Spikes10 Apr 2015

Beats, Rhymes and Spikes


Andrew Wheating Headphones

Ever gone out for a casual run and listened to something you've regretted? You're not alone. US middle-distance runner and two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating gives us his guide of what NOT to listen to while running.

1. Stand Up Comedy

“I love listening to stand up comedy and one comedian I love in particular is named Brian Regan. He's one of those guys who cracks me up just simply by listening to his voice. He recently released a new stand up hour and I was so excited to listen to it, I put it on my iPod when out for a casual run along the Auckland Waterfront [in New Zealand]. Big mistake.

“I'm running along chuckling away and then I just start falling apart laughing. I had to stop to hold on to my breath. It is hard to laugh and breathe at the same time because you just end up keeling over. I can't imagine what I looked like, laughing hysterically as this couple jogged by.

“It happened a second time and I thought this can't continue or I'm going to fall to the ground, so I had to switch it to music. A warning: it is hard to laugh and focus on breathing at the same time when out on a run. It's like having a panic attack.”

2. Intense music

“Although very intense pumped up music might be great to listen to before a race, on a casual run, for me, it is not too helpful. I've listened to pumped up electronic music in the past, but I've quickly found I'm running faster than I should be and breathing harder than I should.

“I've learned that to listen to someone like a Jack Johnson or a hip-hop artist that isn't yelling at me is better for me. My favourite is classical rock. It is fun to think about what those guys got up to in the 70s and 80s. My absolute favourite is The Who. When those guys come together it is poetry in motion.”

Andrew Wheating

"It is hard to laugh and focus on breathing at the same time when out on a run. It's like having a panic attack"

3. Audio Books

“It doesn't take very much for my brain to start to wander, especially on a casual run. It is amazing how I suddenly flip from thinking about how to make a smoothie to a murder mystery. I don't know how I make that connection.

“I enjoy listening to books on tape but when out on a run I can hear the words ‘a woman walked through the door’ and then I'll think, ‘the door in my house really needs to be fixed’.

“I once tried to listen to Harry Potter when out on a run. I love the movies but I just couldn't stay focused when listening to the story when out on a run.”