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.
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!