As I try to clear the cobwebs of a very taxing and challenging week at work (6 NEW presentations due in the next 3 weeks), I had to laugh at a post by Dan Patrick (ESPN) on his blog yesterday. I am usually not one to copy other people’s posts, but this one brings up an interesting and fun topic (as well as a little controversy). He diverged from his usual commentary about sports (sorta) and asked:
“…which are the best..’get pumped up’ songs. You know, the song you’ve heard a ton of times but it still gets you going when you stumble onto it on the radio…”.
Now, my list of these songs is WAY too long to list. Many is the night that, during a particularly fast and fun song, I have nearly passed out from the music induced effort during a spin class. I am also certain there are those songs that, were I to listen to them during a track workout, would carry me to a sub 4 minute mile. My heart rate jumps just thinking about them. Why I get motivated by music, I don’t know. But it works.
I have up to this point, however, resisted the urge to get an MP3 player of any sort. Mostly because of the controversy I referred to earlier. That controversy being that most large races no longer allow MP3 players. They make it too hard to hear other runners and course officials and, therefore, are deemed dangerous. I have been to several races now where people were pulled off the course and asked to remove them because it was CLEARLY stated in the rules that they were not allowed, yet the individual chose to ignore the rule and run with one anyway. Indeed, on the website for the marathon I am running posted the following in their FAQs:
Can I wear headphones, push strollers, or bring my dog?
Walking strollers (no jogging) will be allowed in the 5K and half. For insurance purposes, we do not allow headphones, earbuds, iPods, radios, other hearing-obstructive devices or animals on the course.
I was disappointed by this rule at first (mostly because I’m a geek and saw an opportunity to add technology to my inventory… kind of a geeky “counting coup”…), but the more I thought about it, the more I could see the validity of it. Now I consider myself a supporter of the rule. No amount of musical motivation is worth an accident or a wrong turn on course. If you HAVE to have music or you can’t run… fine. Just don’t sign up for races. Run on the trails, alone so that I can sneak up behind you and scare the crap out of you when I pass you (I have done this NUMEROUS times to headphoned runners). I have scared the same poor girl at least 3 times this way. On one early morning run in the dark, I sent a terrified MP3 runner flying into the weeds (he said he thought I was a dog…). Now… I’m not THAT scary… am I? …wait… Don’t answer that…
Anyway, not to stray too far from the initial topic but to carry it out to you runners/triathletes/fitness goobs, what do you listen to? When do you listen? Do you sneak your MP3 player into races?