I had to laugh at this one. I get this question a lot, especially by the folks at work that try to wrap their brains around running for three hours, riding for six, or swimming for two (not that I’ve done the last two this year, but it’s happened).
I don’t wear headphones. I don’t listen to music.
Except what’s playing on mental radio.
I agree with Frazz. I’ve got to hear what’s going on around me. And music is too much of a distraction.
Every time I run a race, I am reminded of why it’s a good idea to not wear headphones. Little islands unto themselves, runners with headphones take hard right turns with no warning so they can get a cup of water or get to the curb to tie their shoe. They cross center lines on the (open) road, not hearing the car on the other side, just so they can jog with a bit more space (even loud screams couldn’t get this guy’s attention).
I understand the desire to distract oneself from the discomfort and pain. I do wear them when I’m on a dreadmill or trainer. But never outside.
I must be one of the old diehards that this NY Times article is referring to.