The Best Things To Listen To That’s Not Music While Running
Hear that? It’s the sound of silence. It can be so freeing to run without music, being able to get lost in our thoughts and be present in nature and all that’s around us. And then a few minutes pass by that feels like hours. We get bored and begin to lose motivation. But sometimes we just really aren’t in the mood to listen to some music. Or maybe our go-to playlist is just too played out. There are other things to listen to that isn’t music—and it can actually be better.
We all know that music has motivational benefits. But when we can’t stand to listen to another dance track, it’s time to switch things up. Put the fun back in running and download a running game. And we aren’t talking about Temple Run here. There are actually games designed to be listened to while running. It puts the runner into the game and helps to make them run faster and longer.
Zombies, Run! is among the best games to “play” while running. It has the runner speeding away from zombies with each run a new mission. Run longer to pick up gear, and sprint when zombies on your tail. The runner gets to run their distance and their own pace and still feel like a survivor.
Other options include The Walk and BattleSuit Runner Fitness, which are story driven. The Walk is better suited for rest days for serious runners, whereas Battlesuit Runner Fitness replaces zombies with aliens. Many runners also play Pokémon Go while they are running to catch all ‘em all.
Running Podcasts And AudioBooks
Some people can easily read a book, magazine or their Kindle or tablet while on the treadmill. Others find the movement makes them dizzy. But listening to a podcast or an audiobook while running is actually a great idea. Many find themselves engrossed in a story, not wanting for the run to an end.
But what to listen to? The podcast Marathon Training Academy is popular among the running community, the co-hosts providing information in a funny and relatable way. Another Mother Runner is another podcast that is very relatable for women who are used to juggling the house, work, kids and training. The podcast often includes advice and interviews with professional runners.
The Nike + Run Club allows runners to track their run, but it also has the option to listen to Guided Runs that includes interviews with elite runners like Shalane Flanagan and Jerry Schumacher.
Audiobooks are another great option. “Born to Run” by Christopher Mcdougal, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” by Haruki Murakami, “Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek and “Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor all come highly recommended.
Run And Breath: Meditation Apps
It may seem counterintuitive to put on some mediation sounds when it comes to finding that extra push when running, but these can actually help the runner find their zen. Meditation apps are a great way to have some noise on in the background without being totally distracting. It still allows the runner to feel closer to nature and be intuitive to their body. Especially when it comes to breathing. Meditation is all about breathing, but instead of falling into a super relaxed state, instead, focus on the breath when running.
Apps like Calm include guided meditation and breathing exercises that are great for during and post-run. Buddhify is a more in-depth app that provides custom meditation programs, whereas Sattva Meditations & Mantras makes mediation more like a game with challenges. It features chants and timers to cue with the run, and users can even check their heart rate in the app.
When To UnPlug
Of course, there are times when it’s a good idea to just leave the phone or music player at home. If the runner isn’t interested in listening to music, maybe they don’t want to listen to anything but the steady galloping of their feet. It’s actually a good idea to unplug all together every once in a while.
Besides the obvious safety aspect of running without music, it can also help prepare the runner for races that prohibit music on the course.
Running without anything to listen to also allows the runner to really experience the run and what it feels like. It teaches the body to run goal pace without being distracted or stimulated to perform better. It can also be fun to push the body during these kinds of runs to see what the runner is capable of.
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