Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Dump the headphones and experience the pain and pleasure of working out

Posted Oct 26 2010 12:00pm
  • Earphonepicture What do the Beatles, Dave Matthews, Static X, Drowning Pool, Tool, NIN, Rage Against the Machine, Flight of the Concords, U2 and Bon Jovi all have in common?  Give up?  They are all bands on someone's workout playlist on their Ipod or mobile music player.
Check out runner's world for a list of playlists from prominent runners HERE .  

Triathlete Sarah Haskins has her favorite tune list HERE

You see it all over twitter and blogs on the internet, everyone has those songs that keep them going through a tough speed workout, long slow run on a Sunday or that first ironman race.
But, is that getting away from the fundamentals of being an endurance athlete and flying in the face of USAT official rules during events? 

USAT specifically mandates that earphones should not be a part of triathlons sanctioned by them HERE .   

How many multisport athletes have you seen during an event with headphones?  How many athletes have you wanted to pass or tried to get the attention of that have been too engrossed in their tunes to notice you?  Not to mention the dangers of not being able to hear what is going around you for women running by themselves or athletes training on streets with any traffic.

Using headphones is not the end of the world, but rule of thumb says to train like you want to race.  If you need the music to train, and race without it because of the rules, you won't be mentally prepared for the thoughts that will leak into your head without Fleetwood Mac to drown them out.  You haven't trained your mind and body to operate without the background noise that helped you get through that 18 mile training run.

A few studies are out there suggest running while listening to music will actually improve pace while having mild effects on perceived exertion and heart rate HERE .  The improvement was more apparent for “untrained” runners versus “trained” runners. If you aren’t a regular runner or you are just starting, be mindful of how strict the race is about headphones. If you train with them and go without them for the race, you could be looking at a letdown of a slower pace and more perceived exertion, putting you in the pain cave for your goal race.
If you are one of the athletes that train and race with music, are you really "in the game"? 

Are you experiencing the here and now when U2 is helping you melt away the miles?  What's the point of running 26.2 or riding 112 miles if you don't remember them because they went by so “fast”?  Isn't that part of the reason to do it, to experience every mile?
Like Tyler Durden said in Fight Club:

- “Don't shut the pain out… Without pain or sacrifice, we would have nothing.”

- “Stop it! This is your pain, this is your” 26.2!

- “I'm going to my cave to“ listen to Godsmack!

- “No! Don't deal with this the way those dead people do! Come on!"

- “I get the point!”

- “No! You're feeling premature enlightenment. It's the greatest moment of your life, and you're off somewhere else!”

Dump the headphones and experience the pain and the greatest moments of your life!

Ryann Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog , and is a married father of one (soon to be two), owner of three dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001.  Ryan is also the Kansas Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughs HERE .  Contact Ryan at:

*All opinions expressed in this story are by the author and are not necessarily those of EMT.

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

Post a comment
Write a comment: