The subject of whether to walk, run or do anything for that matter with music seems to be one of the most controversial topics in sport. For good reason, race organisers don’t want competitors off in their own little world when they’re racing, apart from anything else, having a competitor oblivious the presence of other competitors is a really bad idea.
But music can really enhance a walk, especially if you choose a playlist that isn’t just typical ‘motivational’ thumpers but something that works with you, like a soundtrack to your walk. It can lift your spirits when things get tough, provide a distraction from a particularly tedious stretch or work with your environment to create a complete experience.
Get up early for a fast training walk and go with a chill out soundtrack instead of something stronger, to match the stillness and quiet. Do that in a beautiful piece of countryside and you’re transported into a magical place. While you can use music to keep tempo, if you use a sports watch and have a target pace showing, this can leave you free to enjoy a soundtrack that fits your environment, while your watch keeps you on track.
Of course, it’s essential always to be able to hear traffic, to be aware of other users of shared paths, such as bike riders or trail runners and, perhaps most importantly to still acknowledge other trail users because, after all, walking is a social sport.
But overall, grab your ear buds, plop on some cans and experiment with your playlist. Leave Rocky at home and go for something more interesting, something you maybe wouldn’t think would fit. Take a bit of piano music into the park and see the relaxing effect it has on you, which could actually make you go faster! It clears your mind, brings tranquility and that can make you physically relax, which is key to going faster or preventing injury.
Whatever your musical taste, pick something you wouldn’t expect to be appropriate for a sport walk and see what happens!