There's a certain rule among serious runners that says music and running shouldn't mix. It's what seperates real runners from joggers, they say, and it's why some marathons have gone as far as banning headphones.
Even Dave Scott-Thomas, the coach who has almost single-handedly built Guelph into a running powerhouse, isn't above the criticism that comes from mixing the two.
The head coach of the Speed River Track Club at the University of Guelph tells the Ottawa Citizen that he found that out a few years ago when he ran across campus listening to his iPod.
“A strength coach saw me and sent an email to our alumni group outing me: ‘I saw Dave running with earphones; clearly, he’s past his prime and will never compete again,’ ” Scott-Thomas told the newspaper.
“I had gone to the dark side. Listening to music is just one of those things in the running culture that separates a runner from a jogger. A real runner would never be caught wearing headphones — it’s embarrassing.”
But there's a lot of science that suggests music is a huge aid to athletes. A new runner can find a nine per cent increase in endurance and a 15 per cent increase in motivation simply by listening to music when they run, according to Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist with London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education.
And plenty of serious athletes, the story points out, have become well-known for using music as part of their preparation. Michael Phelps listened to Lil Wayne at the Beijing Olympics and Paula Radcliffe, the women’s world-record holder in the marathon, likes to listen to Stronger by Kanye West to get pumped up for a run.