What do you listen to when you run?


Music, audiobooks, nothing… or something else?

When I first began running, I would almost always listen to music. At first I used my smartphone, and then I began using the lighter iPod shuffle. Music is great for running. It can help pump me up and keep me going. I love music but as my training runs became longer and more frequent, I began to tire of listening to music.

When I started listening to audiobooks, it was a game changer. I could listen for hours and hours as long as the book was interesting. I also felt like I was accomplishing more things while I ran. I had a list of books I wanted to get through and I was completing them quickly. I remember at one ultra, I completed an entire book (7 hours long, which is short for a book). The only problem is if the book is boring because of the story or narrator. I was worried about spacing out while listening to books on a run but I slip into auto-pilot mode and enjoy the book. The first audiobook I listened to was “Born to Run” 😉

With group runs, I usually won’t listen to anything. I’ll just bring something with me in case I get separated. I prefer to interact with the other runners in the group. Yes, I can be chatty.

If I’m on a trail run (especially trying a new trail), I often won’t listen to anything. I will enjoy being out in nature and its sounds (or lack thereof).

That is generally what I do for training. Racing is different though. I usually listen to music to keep me motivated during the race. The exception would be trail ultras. For those, I’ll usually listen to nothing to enjoy the trails or an audiobook since I know I’ll be out there for a while.

What about you? What do you listen to when you run?

I have friends that will listen to podcasts or talks. I remember meeting another runner at an ultra that was listening to instructional audio on how to speak Spanish. I found it fascinating that he was learning to speak another language during his run!

Note: I had a hard time finding headphones that would stay in my ears when I ran. I started using Yurbuds and they work great!

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