iPhonics: You’re singing louder than you think you are while running in a race, belting out the chorus from your playlists.
Because I’m still relatively new to the sport of long distance running, I find myself taking my performance gains pretty seriously. I collect and study as much data and information as possible in order to make it easy for me to reach my personal record (PR) at my races. I am always looking for ways to improve my time and enjoy myself to the fullest.
Running with music can be a strong motivating force for some runners. I do not typically listen to music while I run, but I have recently started compiling a playlist that I think could be fun to listen to as I run. This playlist project of mine started with some recommendations from fellow bloggers and articles that were contributed on such websites at RunnersWorld.com, etc. Due to the ongoing challenge of finding the right fit for music BPM with the pace that I want to run, I have yet to do a run with my iPod Shuffle. But, I intend to give it a try in the near future.
As I continue to build my iPod Shuffle playlist, I’ve observed other runners in a number of races I’ve run, and I’ve noticed that the faster runners who inevitably become top finishers are not wearing earbuds during the race, and thus not listening to music. In contrast, some of the runners further back in the pack where I find myself do listen to music while racing. So, does this mean that listening to music while I run is actually hindering me instead of motivating me? No doubt you can see my dilemma.
On the one hand, running can get kind of boring and listening to music is a convenient way for many runners to take the edge off. In addition, there are several articles that claim that listening to the correct type of music can improve your running by 10%. But, on the other hand, runners with ear buds can lose touch with their surroundings and ultimately endanger themselves. Is running with music worth the risk it can cause?
A top factor in runner safety is being aware of what’s happening in our surroundings. The car traffic that runners contend with on their course is not the only danger. Along with traffic safety is our personal safety from those who would do us harm.
One of the country roads that I’ve used for my training runs is the location of a recent account of a brutal attack of a runner. There’s an article that you can read about a man whose road rage led him to beat a jogger so viciously his face will need surgery. (Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com)
How many posts do you think you’d find if you Google: “Assault on Joggers”?
A “Self-First” mindset forces us to ask ourselves, “What’s best for me?” If you don’t think of what’s best for you, I can guarantee you won’t come across others ‘out there’ who will be better at watching out for you.
Some of the best practices I’ve noticed include:
• Not running on the roads in the same direction ‘with’ traffic while listening to music
• Only listening to music with one ear bud while running on the roads
• Setting the volume for music at a safety level
• Listen to music on your ‘Easy’ run days
• Develop a rubberneck or swivel head and be more alert
• Choosing to appreciate nature and not listening to music
While writing this blog, I asked myself why I bother writing about the safety of other runners like you. I attribute it to my affinity I feel for those who are a part of my running community. It is a sport I am passionate about, and a community I am proud to belong to. My heart went out to the runners and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. Likewise, I feel sympathy when I hear about a tragic story of a runner who became another victim. So, please, be safe out there.