running while reading (with audio books!)
posted: December 23, 2009
Meet Rebecca from our Winnipeg store! We heard about her running story and asked if she would share with everyone. While many people listen to music while they run, Rebecca listens to audio books to get inspired when she hits the pavement!
It was the Police Half-Marathon in Winnipeg, 2007. I was nervous. I had never run 13.1 miles before and I didn’t know if I could do it. When the gun went off at the start of the race, I pressed play on my iPod, and started running. Swept up in the excitement of my first race, I didn’t realize until after a half mile that my carefully crafted playlist of Spice Girls, Massive Attack and the Village People was not playing. Instead, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, the audiobook I was listening to on my commute to and from work, was coming through my earbuds.
About to hit the pavement with audio books.
As I ran along the course, I considered struggling to free my iPod to change to my race playlist, but discarded the idea as the narrative drew me in. It didn’t take me long to realize the benefits of running to a book instead of a beat.
I was running the pace my body wanted me to run, instead of my knee jerk reaction to running with the music. Audiobooks are not so loud that they drown out the sounds of the runners around you, the cars driving by you. And somehow, listening to an audiobook makes my runs seem shorter than they actually are. It felt like I was only running for an hour – not an hour and fifty-five minutes – during that race.
While training for my first full marathon, I read eight audiobooks. Each one I associate with a different part of my training. Jack: Straight from the Gut, for example, was the book I read during the bulk of my hill training. Jack Welch wrote of his determination to succeed at General Electric, and I was inspired by his determination – and used it to fuel myself up the hill. The Lorax by Dr. Suess, at 15 minutes and 30 seconds in length, took me through warm-ups with a smile on my face. Below is an outline of the kind of workouts I do to audiobooks.
Which reminds me – I have a 45-minute easy run right now, and A New Earthby Eckhart Tolle is calling my name.
five reasons to run to audiobook
1. You run to your own beat, you are more in tune with your body
2. Self-development! Bettering your body AND bettering your mind.
3. Maximize free-time – I’m busy, and I love to read, but I don’t always have time to.
4. Focus – I’m less likely to psych myself out of a run. Focusing on the book doesn’t allow those “I’m tired” thoughts to cross my mind!
5. Safety – you can still hear what is going on around you.
some of my favourite books to run with
Jack: Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch – Hill training. Determination is required to get through your hill training, and Jack has determination in spades.
The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt – Long story for long runs.
Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations by Kerry Patterson – While Kerry gives you the tools to have crucial conversations and confrontations, you can work out any superlative anger or frustration thinking about those conversations causes in speed workouts.
Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – Great race books – full of interesting facts and fascinating theories, keeps you just distracted enough, but not too much!
Lorax by Dr. Suess – For warm-ups and fuzzy feelings (my brother used to read this book to me when I was a kid)
What book would be great to listen to?