Running Without Music
Everyone loves a good tune and many people love to have music playing in the background while doing various chores, at work and while we’re driving. When it comes to our daily fitness routine, whether it be hitting the gym or going for a run, it seems music plays an important role in keeping us motivated. When we exercise with music, we let the rhythm carry us away so that we don’t pay so much attention to the clock.
Runners really seem to like listening to music when they hit their favorite track. If you pay attention to runners you encounter while you’re out and about, you’ve probably noticed the earphones attached to their smartphones. There is no doubt about it, music definitely makes running a little less of a chore, but there are a number of benefits of running without music that you may want to consider before your next run.
Make Running More Social
There are definite benefits to running alone. You can set your own pace and change your course whenever it suits you. Running with a buddy or as part of a group is a great way to socialize with people with whom you share a similar interest. You can discuss any marathons you plan on entering and ways to train together. You can also extend the socializing to after your run and sit together over coffee or breakfast. It will be difficult to do all of this if you block out the rest of the world with music blaring in your ears. Disconnect those cables and join the rest of the world.
Improve Your Sensory Perception
When you run with music, especially with the use of earphone, you block out all the sounds around you. This is such a wasted experience, especially if you are running in a natural environment such as a park or a forest. Not only that, the music tends to act as a distraction so you are less l likely to be alert visually as well. By running without music you get to experience all the beautiful sounds of nature and your eyes are more likely to notice things as well. Even in the city or suburbs, you will find you notice a lot more once you remove those cables from your ears.
Running Is Actually Easier
Running with music may seem relaxing, but it can actually have the opposite effect. If the music you are listening to is really up beat or high energy, you may find yourself trying to keep up to the beat of the music. This could result in you burning yourself out to fast and forcing you to slow down, especially if you start running when you are out of shape. When you run without music, you can focus more on your stride and your breathing. Without the distraction of the music, you will be thinking more clearly about your run and how well your body is performing.
It’s Easier To Clear Your Head
If you like to run to clear the clutter from your mind it is actually better to run without music. With the music on, you’re most likely singing along to your playlist. This means, all the information scrambling around in your mind is still there after your run. Your mind needs to process all of this information at some point so it will either do that during your run, or it will try to sort through the mélange when you are lying in bed, trying to sleep. By disconnecting the music and using your running time to process the excessive details in your mind, you may actually end your run feeling more refreshed. You will then be able to sit back and really relax once you stop and you’ll probably sleep easier too.
On the flip side, running without music can help you think more clearly. You may have a project at work that has come to a standstill because you can’t think of a solution to move forward. When you run without music you can let your mind think over tricky situations and without anything else on your mind, it won’t be long before a solution comes to you.
You’ll Be Safer
Most runners prefer morning running or just as the sun is setting at the end of the day. Unfortunately, these are usually the peak traffic periods for people going and returning from work. When you block out the sounds around you with music, you’ll also be less aware of any approaching vehicles and that puts you in danger, particularly because of the lack of sunlight during sunrise and sunset. The danger increases the darker it becomes, especially if you don’t know how to stay visible at night while running. By unplugging yourself from the music, you are more likely to hear any approaching cars and will move to the side of the road, out of harm’s way. Similarly, runners are often targets for thieves and violent offenders and it is easy for them to creep up on you unexpectedly when you can’t hear their footsteps.
You Can Focus On Yourself
We all live incredibly hectic lifestyles and often we feel trapped between our obligations at work and at home. Going for a run without music allows us to lose ourselves for the hour or so we choose to run. When you let yourself forget all those obligations for a while, you can completely immerse yourself into the sights and sounds around you such as the wind blowing or even the sounds of your feet pounding rhythmically on the ground. You’ll feel every breath entering and exiting your lungs and the steady beat of your heart as well. By running without music, the entire focus is on you, and you alone. It’s the perfect way to just put everything behind you for a while and put yourself first. When you put this much focus on yourself, you’re more in tune to important factors such as your stride, your breathing and how good your running makes you feel.
Your usual running routine may include being wired to your favorite playlist, but try something new. Next time you put on your running shoes, step out without the music. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much better your run can be.