BIG Reader to Reader Index

You ask the questions - and give the answers

Posted: 13 September 2007

Whether you’re lacing up your trainers for the first time since school, or are about to tackle your umpteenth ultra, chances are you’ll have questions about running. Are you doing things right? How you can improve? Is what your mate said at the running club true?

And unless you’ve exclusive 24-hour access to a panel of experts, there’s no better place to turn than the RW forums. Here you can tap the collective knowledge of more than 350,000 runners, from fresh-faced first-timers to wizened oldies, and everyone in between.

Cue the birth of our Reader to Reader feature. The idea? Every week we’d pick a popular question from the forum, collect the best replies, and publish them. The result? More than 50 articles packed with top-notch advice from people who have been there, done that, and are probably wearing the T-shirt...


How important is it to run at different paces?
How can I get used to running on the roads after training on a treadmill?
What's the best way to tackle hills?
How important is it to train to a schedule?
Can I improve on fewer sessions per week?
How can I progress from run/walk to run/run?
Can I become a faster runner through sheer graft – or is speed in your genes?
I want to start running to work - what are the best ways to transport my work clothes and freshen up when I get there?
Does a cool-down jog defeat the point of speed work?
How can I build up my stamina?
How can I tell if I'm overtraining?
What's the best way to find out how far I've run?
How should I go about training for a race longer than a marathon?
How much should I run after my first marathon?
How do you fit your social life around your training?
Can you, and should you, change your running style?

How can I deal with these race-day nerves?
Am I too old for a PB?
How much should I warm up before a race – and why?
How can I pick myself up after a bad race?
Can I run a half-marathon two weeks after my first marathon?

Can I ditch rest days completely if I mix cross-training days with running days?
What if I'm too tired after running to do any cross-training?
What sort of cross-training is best for boosting core strength?
Are there any training plans specifically for triathlon? And how much kit will I need?

Family Running
How can I encourage my children to run without overdoing it?
Does being a parent have to get in the way of my running?
How soon after having a baby can I don my running shoes?
Can I train with a bun in the oven?


Can I put my shoes in the washing machine?
Are there any ethically-made running shoes?
Is there any real difference between the men's and women's editions of running shoes?
I have to wear glasses while running - what can I do when it's raining?
Why won't my legs warm up when I'm running the cold?
What should you wear to run in the rain?
Should I train with a backpack?


Beating Injury
How important is it to stretch? And when's the best time to do so?
Is there any truth in the 'if it isn’t hurting, it isn’t working' mantra?
How should I handle injury – and the constant threat of injury?
How can I bounce back when I feel like a beginner again?

What's the best way to top up my energy reserves during a long run?
What - and when - should I eat before an early-morning run?
How long should I leave between a booze-up and a marathon?
What's the best way to take on water while on a run?
Will coming off caffeine help or hinder my running?

Weight Loss
Are ready meals really a good way to lose weight?
What pre-run snacks will give me a boost without blowing the calorie budget?

Staying Healthy
Will giving up smoking improve my running?
Can running help me recover from an eating disorder?
Should I run if I've got a cold?
Why do I find it so hard to drop off after an evening run?
Are black toenails just a fact of running life, or can they be avoided?
What's the best way to get rid of a stitch?

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Discuss this article

Can anyone let me know any decent headphones for running which don't fall out of your ears and don't pack up when they get damp please?
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 10:15

I got some cheap ones from Argos for about twelve quid and they're not bad.  They clip over the ear.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 10:32

I Had those to and they packed up after a few months in one ear.  Which is ok for me because if I wear them outside I only ever have one ear on so that I can her whats happening around me.  They are just the sports one, that hook over the ear.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 11:09

Hello Tim i have used these never fell out or let me down

most probaly the same as the other two have said but i woul recomend not wrapping the wire around them as they break

Posted: 31/10/2007 at 11:50

Tescos "over the ear type" for £1 !
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 14:00

I've got a pair of <a href= these </a>.  They don't move and sound good too.  I've worn them for over 3 hours at a time without trouble.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 17:11

Don't know what happened there but the link works.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 17:11

I've got a pair of the 'argos' ones as above. Just starting to wear out,after a year! Keep them in a pouch in my car with one of those little moisture retaining bags that come with trainers etc. Bargain, and good quality sound.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 17:19

Another vote for the Sennheiser.  I've got the MX-70, which is without a neckband, but there are various sized earpieces that come with the product to ensure perfect fit.  Never had them fall out.  The sound quality is excellent.
Posted: 31/10/2007 at 17:56

I've been using the Sennheiser MX75, which have a twist to fit in ear system that prevents them coming loose or falling out of the ear when exercising. Excellent product, comfortable and they stay in place.
Posted: 01/11/2007 at 08:10

I went for the head band as I've had varuious over ear types which have been OK but start to irritate after a while on long runs.  And I just don't get on with in-ear types.  The headband ones just don't move at all.  Marvellous!
Posted: 01/11/2007 at 10:40

