Without a doubt, music can add a lot to a run. Music has the power to draw extra energy out and can make a long run fly by. I have, at times, used my shuffle on every run, but I have also gone the purist route and not listened to music on any of my runs for months on end. My take on whether or not to train with earphones is always changing.
This past week I ran a workout that I know is most important for getting me ready for a marathon: the 15 mile tempo run. For this workout I run a 20 minute easy warm up, then do some drills and strides before beginning 15 miles run at “marathon effort.” I say “marathon effort” because I live and train and 7,000 ft so “marathon effort” is usually 10-15 seconds per mile slower than “marathon pace.” The course I run is equally challenging to the Boston marathon and usually there is some wind to battle so my times may not reflect what time I can run for a marathon, but I can always make sure to run the right effort level.
As I was heading out the door to begin my tempo I was debating whether or not to grab my earphones. I decided to grab them but upon turning it on a little red light flashed at me indicating the power was close to running out. I thought to myself, well that answers that question, threw the earphones on our steps and headed out the door. In hind sight I was glad I didn’t use the earphones. I needed to practice what I want to be thinking during the Boston Marathon. If I get so used to listening to music on every run than what am I going to do with my thoughts when I am out there for 2 hours running with no music to encourage me along the way?
I think its important to be able to encourage myself without music. This doesn’t mean that I’ll never train with music but there are times when it is time to leave the Ipod at home. You can choose or you can just wait till the battery runs out.