Some days I enjoy blasting my headphones and setting my own pace when I run, but other days I would prefer to run with others who either push me, or I encourage without any music, and just have the sounds of my heavy, sometimes annoying breathing.
This didn’t really click until yesterday when I ran in the I Run Colorado 5K at Wash Park in Denver with 5 other people. Half of us had head phones, and half of us didn’t. When the race started we all kept about a 8:30min/mile pace and then we started breaking off after the 1st mile marker. I started to realize I was breathing very heavy just after 2 miles, and because I didn’t have my headphones in, I started concentrating on my breaths. In through my nose, out through my nose. Then in through my nose, out through my mouth. And I alternated this. Doing this really made me NOT concentrate on time, or where I was in the race.
Anyone can argue which is a better way to run, or which is more enjoyable, but if you are an avid I-must-wear-my-headphones runner, try running without. And vise versa. You may find some things out you like better than what you are already doing now. And personally- if you HAVE to listen to music, get the ipod nano. Clipping it to your shirt/shorts allows you to be hands free and it can help with your form. Just a quick two cents before I sign off.