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September 4th, 2012|
My training is year round, but my racing season begins in the spring. When I run on a treadmill, I use headphones to watch TV; cartoons on Saturday morning are my preference. But when I run outside, no headphones for me. I like to listen to the wind, birds, trees, and general activity or inactivity of the day. Most of my friends who run listen to music and have an iPod. I have shirts and jackets that have pockets and holes in them for the cord, but will it benefit me to use headphones?
There are two types of people who are runners: associative and dissociative. Which style of running is best for your training and race?
A dissociative runner is someone who focuses on something other than their movement, body, or running experience, usually focusing on music, talking, books, etc. Research shows that slow, soft music reduces the psychological and physiological arousal and increases endurance performance. According to Runners World, studies find that music reduces our perception of how hard we are running by about 10 percent. Music (external stimuli) helps block internal stimuli such as fatigue messages from reaching the brain. Music rhythm and beat can help with timing for foot strike and overall pace.
Associative running is being aware of your body, breathing, thoughts and overall running experience. The stand of the Road Runners Club of America is “Don’t wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.” As quoted in Runners World, Rob Udewitz, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, “I will never tell people they shouldn’t run with music, but I do think it’s best to try it without. You learn about yourself, and get the mental benefits of just being alone with your thoughts and feelings. When your body’s in motion, this can be really powerful.”
If you choose to wear headphones during a run, here are a few ideas to keep you safe.
I will continue to wonder if music would enhance my run, because for me I enjoy that connection with the sensation of the run. Enjoy your run, whether you are running to the music or running to your own beat.
Teresa L. Iattoni received her bachelor’s degree in anatomy and physiology and a master’s degree in physical therapy from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. She holds basic and advanced certification in Leduc Method Lymphedema Management.
As the Fox Cities Marathon half marathon sponsor, ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus is proud to offer a Free Injury Assessment Clinic every Tuesday until the Fox Cities Marathon, noon – 1 p.m. The free injury clinic is open to all participants in the Community First Fox Cities Marathon races (including full marathon, half marathon or 5K). ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus’ sports medicine team of licensed athletic trainers, physical therapists or sports medicine physicians will be available to assess injuries and provide recommendations to help you continue or return to running safely. No appointment needed. Visit ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus, Appleton Medical Center, 820 E. Grant Street, Appleton, Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m. For directions, see: www.thedacareorthoplus.org.ShareThis