Have you ever been listening to your running playlist and suddenly felt yourself getting bored?
You are not the first person to feel this way; running with music can help you get into a rhythm while you run, but it can also get very repetitive.
Cue audiobooks! Did you know that audiobooks can boost your reading comprehension by up to 52%? That’s because it’s easier to engage your brain when you have to slow down and listen to what is being said.
So, are audiobooks good for running?
Audiobooks are proven to help runners stay engaged and help to stave off exhaustion over a run. Also, listening to an audiobook while you’re running allows you to focus on something other than your own breathing and keeps the boredom away.
Here are some of the best reasons why audiobooks are good for running:
1. Keeping you engaged
We all know that running isn’t the most exciting activity in the world; it can be an amazing workout, but it gets to be kind of boring after a while.
Boredom is the number one killer of running workouts- if you’re bored, you are much less likely to finish the distance you originally set out to complete. This is where audiobooks become the perfect solution.
They go beyond your typical workout playlist by actually keeping your brain engaged while you’re running- letting yourself slide into a rhythm and forgetting about everything except for the book and your breathing.
2. Workout your brain too!
Audiobooks are actually proven to allow for better reading comprehension than traditional books or e-books.
This is because your brain is more engaged and listens at a slower pace than it reads, meaning it will process more in the same time.
So, if you’re listening to a compelling non-fiction book while you run, or even a great fiction book, you will get the added benefit of working out your brain at the same time!
Listening to audiobooks improves vocabulary and can help you improve your language fluency. Why not pick up an audiobook in your second language and reap the benefits while running?
3. Benefits for long-distance runners
Long-distance running, which is anything over 5k (or 3 miles), is improved immensely by listening to audiobooks.
Long-distance runners who listen to audiobooks on their runs reported feeling less tired after their runs and having an easier time reaching their distance goals. Because the nature of long-distance running relies on pushing your body through difficult times; audiobooks become the perfect medium for runners to escape and be able to focus on engaging with what they are listening to.
There is something to be said for a medium that can keep you engaged and focused during a long run, and audiobooks are perfect for making sure your mind doesn’t wander too much and think about what is currently hurting as you run your desired distance.
4. Easy accessibility
Has there ever been a book that was recommended to you that you know you want to read but just don’t want to spend the money to get it in hardcover or paperback?
Well you will be happy to know that audiobooks have become one of the most accessible forms of books; which you can often get for free. Sites like Amazon and Audible have many different free titles to choose from; as well as inexpensive titles that are one-time purchases, or subscription services if you are going to be using it very often.
Not to mention, many local libraries are keeping up with the digital age by offering audiobooks through apps that are free to sign up for and easy to use!
5. Time Filling
If you’ve ever been on a run and feel like you’re checking your watch/phone every couple of minutes to see how much time has passed, only to be disappointed when the time just isn’t moving- you should definitely consider audiobooks.
Runners who listen to audiobooks on their runs as opposed to music often say they barely noticed how long they were running for, or that the time felt more enjoyable.
Because an audiobook is going to be different every time you run, it will save you from realizing halfway through a run that your playlist just isn’t cutting it anymore. Audiobooks come in all forms; engaging non-fiction, thrilling fiction, biographies and more.
6. Become well-read
If you’re running a few times a week for an hour or more- you can definitely finally make a dent in you “to read” list that I’m sure has only been getting longer over the years.
Listening to an audiobook while running is certainly an excellent excuse to read some of those books people are always talking about at parties that you’ve never had time to read.
Pretty soon you’ll be the one finding new interesting books and articles to mention to your friends and family. Plus, because running frees up your mind to think about other things, you’ll actually have the time to meaningfully engage with what you’re reading rather than just skimming through when you have a few minutes to yourself.
Books in general are entertaining, that’s why we read them and that is why we continue to rely on them as a source of fun.
If you’re looking for something to keep you entertained on your run, I would certainly recommend ditching the playlist for a thrilling book. You will certainly have more fun on your runs than you ever thought possible.
Seriously, those who have listened to audiobooks on their runs say that it is the first time they have been able to focus on something else other than their panting and burning muscles.
8. Stress relief
For some people, working out is an important part of their routine because of the benefits it gives to stress reduction.
Listening to audiobooks while you run can help you unlock the benefits of stress reduction by calming you down and keeping you focused during a run. Some people find that the act of running is stressful in and of itself, so the benefits after the run don’t seem as appealing- that is where audiobooks can come in.
Keeping your brain engaged during the run and giving yourself something entertaining to look forward to while your running can make the after benefits of a run feel even better.
People who run with audiobooks say they feel calmer and more relaxed after running with an audiobook as opposed to music or nothing at all- which can really help when it comes to reducing the amount of stress in your life!
Should I stop listening to music while running?
Switching to audiobooks while you run can seem daunting to some, that is why another way to do it is listen to an audiobook for half the run and music for the other half can be a way to still reap the benefits of audiobooks while running.
By starting out your run with an audiobook, you set the pace and get your mind in the zone for the run, then you can switch to some pump-up music to get you through that last push!
No one is saying that you should quit music entirely; there can definitely be some benefits to listening to some good jams while you run. But if you want to benefit the most from your run and add value to your life when it comes to reading comprehension and learning, adding audiobooks are the best way to go.
Do you run better with music?
Some people believe that you run better with music because it helps with speed; this can be true if you have the right playlist and are the kind of person that is deeply affected by music.
But for most runners, it is not speed that is the most important. Running is usually distance-based and thus it is more important to get into a consistent rhythm that leaves you feeling satisfied and accomplished after a run; the best accompaniment for that is audiobooks.
Audiobooks help you get into a focused rhythm and keep your heart rate at a more consistent pace than music, which some would consider being a better run.
What are the best audiobooks to listen to while you run?
Here is tge list of the best types of audiobooks to listen to while you run
- Thrillers, mysteries and true crime
- personal interest (what do you like to learn about)
- Classics (great literature is still great for a reason)
All in all, there is no one way to run and something different works for everyone. But audiobooks are the best way to get the most consistent run, while keeping you focused and entertained.
They will certainly leave you feeling more accomplished after a long run, because not only have you made a healthy choice to workout, but you have also taken the time to nourish your mind with entertaining and informative media that will stick with you!