Sunday, March 28, 2010


Last week I had a two-hour cycle followed by a thirty-minute brick run.  I just wanted to get out as fast as I could, so I decided to run without my trusty ipod.


The only time I really ever run without my ipod is during a race, and that is about to change.  Here are a couple of things I noticed during my unplugged run:
  • my pace was overall more consistent.
  • I was able to stay in my prescribed training zones with much greater ease.
  • I was able to focus on form more.
  • I noticed that during the first 5-6 minutes of my run, my perceived exertion does not match my HR--it feels like I'm working much harder than I actually am - this is of particular interest to me because in a race I always get freaked out by how hard I feel like I am working right off the bike, but now I realize it just takes a few minutes for my brain to get on board with what my body is doing.
  • I ran faster.
Let me repeat the last one...I ran faster. 

Well, to be honest, I usually run faster after I've spent a couple of hours on the bike, so I had to test my theory on a cold run.

Yesterday I did my zone 2 endurance run with no ipod, and even though it wasn't as fast as when I'm nice and warm, it was still faster for me than my usual cold runs of the same length. 

Now I'm not saying that I'm never using the ipod again--it does have benefits.  Some good tunes can really get you pumped up for a hard, fast run, and a great audio book makes the time fly on a long run, BUT I think from here on out, all of my brick runs will probably be unplugged.  The purpose of a brick is to prepare for race day, and I can't use an ipod on race day, right??

I encourage all of you to go unplugged every now and then.  You might just be surprised by what you hear!


  1. I've been unplugged since the beginning of 2009 and will never go back. Welcome!!!

  2. I love listening to audiobooks or podcasts when I run...I agree, I am more paced without one.

    That said...when you run, you use a watch? I'm shopping around for a good basic, cheapie watch I can do intervals on. Suggestions?

    Oh and Sparkle Motion is on her way to me! Fingers crossed she's as good as she sounds or back she goes.

  3. i go unplugged all the time with running. but, maybe it is just cause my "pod" died recently. but... at any rate, on race day, it is a no-go. so, i agree: why should it be a go for training?

    but, i do watch movies on my long rides on the trainer ;)

  4. with all the ipod issues I've had this winter, I'm used to going without it. I kind of like the rhythm my feet make!

  5. Depends on the amount of time I will be running, anything over 30 minutes causes me to get bored.

  6. During my ironman training I used an ipod only for my two longest runs - the ipod certainly helped in those runs. But I agree that it's easier to focus on your run when you aren't distracted by tunes which may make you speed up or slow down unnecessarily. It's nice to just listen to your breathing too and not have to feel like the ipod is a crutch.


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