OK, not quite true, but I got your attention, didn’t I?  I did, however, try something different during this marathon training cycle: no music while running, including my long runs.

Yes, I’m music-free…for now. In the past, I usually ran to music during my long runs. It helped me pass the time. It motivated me. It talked to me (or rather, it got me to talk to myself). For example, if Everlong by Foo Fighters ever shows up on my iPod Shuffle, my first thought is: “I can’t let this song down.”  Boom, I’m gone. My pace usually picks up during such a song.

I’m sure scientists can explain why music motivates us, and the physiological responses our bodies can have to a good beat or meaningful lyrics; however, what happens when we take away the music?  I mean, the potential downside to training with music is that we tend to get used to it (sometimes even dependent on it). If we get used to it, and are not allowed to race with it, we can be affected a bit on race day.  This is especially true of smaller races with not a ton of crowd support. There are long periods of quiet during such races. This can be a surprising adjustment to make.

So, instead of Muse and Metallica during my 20+ mile runs, it’s been just me and my inner-voice, which is usually singing anyway.  Will this experiment work?  I guess we’ll find out on October 7th when I will run the Steamtown Marathon.

Don’t worry, I’ll put on the headphones again soon enough, but for now, the airwaves are clear.

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