What’s In Your Ear?

Do you listen to anything when you are running or riding? If so, what do you listen to and does it change? If you don’t, what are you thinking about? These are questions I asked the RunVie Racing and Total Fitness group Saturday morning prior to our run. As I expected there were a variety of responses. In today’s blog I’ll share my responses and highlight examples you may find useful…especially my choices in music…ha!

To begin, I was a bit surprised by the amount of people who don’t listen to anything. I thought I was in the great minority to often go out for a run or ride listening to nothing except for the thoughts in my head. When I reflected there were distinct reasons when I didn’t listen to anything.

Listening to Nothing

  • Slow and long runs & bike rides
    • When I’m going for a run or ride in a new location I often simply just want to take in and enjoy the surroundings
    • Working on a specific element in my form requiring focus
    • A chance to just think; I do my best thinking away from distractions (like on an airplane); Coach Celia Dubey and I shared how we both will develop acronyms to remember what we had thought about during the workout (ex. I had a ride recently where I needed to remember the words, Motivation-Ownership-Dependent-Education, so I remembered the acronym, MODE, and wrote it down as soon as I jumped off my bike. Each of the words had something for me to do with them.)
  • Tempo and speed (track) type runs
    • It’s all about FOCUS on:
      • Achieving interval time splits
      • Building muscle memory on proper form
      • Enduring extreme discomfort

Listening to Something

When I do listen to something it’s either on a long run or on the bike. The bike rides can be quite long so having multiple sources is useful. Here are three different platforms I pull from with my favorites or recent plays in each:

  • Podcasts – used for education and motivation. I love Coach Celia’s response to the question of what she listens to, “it has to be enriching.” What I find enriching via podcasts include:
    • Rich Roll Podcast
      • My favorite and most significant resource in my education about health – complete game changer for me in my turnaround. Official podcast description – Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality.
      • For more about Rich, here is a link of a previous blog I wrote – Why You Should Rich Roll
      • This is a link to my favorite Rich Roll Podcasts by guest and topic.
    • Exam Room Podcast
    • The Weekly Word Podcast
      • This is from Chris Hauth, Ironman Age Group World Champion, 2x Olympian, and Ultra-Endurance Coach
      • Chris is Rich Roll’s coach. He provides in great detail things to consider when taking on what we do. I love his wisdom on managing life while also being an athlete. He does coach endurance athletes so I do adapt many of his considerations for short-distance racing. They are great data points and inputs for runners, cyclists, swimmers, and various multi-sport athletes.
  • Audio Books – I also use for education and motivation. I’ll share three of my most recent reads (listens…ha!):
    • 80/20 Triathlon
      • From Matt Fitzgerald, an endurance sports writer, coach, and nutritionist. He also wrote 80/20 Running which I loved!
      • 80/20 is the concept of high volume/low intensity training where you do most of your training at low intensity (80%); the key however is high volume (which I LOVE) to build endurance and the ability to endure discomfort longer for performance and nail speed specific workouts = makes you faster!
      • I love this book as it discusses many factors when developing training plans for multi-sport (triathlon – swim, bike and run) where 80/20 Running is solely focused on the sport of running.
    • Let Your Mind Run
      • This is the memoir from Deena Kastor who after dominating run racing in her teens, struggled physically and mentally. Building a mind so strong would take years of effort and discipline, but it would propel Kastor to the pinnacle of running—to American records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon—and to the accomplishment of earning America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years.
      • I am still working on this one but it’s another example of how people who are at an elite level in whatever they do have doubts, struggles, and fears like anyone else. It’s a great lesson in how you deal with it and give yourself a chance to be an elite performer.
      • Thanks Morgan for the recommendation on this one!
    • Atomic Habits
      • I love how one thing leads to another in a quest for education. I found James Clear, author of this book, as he was a guest on the Rich Roll Podcast (episode #401) just over a month ago. He made my list of favorite Rich Roll Podcasts.
      • After I listened to James, I knew immediately it would be my next book. He shared highlights in the podcast including examples which really resonated with me and were realistic.
      • A slice of the description –  ‘Atomic Habits’ offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
  • Music – when I don’t want to think or need a pick-me-up; I use YouTube often to develop mixes or find live concerts from my favorite artists.

This was a fun one to write. It’s great to go out on one occasion with nothing but the road ahead without an earbud and on another occasion to have a favorite band help get every watt of power out of the legs driving through the pedals on a cycling sprint. Find whatever works for you and that could change with each effort…

– Add Health to Your Life

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