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Ditch the headphones….make your body and the sounds of nature your soundtrack!

For the third blog in the series on running I would like to try to convince anyone going running to ditch the headphones. Having read my previous blog you will surely now be convinced that outdoor running is far more beneficial and enjoyable than treadmill running. When running outdoors the primary reason to ditch the headphones is safety. It baffles me to see people pounding the asphalt without using one of their most important self preserving senses to get them home in one piece. You must be able to react to traffic, cyclists and dogs if you are taking to the roads.

The second reason is rhythm. We are rhythmical creatures. We naturally fall in with the rhythms that surround us and if we are listening to music we will fall into whatever rhythm that particular track has. If you are on an extended run you rhythm changes with every track and you end up having a very unsettled run. Without music in your ears you are subconsciously synching the rhythm of your foot strike and the rhythm of your breathing. You will subtly change this according to the incline or decline of your terrain and your level of fatigue. Learning to listen to this is an important part of getting to know your running technique.

Running is a social pass time. You need to be able to respond to your surroundings. Whether this is passing a smart comment to the neighbour who calls you a “f*****g lunatic” or the friend who shouts “give me a call the next time you’re going” or simply say “hi” to the people you pass. You go for a run to get out and meet the world, not to shut it out.

The final reason for leaving the headphones at home as far as I am concerned is that there are enough distractions in a routine day. Give the brain a rest and let it do it’s thing. You might be surprised at what you will achieve. Take my run this evening for example. Over the 40 minutes I wrote this blog and also came up with a fantastic idea for an invention that’s going to make me millions!! You will be amazed at what you can achieve when you are not trying.

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