When I first started, I didn’t listen to anything while I ran. I would just go out and run. No iPod, no headphones, nothing. And I was ok with that. I ran 11 marathons without headphones. But then I started listening to NPR and really liked the stories. So, I got a set of headphones and would listen to talk radio while running. It kept me amused, almost as much as the joggling. Then I discovered auido books and podcasts and never went back. I am all listening (while joggling) all the time. Here are some of the best options.
1. Audiobooks – There is only so much time in this life so listening to books while running is a great time saver. And for me, there is nothing like a good book to keep my attention focused away from the pain & tiredness of running. Some of my favorite books heard while joggling include Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Fountainhead, Confederacy of Dunces, Moby Dick, and The Count of Monte Cristo.
2. Podcasts – The invention of podcasts was one of the greatest things in the last decade in my estimation. I’ve always loved talk radio but when you can choose shows about obscure subjects that you like, well that is entertainment gold. I listen to a gamish of science, skepticism, stories, and NPR podcasts.
3. Talk radio – Before podcasts there was talk radio and I loved it. Nothing beats a long run listening to Car Talk, This American Life, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.
4. Music – Ok, this is what most people listen to and on occasion I like to crank up the motivational tunes too. I look for songs that have the same tempo as my running pace. Faster isn’t necessarily better but it does help to get you pumped up, especially for the last half mile of a long race.
5. Nothing – On rare occasions I go headphoneless just to catch the sounds of the city around me. Joggling around Chicago is really a treat and it is a completely different experience than running in the country. Mostly I don’t want to hear the police sirens, jackhammer, and honking cars but sometimes…it’s cool. These are also the times when I generate the most ideas.
Either way when going for a run and listening to headphones, it’s always a good idea to run with one ear free. This allows you to remain conscious of your surrounding which is much safer.
And speaking of joggling, it’s time for me to go for my run. Going to do about 10 this morning.