Why You Should Run Unplugged

It's Sunday morning and you're completely unprepared for your run; searching the house for your shoes, headband, gloves and don't forget your iPod.  And then disaster strikes...

You find your favorite musical companion in your drawer - DEAD. There's no time to wait for it to charge, you've gotta get out of the house before the kids cause a mutiny or before you lose your nerve and stay home.  I think my exact words might have been "Fuck it." when I realized my iPod was dead and I was going to have to go out for my run in silence.  But I stormed out in a huff and hit the road anyway.  After my 8k run I cam to the conclusion that I should run unplugged on a regular basis.

Why, you ask?

Well, there's a few things I learned while out in quiet yesterday:
  • Running without music allows you toe notice and appreciate your surroundings more; the smell of leaves, the sound of the birds and the farmer's fields glowing in the sunlight.
  • A quiet run brings focus to your breathing and pace that might otherwise be drowned out by your favorite dance music. 
  • No music forces YOU to be the driving force of your run. There's no catchy tune to keep you boppin' down the road; just you, your body and your mind. After all, running is a mind game, right?
Yes, there were a few times that I was cursing my dead iPod and wanted to turn around and go home.  But I sucked it up and kept going.  My pace was slower than usual, but in hindsight that's probably exactly what I needed given I had slacked off for a week and was getting over a cold.

Look Ma - no ear buds!
The highlight of my unplugged run was near the end of my route.  I was running down a country road admiring the changing leaves and rolling hills when I heard a crack in the woods beside me.  I paused for a moment expecting to see a rabbit or squirrel jump out in front of me.  I couldn't believe what happened next.  There, just a few feet in front of me, emerged a gorgeous Buck - antlers and everything , from the forest.  I held my breath, trying to take a mental picture of this beautiful animal.  And just like that, he was gone. I'm guessing he caught wind of my smelly running clothes and ran right back into the woods.  That experience alone was worth ditching my iPod.  Had I been listening to music I would have missed that twig snapping and I would have run right past him, never even knowing he was there.

Have you tried running unplugged? Love it or hate it? I think I'm going to incorporate it more into my routine. Not all the time of course....that would just be ridiculous!  But at least a few times a month and hopefully I'll get a few more amazing memories.


  1. RUN
    unplugged :-)

    1. That's awesome. I always used too, but then got hooked on catchy music. :)

  2. I NEVER run with music and I can't imagine doing it. I honestly think it would hurt the quality of my run!

  3. The ONLY time I run with music is on the treadmill, in the gym. I need distraction there. Otherwise, I'm completely unplugged. The trails here in Vermont are far too beautiful to miss by being distracted :)

    1. The treadmill is hard...I watch crummy Netflix to take my mind off it. :)


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