Running and fitness

Headphones or Not??

This topic is a little more obscure in the realm of fitness and health, but never the less has its place as a mental tool

I’m talking about the benefits of wearing and not headphones while you train
I used to travel to Ft Worth for my boxing coach twice a week
Living in Dallas, the trip would take about an hour roundtrip without traffic
During our training, he required me to run at least five times a week
He is the coach I credit with getting me into running and learning to embrace it as a part of my training
I believe any athlete, no matter the sport, should have a healthy cardiovascular system
I remember during one of our sessions, I mentioned that I used headphones when I ran
He told me not to run with headphones, and I was a little perplexed as to why not
He began to explain to me that you can’t hear yourself breathe, and your surrounding
Music, if you think about it, is an artificial stimulate
How many times has a song made you sad, happy, or pumped up
I can think of a few times where I was training, and the song I was listening to got me that extra rep or made me run just a little faster
There have also been times where I felt that running without my headphones has been helpful
Just listening to your breath and environment and being present with yourself can produce a calm or Zen state while running
I am also of the mindset that you don’t hear music during combat or sport and you have to rely on yourself to hit your goal
This is where I am going with the concept
If you get rocked or dazed, that rockyesque song you heard on your headphones isn’t going to pull you out
The same is true in life when you hit roadblocks
Epic songs are great at improving your mood
At the same, the tools needed to get past life’s roadblocks requires inner reflection and mindfulness
My advice to you is a combination of the two
There have been some days where just the thought of being able to listen to a new song motivated me to get in the gym or run
There are days where I don’t want any outside influence via sound and want to be present with myself and my breath
There is no right or wrong; it’s more about the journey and being in tune with yourself

If you do always train with headphones on, take them off on the next run and get comfortable with listening to your inner rhythms