Running: What Do You Really Need?

ipod

I was reading Kevin Lu’s post today on iRunner’s Blog about running without technology. Although Kevin is a big fan of anything running technology he talks about not needing all the latest technology to run. He couldn’t be more right! I often hear people say that they can’t run without their ipod and music. I once also thought that was true, but I now run more often without music than with music.

I remember being completely stressed about having my ipod during my first 10km race last year…of course when I got to the start line my ipod wasn’t working and I ran the whole 10km without my precious music. Guess what? It was the best thing that could happen…I was able to enjoy the race and take in  the sights and sounds of my first race! I was both in my head talking to myself while being with thousands of other people who were racing with me. I would not have had the same experience if I had been concentrated on my music.

Why was I so hung up on making sure I ran with music? For me it was a way to get through the race. I knew that by listening to my music I could concentrate on other things aside from the race. I could be distracted. But, why did I want to be distracted? I think I told myself I wasn’t strong enough to complete my race. I was using music not only as a distraction but also as a crutch to hide my fear of not being able to do it. Music was a distraction from my negative self-talk.

When I run without my music now instead of negative self-talk I simply count to ten. It’s still a distraction from what is going on with my body and how much I am suffering, but it’s not negatively impacting my confidence. With each count of 1, 2, 3 I am closer to the finish line. I now try to look around me, see people’s expression as I pass them instead of singing along to some random song. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good run with my ipod blasting in my ears, but running with the thoughts in my head no longer scares me.

In my case I was forced by a glitch in technology to step outside of my comfort zone, but I would encourage anyone to try it a few times before saying that you cannot run without your music. 

How do you change your running habits to step outside your zone of comfort?

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