I know, running without music is just “soooo boring!” Right?
Now before you start a full on (telepathic) argument with me, hear me out.
First, I totally know where you’re coming from. I used to think that I’d never survive a run without some musical motivation from my favorite artists.
But after I let go of my stubbornness (read: lost my headphones and was forced to suffer through a run with only the thoughts in my own head), I came to find that it’s actually not so bad.
In fact, I really didn’t suffer at all. Contrastingly, I was surprised to find that it was actually kind of enjoyable, and learned a few new things about running along the way.
Maybe at first it was a little bit weird (am I actually supposed to confront all these thoughts in my head?), but as I found my pace and got into the groove I felt OK all on my own. I wasn’t bored; my run turned out to be engaging and educational.
Here’s what I learned and why you should ditch your earbuds every now and then.
-3 Reasons You Should Try Running Without Music-
1.) Listen to your feet.
No doubt, the beat of a good song provides a nice tempo for you to gauge your pace off of, but learning to pace yourself by the sound of your footsteps and the feel of your stride is a great technique you can use to perfect your pace. As you develop your athletic awareness (which is an effect of running unplugged), hearing your feet connect with the ground will help you better be able to tell whether or not you’re running at the right pace.
2.) Increase awareness and improve your form.
Disconnecting from your precious iPod every now and then will help you to develop a better sense of awareness while you’re running. Not just for the sights and sounds around you (which from a safety standpoint is pretty important), but also for your body and the way that it moves. Instead of singing along with Ke$ha, think about your body. Are your shoulders relaxed? Is your neck upright and your gaze straight ahead? Are your forearms parallel to the ground? And what about your legs? Pay attention to which part of your foot is striking the ground (many argue that your forefoot is the best place to land) and the length of your strides. Taking the time to hone in on these things that will improve your form will help you run more efficiently.
3.) Soak up the sun, stop and smell the roses or some other cliché about enjoying nature.
Running sans music will help you to better appreciate your time spent outside. Not to mention, how often do you really get to disconnect from technology for an extended period of time? If your life is starting to feel a little bit like the plot from Her then you might find that tackling your next run without any tech gadgets (like MP3 players and even GPS watches and heart rate monitors) will provide a tremendous sense of freedom.
“The danger of being disconnected to nature lies in being hyper connected to technology,” says Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and creator of MarksDailyApple.com. “Technology can improve our lives and help us connect with each other, but it must be balanced with regular appreciation of and communion with the thing that made us what we are today: nature. Otherwise, you’re missing out on the benefits you could reap from just getting up and exploring the closest park, beach, forest, desert, or patch of unincorporated grass you can find.”