Should you listen to music when you run?

I never do, and even if I did I think I won the prize for having the worst smartphone ever – a Microsoft.

At the time it seemed great – syncs with your computer so you can read all your word documents on the fly etc. But wait a minute you couldn’t get any apps which in my case meant Strava and even my Tom Tom Sports so I had a very flashy sports watch which I could do nothing with.

What a fail! And now the phones are being scrapped – but as it happens I’ve gone back to my old one a Sony Xperia.

Do all runners crave a schedule?

I’m a creature of habit – I always get Saucony running shoes, I like Sony phones, hell up until a few years ago I always had the same sandwich for lunch. Because you know where you are, see, why invest all that brain power thinking about what to eat when you could be thinking about other much more important stuff?

Actually is there anything more important than eating? (And drinking, I suppose, as long as it’s water and not alcohol, unless it’s a social occasion, or business and you don’t want to get too drunk in front of your boss or client .. anyway).

Isn’t running the same? You have a training schedule – a plan whether it’s three or four runs a week, you monitor, you check, you measure, you weigh yourself (or may be you don’t). You think about your food which for me means should I do pasta for tea the evening before my long run. (Actually I’ve sneaked this in on a Saturday, but shhh don’t tell the family they haven’t realised I’m introducing a meal planner by stealth). You ask yourself whether you should listen to music when you run, or not.

At university which seems like a very long time ago now I even had a meals schedule so I know what I has eating on any given day.

My flatmates thought I was mad, but I had the last laugh, as it gave me more time for ..sitting about in the kitchen with my flatmates..?

I still think about doing a meal planner now, but then where would my wife and I be without the daily ‘what are we having for tea’ chat? Ho ho! We’d actually have to find something to talk about, beyond me chuntering on about work, or her trying to answer Popmaster questions with Ken Bruce.

We’d actually have the sort of chat that she likes to have when I’m busy ie trying to write blogs like this or thinking about my route for my next hill session or long run. You know the metaphysical stuff such as ‘will we ever have more kids, do you think we need another quote for the conservatory roof, have I got bowel cancer or just an itchy bottom, will Doctor Who ever be any good again (actually the last two are just me).

Do you like to listen to music when you run?

But back to the music

So I have a new smartphone.

In fact we both do – which my wife was thrilled about as it means we have signed up to Google Play. Our hand was actually forced a couple of years ago. You see we’re a CD loving family but when we got our new car guess what?

Skoda’s don’t come with CD players anymore because apparently ‘everybody streams their music these days’.

Well, they don’t actually Mr Car Salesman Guy, but of course we’ve got to now, haven’t we? Because there’s only so much radio you can listen to on an eight hour holiday drive to Wales, and we should know because did it.. (and back!).

So now music can be added to a playlist quicker than spilling water all over yourself at a Run Norwich water stop on Koblenz Avenue, so now I can think about what tunes I can add to my phone for my running playlist instead of having earworms running round my head like the Proclaimers,  when I hit the ‘wall’ or the Rocky Theme.

Except I don’t think you should listen to music when you run. Or least it’s not for me.

I may have to hide because I won’t be able to run

But signing up to Google Play also meant there was another agenda at play.

“You can sort through your CDs now,” my better half declared.

Whoa, hang on there, what? Sort as in.. get rid?

So now there is a new front opening on the marital battlefield.

It’s not even what to listen to but whether to listen to anything physical at all.

You can imagine there has been a certain loss of harmony in our household over this one.