I’ve been quite terrible at keeping up with my workout schedules lately, but I’m still running about twice a week, and hopefully now that things have quieted down in my personal life, I can go back to kicking ass regularly!
I’m not the best multitasker ever, as I’m more of a focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time kind of person, but I loved the idea of listening to a book while working out and getting TWO things done at the same time, so I tried it out – here’s how it went!
The first book I listened to while working out was Skin Deep, which I listened to while on the treadmill. If you don’t know, I love running but I suck at it, and I’m pretty new to it, too. My main issue back then, and even now, is endurance – running for a sustained period of time. When I started, I did mostly walking at a fast pace and short periods of running in between, on the treadmill, and even that can be challenging for a beginner, so I thought Skin Deep helped keep me distracted, and I was so tense I ended up doing more running between walks than in other days. So, success!
Generally, however, I don’t find that I can listen to books while running. I like listening on speed x1.0, and that is a too slow rhythm for me to run to. So for running I no longer listen to books, because it slows me down instead of hyping me up and making my blood pump. If I decide to train for a half-marathon, which is a 2h-long or more kind of run, perhaps the book will be a good idea, but for my short and (somewhat) intense runs, I prefer upbeat music.
For working out, however, specially if I am planning on a longer practice (say, 1h or longer), listening to books works pretty well! I almost exclusively listen to thrillers in that case, because I find the narrations work well and they’re naturally more fast-paced than other genres. If I’m going for a 40min training, then music keeps me going faster and I’m done much quicker with my workout.
So, conclusion: personally, I find motivating to have a book playing while I’m at the gym for an hour, an hour and half, but for more short & intense sessions, and especially for running, I think it makes me slower and affects my performance. I especially like going on foot to the gym listening to a book, because then you do a few more steps, a few minutes of warming up before actually starting the workout, and it goes by really fast when you’re concentrated. This is a pretty personal experience though, so it’s possible that it works completely different for you.
Books I’ve listened to while working out and recommend:
(aka. books that are intense AF and will keep your blood pumping)