Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It's about time I chimed in on whether or not it is kosher to wear headphones while running. I mean, it is obvious from my blog that I use my iPod every time I run. And there is a reason for that.

I have been running, on and off, mostly off, for over twenty-five years. Since I got my first iPod in 2003, I have run more often, more consistently, faster and with greater joy, than I ever did before.

I'm all for the sound of the outdoors, your feet on the pavement and your own healthy breathing. But first off, I am easily bored. And music is an outstanding motivator for me. Running is one of my few opportunities in the day to listen to the electronic pop music I like (though, I have to admit, my son is becoming one crazy dancer) and planning playlists and looking forward to listening to them has gotten me out of bed many, many times.

The first time I ran a 5K wearing my iPod I broke twenty minutes. I do not believe I could have finished my first marathon without it.

Yes, if I were hit by lightning I could send raw electricity right into my ears and destroy them. So I will refrain from using them in a thunderstorm. And there is always the chance of getting hit by a car, so I stick to the sidewalks, always look both ways when I cross the street, and otherwise pay attention.

To each their own. This is mine.

Distance: 3.15 miles
Weight: 167 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Drink: PowerBar Endurance Sun Tea
Snack: Slim Fast Optima
Time: 6:00 am
Temperature: 65º
Weather: misty

Girls and Boys in Love - The Rumble Strips
Tubthumping - Chumbawumba
Space Age Love Song - A Flock of Seagulls
Malegria - Manu Chao
Leilani - Hoodoo Gurus
Merrymaking At My Place - Calvin Harris
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
It's My Life (Vocal Mix) - Liquid People vs. Tak Talk

"Run, Fat Boy, Run"

Play Fatboy Frogger.


norabarnacle said...

I agree with you about the motivation! I love having my music when I exercise. I love having music anywhere actually. But, I only put one earphone in so I can hear my surroundings. And I never use it on race day. I have to say, I hate it when people race completely plugged in. But that's because to me, racing is about coming together. Earphones on race day seems a little bit like "talk to the hand" to me. But, I think I wouldn't mind it if people smiled, acknowledged you, or at least didn't cut you off because they are not paying attention to the rest of the pack.
Not that I am highly opinionated on this subject or anything!
And I must check out this Manu Chao. I've seen the name a bit, but haven't heard anything...

Tom said...

If the music brings you joy, why would you consider running any other way.

I like your play list.

Glad the music carries you on your runs...

pengo said...

First off, I entirely respect the "come togetherness" of any race or fun run. But running has always been a solo event for me, I wasn't in track or anything in high school, and was always very self-conscious about my athletic ability.

As a result, running on my own, and getting "in tune" with my music ... well, it's almost spiritual.

Yes, that sounds dumb when you are talking about listening to the BLACK EYED PEAS.

Fact is, when I did New York last fall, I had the 'phones with me, but didn't even puy my headset in place until I was more than halfway done - for exact the reasons norabarnacle mentioned ... but I used them to push me through the other half.

norabarnacle said...

Nope, not dumb at all!