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Music of the moocher, music of the fast

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain

Bob Marley – Trenchtown Rock

Music and running go together like peaches and tin openers. Summer and wasps. Music can lift your feet, make them lighter, push you faster, further, or lost into another world. Music, like a certain carbonated caffeine drink, can give you wings.

I used to listen to music whenever I went out running, but always got confused by the heavy gasping sound that I could only hear between tracks. It turns out that I was quite vocal in my wheezing for breath throughout my run, I just couldn’t hear it over the music. So that explains the funny looks I was getting as I ran past other people out for a quiet walk.

While I needed to learn to run a bit quieter, there was no question of taking off the headphones (wired in those days), music was as essential as running shoes.

But just as some people run barefoot, I found that I wasn’t allowed to wear headphones in my first race, and there became the schism between wanting to run with music on, and wanting to run well in races.

I tend to listen to fast, loud music when I’m running – something that will put an oomph in my stride. I tried listening to podcasts but found I kept having to rewind them as I forgot to listen properly. This is a great part of running, when your mind can wander off and the whole thing becomes effortless. Something that music seems to magically induce.

But as I’ve written before, this mental wandering is not good for training, or more specifically, it is not conducive to following a strict training pattern. Tempo runs become tiptoe runs, strides become joyrides, the pace drops off unnoticed until the end and the lap times are in.

But that’s when running is most fun, lost in the moment, running for the love of running. And that’s where I’d like to get back to. Every run I’ve done this year has been without headphones, without music pumping me up, keeping me going. But as soon as the race is done in a few weeks then it’s back to the ear buds and back to running simply for the running…

… but only for a bit. There’s always another race, another training opportunity just round the corner, and I’ll surely be back in full force to take it on. In silence of course!


4 thoughts on “Music of the moocher, music of the fast

Add yours

    1. Thanks for the link, just read it and will check out others in your running series later. The phantom-running-whilst-listening-to-music phenomenon we’ve both observed is fascinating. Maybe I should get one of those treadmill desks for work and drift my way through the day!

      Liked by 1 person

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