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.

4 thoughts on “Headphones”

  1. I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve had some rather shocking experiences with cars creeping up on me while I was zoned out to my iPod. Whether or not I wear headphones depends on my workout–where I’m going and how hard I plan on working. As for racing, I can’t imagine trying to distract myself with music; even during a long race, I want to be fully present in every moment, and that means not deliberately distracting myself with music.

  2. I don’t know if I can run without one (should try). The way it works for me is…I can not look at my watch until this song is over.
    I think from sking I am used to looking behind me before making any moves…
    Take care

  3. Really? Never? Even when you’re running on sidewalks? That’s hard core! Although I agree about racing with headphones: Tacky!

  4. I ride au naturelle, but do wear headphones for running. No music though, as the rhythm would upset my pacing – I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. At the moment, it’s The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry, which is probably my all-time favourite audio book. Some rather adult themes & language, but if you can get a copy it’ll keep you well & truly amused for that flight out to sunny Iraq.

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