November is National Runner Safety Month. It’s a good time to look at your habits as a runner on the road and trail. As runners we are facing shorter, colder days with more time is spent running in the dark. It’s time to take away and add some gear. You can probably guess what you need to add gloves, head band, sleeves, shoes spikes etc..

What needs to go? The answer: Earbuds.

I know you might not be buying what I’m selling. Mentally argue with me all you want. First, read.

  1. Safety. Without earbuds or headphones you can hear the people and traffic around you. There are plenty of traffic noises from squealing tires to honking horns which are warning signs of possible danger to you. Plus, when you forgo earbuds you’ll look less distracted and appear to be a less desirable target for a crime.
  2. Listen to your body. When you’re NOT caught up in a song you’re more likely to be aware of your form, pace and breath. Listen to what your body is telling you when you run. Music will detach you from the running experience. How many elite runners do you see wearing earbuds?
  3. De-stress. Studies prove that listening to the sounds of nature is beneficial. A study in March 2017 by the University of Sussex supports that nature sounds physically change our mind and body systems that control the fight-or-flight systems. Take in what’s around you. Listen to the leaves crunching under your feet.
  4. Process your day. Running is a great time to work through what might have been a tough day. Music can be a distraction from dealing with the emotions and feelings. Use your workout time to work on you.
  5. A compromise. Try a running vest with a media pocket and turn your phone upside down so phone’s speaker is at top of your shoulder. You can still hear some ambient noise and you’re not totally cut off from the world around you.

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