Thanks for all your comments so far - I really appreciate you taking the effort to help!
Posted: 01/11/2007 at 10:41

Actually, mine are the MX-75 as well, not MX70, as I thought.
Posted: 01/11/2007 at 22:39

i have those phillips ones from argos, take out the extra cover for £1.50 and you can replace them when they pack in. ive gone through 3 pairs in 3 years but only paid for one!!
Posted: 02/11/2007 at 02:01

Sennheiser don't know the model number but I'd guess they are the ones everyone else is recommending - £29.99 and worth every penny.  I've spent years looking for a pair that don't fall out of my ears or twist around so that I'm listening in mono.
Posted: 02/11/2007 at 05:51

Another recommendation for the Sennheiser PMX70.  They stay put no matter how much jiggling goes on or how sweaty you get.

 Just seen that the link to Amazon above has them at £15 which is a bargain compared to the normal £30 price tag!!

Posted: 06/11/2007 at 13:57

I've had a pair of these for over two years, and use them three times a week for around 45 mins at a time. Good sound and good value too.

Posted: 08/11/2007 at 11:05

I've been lurking on this thread for a bit as I need more jiggle-proof phones. Mine are Sony clip-on-ear type, but they jiggle loads and don't snug up enough to get a good sound. They're better with a headband over them though. I've sent off to Amazon for a pair of those Sennheisers that you all seem to like, I got the over the ear type as they seem the most practical and everyone rates them as comfy and suitable for running etc. Plus, Sennheiser are a a proper headphones brand.

I'll post thoughts when I get em! 

Posted: 08/11/2007 at 12:14

I know this is an old thread, but does anyone have any good recommendations for running headphones? 

I've been looking at these Sennheiser running headphones, but would be interested in comments and other ideas.  I've also been consider the Shure SE series in ear sound isolating earphones.

Posted: 02/05/2008 at 10:03

I have the OMX70 and really like them. Sound quality is good too.

I also have a pair of Shure e4c but there's no way I'd wear those for anything other than at home, on the plane etc as the noise isolation is so effective.
Posted: 02/05/2008 at 11:44

although they arent exactly high tech and all that, i cannot fault the Philips SHS420 headphones.  I have very little ears and find that normal over the ear type ones are just too big, whilst the in ear ones keep popping out after about 5-10 mins.  These philips ones have a cord that pulls tight and although after some time they might slacken abit, after ALL the different ones i have tried, these are the best i can find for my tiny ears.  Sound wise, they are not the best again, but then i like this when running outside as it means i can still hear if a car is coming up behind.
Posted: 07/08/2008 at 08:35

On the rare occasions I run with an mp3 player, I use Shure EC3's, brilliant phones IMO
Posted: 07/08/2008 at 08:51

Another vote here for the Sennheiser MX 70.  Very stable.  They don't rely on bits of you being the correct shape for them to stay on if you know what I mean (ie dodgy shaped earholes).  They effectively keep themselves on your head, no matter how much motion your head goes through when running.
Posted: 07/08/2008 at 11:19

Yes another vote for the sennheiser PMX70.  I have never been able to get the ear plug type to stay in for more than a few steps so I used to have a cheapo pair which went over the ears and up over the top of the head.  It wasn't until I got the sennheiser that I realised how good music can sound through headphones.

I have worn them for several 3hour + runs and found them brilliant.  They never move.  I was sceptical initially as I hate things in my ears and was sure that I wouldn't get on with them but hey they are just great.  I even like the pea green colour.  not cheap but for me worth it.

Posted: 07/08/2008 at 15:23

very tempted to try out these sennheiser thingys now............. do they fit over very little ears? (as in the overall size not the hole itself)
Posted: 08/08/2008 at 06:24

what are the ones called that sit behind the ear that were in runnersworld this month??
Posted: 08/08/2008 at 11:53

went and tried the sennheiser ones today - didnt buy any of them.

The ones that go over the back the head didnt sit against by neck/head so bounced about - and my ponytail just made it worse.

The ones that went around the ear that you could shape to your ear, were still too large for my tiny ears.

Sticking with my Philips.... 

Posted: 15/08/2008 at 11:35

i have tried the pmx 70 & had to send back - i dont think they were tested properly because after 30 mins of running sweat gains in your ears making the earphone swimmingly annoying - i can definately recommend though the pmx40 senneisher - this headband has a perfect fit- & delivers the sound is quite amazaing especially when running - i have tried about 15 different neckbands over the years & this pmx40 is the best  around -  u want be disapointed

Posted: 19/11/2008 at 12:56

I love my PMX70s but have to admit, recently I've suffered with the wet ear syndrome, this has only happened since i had to replace my first pair though.
Posted: 19/11/2008 at 16:52

I've got a pair of phillips shs8000 - work perfectly and have never fallen out of my ears, build quality is decent too.
Posted: 15/12/2008 at 08:16


I've had quite a few running headphones of late so hope my experience with them can benefit others!

Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680 - Thought I'd give them ago, despite knowing that they were a product of a marketing meeting! They are okay, yet for the price are far to expensive for what they offer. They aren't the most comfortable, as after a few miles into the run when I started to perspire, the sweat was able to access my ear canal and affect the sound, and in all honesty my run. The sound volume controller is not conveniently positioned as I usually have my iphone in my short pocket and lead running underneath my shirt. Despite the volume control having a clip, it does not sit well. Obviously, it was designed for runners with armbands, yet I know a lot of runners run with headphones this way. If you use your headphones this way, then these are not for you.

Sennheiser PMX 80 - This is very similar to the updated PMX 680, yet without the Adidas branding and the hefty price tag. For around £15 you can get a PMX 80 and despite obviously having similar issues to that of the Adidas/Sennheiser collaboration when it comes to sweat and sound performance, they seem more acceptable as they cost £30 less. They are not the most durable, as these broke in my gym bag. (The neckband snapped near the earplug)

Urbanz Hooky - I bought these off ebay after simply putting in 'running headphones'. I never usually purchase unknown brands, yet I thought for £7 they couldn't hurt. I must say, they are not special, no real technological features, yet are simple ear hook earphones that fit really well. I have since gone back to eBay and purchased a pair for my gym bag!

Sennheiser MX 85 Sport II - As you may be aware, I've been through some Sennheisers! They are generally renowned as the go to brand for sports headphones... The MX85 is very good, fits in-ear very well and for around £25 offer better value for money than the PMX 680 and are a better product that the PMX 80.

Philips SHQ4000 - I had these a while ago, and are similar style to Sennheiser PMX 80 and 680 as it is a neckband headphone. Saying that, the earplug fits securely in the ear canal and sweat was never an issue. Good headphones. Amazon selling for £27.99 which I think is reasonable.

If you want a quality headphone go for the Philips. Sennheiser have swayed towards gimmicks and marketing, and forget about true performance.

Hope that helps.

Posted: 17/06/2011 at 11:55

Etymotic have a very good reputation... at a price.

They have a custom fit option as well 

Posted: 18/06/2011 at 23:09

I like Etymotic earphones. I am an audiophile of sorts. Yet I wouldn't say they are overly 'running headphones'. Anything is better than the cheap, harsh feeling generic apple iPod earphones though.

Sennheiser PMX 680 - The Adidas/Sennheiser hybrid. Cheapest price £20 on the link.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1280&bih=933&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3514726807447758704&sa=X&ei=WhL_TejfBIaXhQeepdybCw&ved=0CEwQ8wIwAA

Sennheiser MX 80 - Cheapest price £14.98 on Amazon/.

Found the running headphones on their site. You can get the white ones for £6 on eBay.

Sennheiser MX 85 Sport II,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1280&bih=933&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9930206154106563874&sa=X&ei=Uhv_TZeDC4-r8QP18JmqCQ&ved=0CE8Q8wIwAA- Cheapest price on Play for £19.95

Philips SHQ4000 - Cheapest price on Dixons for £17.99

I hope that helps. If you do indeed go ahead and purchase any of the above, come back and leave your thoughts.

Posted: 20/06/2011 at 10:36

I've just had to replace my running headphones and found these running headphones reviews useful.

In the end I chose the SoundMAGIC E30, because I wanted an earphone that isolates from external noise and I like to route the cabling out of the way. I run in Richmond Park (when I can) and on the treadmill in the gym, so there is no danger from traffic.

I've previously tried the Sennheiser PMX80, but found the sound quality a bit rubbish.

Posted: 03/07/2011 at 11:43

i recently bought the Adidas Sennheiser MX-680's (with the ear fins)

i had the Cx ones before which go in the ear more, but i prefer the MX ones, they dont isolate quite as much so you can hear the traffic a little better over music (car horns etc) and also because they sit in the ear grooves rather than in the ear canal they dont gunk up with sweat etc,
Posted: 03/07/2011 at 14:03

Soundmagic PL30 - Great Sound, never fall out and lots of ear pieces with them to find best fit.

Do a google search, there are plenty of reviews. They are around £30

Posted: 05/07/2011 at 21:14

Yep, I agree... the SoundMAGIC's are perfect for running or gym work.  I just slammed my PL30's in the car door, so have upgraded to the new E30.  The slightly smaller earpiece and softer edges makes it a little more comfortable.  Sound is also improved over the PL30.  A very nice product.

It took me a while to get the hang of the over ear cabling, until I figured out you have to slide the sleeve on the cable up to the back of the neck to keep it all tight.  Genius!

Posted: 05/07/2011 at 21:51

I pushed the boat out and got a pair from Pound land, wrap around the ear type, work great and cheap.

Posted: 26/08/2011 at 19:36

My friend has one like that. But I'm not sure.. Maybe it really have some problems.


Posted: 27/08/2011 at 09:06

sennheiser PMX70's from Amazon recently (about 17 quid I think).  Suffered from the wet ear thing on the first couple of runs but not since.  Really really happy with them now.  Just need a new MP3 player to go with them! 
Posted: 28/08/2011 at 23:51

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