I run in the morning. Sometimes.

The one constant thing I have noticed about every time I run is that I am always ready to give up after the first few steps.

Like today morning. I had just started running when I questioned myself on why I was outside at 5:10 am, running? I was already feeling tired and highly doubted if I would make the entire run, which was to be around 6 kilometers.

And the particular route I had chosen had hills and valleys, meaning that the run would be more challenging than one that took place on a relatively flat route.

I run to the sound of music, blasting from my phone. It’s typically reggae music or Kenyan old-school HipHop.

I recall one of the guests on JRE (Joe Rogan Experience…apparently the best performing podcast on Spotify), David Goggins, mentioned that he considers working out to music cheating. I can’t remember the precise explanation he gave only that he alluded to the distracting effect that music has on the brain. In this regard, when one works out to music in the background, your brain gets an avenue of escape from the current workout. Which means you can cheat your body into doing some extra reps or sets or running some extra kilometers simply by listening to music.

I can attest to this. There are times when the music gives you an energy boost either through listening to a song that pumps you up, or offering a means of escape. When your mind escapes, you are not fully aware of the current activity you are engaged in, which means that you are in one way or another cheating. It all starts in the mind they say.

And so Goggins advocates for working out without music, so that you are fully engaged in the process and have no means of escape. Self motivation. Hence, all the effort that you put into the workout will be from within, and will not be fueled by an external source such as music. Goggins himself is a super athlete, if I can call him that. He’s an ultra-marathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist and triathlete. I cannot even compete in a normal marathon (okay, even a half marathon will be a tall order for me currently), let alone an ultramarathon.

I just might try his approach.

Mind over matter.

For now though, I like my run with some music in it.

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