Running with music vs without

runneredgeI have completed all my runs while listening to music. I prefer listening to something that keeps me motivated and pumped to keep running. I use my iPhone to play the music which is in a belt pouch that I wear while running. It’s reflective, and it fits really well; I don’t feel it at all while running. I use a set a Phaiser Bluetooth headphones that work remarkably well. I accidentally let the charge die on them on my last run, and I ended up running the last mile without music.

I thought that running without music would be harder, or that I wouldn’t like it. I used to run without music for my entire time in the Corps as running with a Walkman was always a disappointing experience and running with a CD… please. I remember how much I would fixate or concentrate on my breathing and I remember not liking it.

So there I was, listening to Sumo Cyco singing “Interceptor” (I love that song, especially while running) when all of the sudden, the Bluetooth voice said, “Power: low” and then shut off. I went from hearing really powerful and driving music to hearing… me, breathing hard. I noticed that my breathing wasn’t in-sync with my steps, and for a while, that continued until I noticed that I started breathing in a rhythm in-sync with my steps. For every six steps, I inhaled once and exhaled once. It was very efficient, and my pace actually improved.

At the end of the run, I felt good. It was a good, hard workout, and I felt as if I’d accomplished something. It turned out, I did. My average pace for the 3.45 miles was on-par with my best runs, and the pace actually improved mile after mile which is the opposite of how my runs have typically gone up to this point.

I don’t know if I’m going to run without headphones. I really enjoy listening to music as I run, and it helps take my mind off the running and allows me to think about other things. However, when I concentrated on the running and breathing, my pace improved and my breathing became more rhythmic. Maybe I need to do more experimenting with this.

Do you run with or without music?