in the past, once through for 5km runs and 2xback to back for 10km runs.
So at 6h00 this morning I clipped Sandisk mp3 player onto my shorts, plugged in a newpair of Sonix ear buds (my 10yrs old expensve Sure e3cs had become increasingly troublesome ) and set off Lauras Stamina podcast. It felt strange hearing Laura again after all this time. Strangely reassuring though, having her tell me about my 5 minute warm up walk, posture and such like. Just like old times.
When it came time to set off on the run itself, I was slightly worried. I'd become accustomed to setting off very slowly, and building up gradually during my "naked" runs. I needn't have worried though. The initial 158bpm cadence felt just fine. I also expected the music to be very irritating too. It really is about as far from the kind of music I would choose to listen to ordinarily as you could get! However, for running it seems to work fine. The beat is easy to lock into with your stride, and the music itself seems to let you zone out while running. The time seems to fly by a lot quicker. By the time the final 5 minute section came up, I was really pleased I'd given Laura another outing it was clear that this was going to be one of my better times, and I was still feeling quite fresh.
In the end, the 5km came in at just over 31mins, which is the best time I've had for a while (since 28mins back in August I think !). More importantly, I found I really enjoyed it. I won't be running all of my runs with music, as I like the no music runs a lot too, but for runs early in the morning with the head torch, I think I'll be taking Laura along again from time to time The way you can lock into the beat, and just zone out while running in th dark just seemed so good
I think I'll take another look at Audiofuel for my weekend run too, I certainly wouldnt use it for every run, but I do fancy experimenting a little bit
Happy running folks