Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Runner Says #1: iPods? Yay or Nay?

As anyone can attest to reading this blog, my major passion these days are music and running, and as much as music can complement a run, the method of listening may not be safe nor convenient. On this issue I recommend running without an iPod (or a Zune if you're one of the unfortunate souls who purchased it). Here are my top reasons:

1. It distracts from the enjoyment of the run. Most folks run with an iPod to help them ease the pain or tedium of running, but if you find running to be painful or boring, then you're probably not doing it right. Running should be fun, and even though Los Angeles may not be the most runner-friendly city, there are some wonderful sights to behold running through this fair city of ours. Rather than distracting yourself with loud music, how about enjoying the scenery, the sounds of the city or the trails, and the company of other runners around you. I feared being bored to tears running without an iPod on those long runs, but I can honestly say I've never been bored.

2. Es muy peligroso, especially if you're running on the car-clogged streets of the city. There are many crazy, terrible drivers out there, so it's good to be aware of your surroundings. The fact of the matter is most people have their iPods turned on too loud that they can't hear what's going on around them. There could be a Mack truck coming from behind. Out in the trails by yourself? You may not hear the footsteps of the crazed murderer behind you. Furthermore, all the fiddling with the controls can take your attention away even just for a split second, but it only takes a second for disaster to strike. The first rule is Safety First!

3. If the first two reasons aren't enough for you, then I'm going to appeal to your sense of pride. The cool runners don't run with iPods. See those fit, sexy, shirtless runners racing down San Vicente in Brentwood or up through the trails in Pasadena? They don't use iPods. Instead they carry on conversations or focus on their breathing and technique. Everyone knows it's only the newbies and poseurs who run with an iPod. Are you cool or aren't you?

This does not mean you should never run with an iPod. If you're running on a treadmill, then by all means listen to one--I certainly do, if only to drown out the horrible techno music they're playing at the gym. On a treadmill you're less likely to be attacked by a lunatic. But if you still feel compelled to run with an iPod outdoors, then do so with the sound turned lower so that you can hear everything around you. There's nothing more obnoxious than an oblivious runner.

The Runner has spoken.

(First in a series)

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