WHY I DON'T LISTEN TO MUSIC WHEN I RUN
Don't get me wrong, music can soothe even the most savage beast but there is a downside to
listening to your favorite tunes while running. There is however an alternative to the top 20,
and it's super easy to find the right one for you.
What is a podcast?
iPod + broadcast= podcast. A podcast is a digital audio file made available to download to your mobile device usually made available in your device app store. Think of it as a radio station that only plays what you want to hear. They are mainly talk shows with almost an infinite variety of topics. The best bit is you can subscribe to your favourite series and episodes are automatically downloaded as soon as they're released - all without lifting a finger. With so many podcasts out there it can be tricky to find one you like, so I have included a list of popular shows below as well and my favourite shows to listen to while out on a long run.
Before we get into this let me say that these are my views based on many years of experience - I am always interested to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.
The problem I used to find when running with music was the different rhythms and the impact it had on my cadence and speed. While I tried as best I could to create playlists that either had the same beat or close to the same beat throughout the session there would always be a mismatch somewhere along the way. I found that my breathing patterns or my cadence would vary throughout and although it's not too distracting at the start of the session, 2/3 hours in it really started to bother me. I find with a podcast playing in the background I can focus on my body's rhythm a lot better.
I also find that listening to music make lose touch with the signals my body was giving out. Some people might argue that this can help you ignore pain and discomfort and therefore go faster or further, but actually we greatly increase our risk of injury (and lose opportunities to improve our running) by not listening and responding to what our body tells us.
Music can affect our mood as well as our rhythm. You might find that the tone of the song affects your motivation and perception of the run. Some people can get past this whilst others may find they lose motivation too quickly if a sad or intense song comes on whilst trying to tackle a tough up hill climb. That might sound silly, but if you're already feeling intimidated about a particular route or struggling to complete a lap, that Taylor Swift ballad might just be the thing to finish you off. With a podcast I feel like I can zone in and out of the show as I need and maintain a steady mindset throughout my run.
My top 25 Podcasts
7) Stuff You Should Know
9) 99% Invisible
11) Hamish And Andy
13) Don't Salt My Game
14) How I Built This
15) The Trail Show
16) Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History
17) The Modern Mann
18) Dirtbag Diaries
19) This American Life
20) The Rick Roll Podcast
21) The Bugle
22) The Minimalist Podcast
23) The Tim Ferris Show
25) The Nerdist
It's important for me to add a note about staying safe and alert whilst out running. Whenever using a device or item that can distract you from what you are doing, exercise caution. In this case make sure you are able to hear what is going on around you so that you can react to danger accordingly and are mindful of others around you. If you're running a route late at night or on a busy road, you might be best leaving the headphones at home and tuning into your environment.