Running Naked

Monday night, for the first time, I ran naked.

No, not naked, naked – I ran without my headphones. Up until this point, I really felt like I needed my music to make it through my runs, to keep me motivated to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve read a number of posts recently about running “naked”, just you and the open road, so I figured I would give it a try.

Overall, I enjoyed the quiet peacefulness that went with running sans headphones. I went running on a trail close to my house, and I found myself looking around much more and paying more attention to my surroundings.

One side effect is that I became hyper-aware of my breathing, as that was one of the few sounds I heard. At first it was helpful for me to realize how shallow I was breathing at times, but after a while it actually just got kind of annoying 🙂

While I did enjoy running without my headphones, I think I’ll probably stick with them for the time being. I certainly don’t feel like I need them anymore, but I do still enjoy them. They help pass the time on longer runs, and the right song at the right time can really get me pumped up and push myself.

What about you, do you like to run/exercise with or without music?

16 thoughts on “Running Naked

  1. I like to run to the jogtunes podcasts … i like how the pace starts slow and builds etc. I also like the interval training podcasts…
    I also notice my breathing when i’m not listening to music and I realize that on really hard runs I make unattractive noises akin to someone being tortured LOL

  2. Im struggling with this one 🙂 I cant seem to find the music I LOOVE (single songs? sure! but enough for a run—no) but Im not a fan of running in the quiet.
    I need to get back to the podcast listening.

    and yes.

    your title made me laugh.

  3. I enjoy running without my headphones every once in awhile. Sometimes I like to hear what’s going on around me. I agree with you about the breathing. When I run without my headphones I tend to analyze my breathing more and cause myself a bit of stress. Sometimes when I do an early morning run I will go without my headsets just for the security of knowing that I can hear oncoming cars.

    Great post. The title definitely catches the eye! LOL.

  4. I started my running career listening to music or NPR, but now I don’t even know where my MP3 player is. I’ve been running silent for a few months and I’m not sure I would want to go back to listening to music. I feel like it would screw with my pace or breathing. Plus I feel a little more social and certainly more aware of my surroundings. If you are running on the street or on a bike trail, you should run “naked” just for your own safety.

  5. On short solo runs, or long runs with someone else, no music. But long solo runs definitely require my trusty ipod!

  6. That’s funny! I did yesterday’s run without headphones. It was okay (actually my best pace yet), but I did find myslef asking, “How soon until I’m done?!).

    Great job, Brandon!

  7. My first thought was it’s bare foot not bare ass but it appears you figured that out, lol.

    I love the music too but just the other day I decided to do my short runs without since I can’t use my headphones on triathlon day. I want to simulate the race experience as much as I can.

    But I can’t imagine a 2 hour training run with only my breathing, that would drive me crazy too.

  8. I don’t mind running without music, but it IS harder for me to keep going for a long time without it! I find that on my longer runs, taking a break from the music is a great way to tune-in to my breathing, my pace, etc. Then I can plug back in to the music when I am ready. I guess I like to have the option of going either way!

  9. I really love to workout with my iPhone music. I actually forgot to bring it to the gym once, and I was really pissed off and didn’t enjoy my workout as much! Lol! But I think if I was running on forest trails that it might be nice because you could hear the birds and other nature sounds.

  10. I love working out to music. I need something to distract me or else I start weird things like counting to a certain number over and over again or saying a phrase to my running cadence. Basically, I need music so I don’t annoy myself. 🙂

  11. I run with music, I weight train and yoga without it. Having said that, there is plenty of distractive percussion, grunts, children screaming, and tv noise in the background when I work.

    I would be very interested to know what happens in perfect silence. I too would probably be hyper aware of my breathing. But i don;t think that is a bad thing.

    For the near-future though, I will keep with the noise I have. i enjoy the music I run to, and as for the noises I don’t choose- it is an excellent practice in meditation.

  12. Great post! When I started running I thought I could never get through it without the ipod. Funny thing though – when I started doing races I couldn’t stand having my headphones on. I enjoyed talking to the other racers and concentrating on the competition. Now, I am a solo runner. When I train I do not run with anyone else. I find it a distraction. It is my meditation time. My time to let my mind go and experience nature. And a couple years ago I stopped running to music. It’s freeing, actually.

  13. I go back and forth. I can run for weeks/months without it, then there are weeks/months where I will lose my mind if I don’t have music. For the most part, though, I run with the music!

  14. I can’t go without my headphones. I don’t like being able to hear myself think…it distracts me from my walk/run. Plus, I have my C25K podcasts on my iPod and they’re kind of essential.

  15. I run with but am noticing with longer runs I tend to turn the music way down about half way through.

  16. […] not a requirement for watchless Monday, I’m going to take it one step farther myself, and run completely “naked”, meaning no watch, no GPS, no music. I don’t always listen to music on my runs anyways, but […]

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