Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

241 to 260 of 525 messages
06/06/2008 at 11:53

If you are listening to music rather than your body when you are running  how do you know if you are training or overtraining?

If music is affecting the tempo of your run then you are not in control of you training. The music is dictating the pace you run at then it is making you run too fast or too slow.

06/06/2008 at 11:54

agree, agree, agree with Imski.

I'm a middle to back of pack runner so in no way elitist, but still take my running and racing quite seriously. It's fabulous that running is so inclusive, otherwise I and many others probably wouldn't be involved, but first and formost it's still a sport - a chance to test your own abilities, challenge yourself, and put yourself beyond your comfort zone once in a while. For those reasons, I do think it's strange that people insist they couldn't possibly 'get through' a race without the help of music.

Training is fine, each to their own, and if people feel music is a helpful training device so be it. (Although I can't help but feel some people use it as a bit of a crutch). Personally, on the few occasions I tried to run with music, I found it more of a hinderance than a help.

MP3 players have only been in existance for a few years (maybe longer, I'm always way behind with technology!), so how did people 'get through' their runs before then?

06/06/2008 at 12:03

OK, let's get this straight. MP3s and even GPS devices are already banned from most races - it's just that the law is not enforced. My personal opinion is that it should be enforced for everyone, one rule for all in all races, whether it be the Canterbury 10, the FLM or the Olympics. After all, Sunday league football players play by the same rules as Champions League players. We should also play by the same rules as the elite runners. I would like to see what would happen if an elite runner turned up with an iPod to the London Marathon. He'd probably be disqualified, however he could make a very legitimate claim that the FLM organisers allow hundreds of runners to wear them, so why can't he? It's different rules for different people in the same race! It shouldn't be a them and us situation  - we are all runners and elite runners are not gods that should have different rules to us, they are just professional runners.

06/06/2008 at 12:17

good point ................. well put

06/06/2008 at 12:20

Better put them all 33,000 odd FLM runners through rigorous doping tests including 7am visits to their homes then, and DQ anyone who takes a sweet from a supporter.

I rather think it'll spoil people's enjoyment though. 

06/06/2008 at 12:21
This ongoing debate really annoys me.  Whatever happened to freedom of choice?  I am 46 years old and only started running 3 years ago.  My husband and I enter a few 10k races and have done one half marathon so far.  We are not fast runners, and are in no way competitive.  We just enjoy running in different locations.  We usually take our ipods with us, as we do love our music!  We do not have the volume up loud and can still hear cars, have a conversation if we want to, and I can even hear the birds singing over my music.  I can switch off to the sound if I want to, but when the going gets tough a great tune really helps me along.  Where is the problem with that I wonder?  I am hoping to do a marathon later in the year.  I am wanting to raise money for my charity, (an animal charity) and I know it will be hard for me.  I also know that no way will I be able to finish without my trusty ipod with me.  Being a slow runner, I am usually at the back of the pack, where there a fewer runners around.  This could get quite lonely, but my music is there if I want it.  So come on guys, please accept that we are not all the same, and cut us music lovers some slack! 
06/06/2008 at 12:35

We seem to be overly complicating a very simple issue. In a race if you by your own choice have impaired your ability to hear fellow competitors or instruction from marshals, you are a danger to other runners.

To run a race you need a T shirt, shorts and shoes. That's it . You do not need to puts bits of plastic in your ears to run. If you can not for what ever reason complete the distance of the race YOU have knowingly entered you should not be there. Whether you finish at the front or back is of no consequence.

Will blindfolds be acceptable next because some people want the right to use them as well?

When you race you enter a competitive event. Rules are in place to make it a safe environment in which to compete, so why should banning iPods seem so strange? 

06/06/2008 at 12:39
I had the pleasure last night of running in a race near to a runner who carried his mobile phone in his hand. Even worse he had the bl@@dy thing playing  technopop all the way around the 5 mile course at full volume. Afterwards we all moaned to each other about it. Of course, no-one said anything to the offender during the race, far too un-British........
06/06/2008 at 12:40

Imski - as usual I agree with you.
Britzy - hang on "We just enjoy running in different locations", but, "I also know that no way will I be able to finish without my trusty ipod with me". This may come as a bit of a shock, but if you do some training appropriate for the race, then this will stand you in better stead to finish than a decent 3 minute track...Similarly if you enjoy running , then why the need for music?

BTW - I sometimes train with an ipod, but only on pavements. Going offroad you miss out on so much if you're plugged in. Well I do, I'm not blessed with the super strength hearing of ipod advocates who can hear everything even whilst listening to music. Even here I'm confused. I like listening to music as much as the next guy, but if its so quiet I can hear all background noise, then isn't that somehow missing the point?  

But hey, there are far more important things in life to get worked up about, a few guys racing with ipods are only as hazardous as the slow starters at the front , the 5-abreast brigade and the stop suudenly runners.

06/06/2008 at 13:01
As long as people don't bump into me, I can't say I'm too bothered to be honest.  If a race has a specific rule banning them though, people should respect it and expect to be disqulaified if they ignore it.  What concerns me more to be honest is the way that RW has 'teamed up' with Nike and started yet another thread on this controversial subject.   In my opinoonm the chances of any conclusions being truly impartial are somewhat remote.
06/06/2008 at 13:10

True G, I can see the point. I run with a club and don't know many people who train with music, but it would seem from this thread to be lot. so a simple 'do you like to train with music yes or no' question would have been less hotly discussed, as I doubt anyone could careless what training aids people use. The main argument seems to be regarding racing with music.

I would be interesting to see if RW and Nike would split the question to cover both subjects. 

06/06/2008 at 13:24
Never used to run with music until this year. On the treadmill its good and slow long runs maybe but on fast runs it is annoying. I would never race with music its a distraction/ obstruction from my main objective of going as fast as I can... And so are the fill the road brigade and so is talking to people.
06/06/2008 at 14:56

It's quite easy

Training - no problem!! f you want to- thats where the 'freedom' of choice question comes in

Racing - MP3 ban should be inforced with the offenders pulled out of the race. If you can't hack it without music, then don't race, do a sponsored walk instead

It's not that hard. And people, stop bringing the 'deaf people' argument into it. It's not their fault and it is a childish argument....

06/06/2008 at 15:22

I suppose i fall into the sound side of this argument as when i train alone I always have my i-pod with me playing music but as it is a nano i have invested in the Nike+ Ipod Kit which I find great, imagine finishing a run and having Lance Armstrong congratulate you what a buzz.

 I do however leave music behind on the 2 ocassions a week when out with my running partner and just take the watch the time us so we can motivate each other and have a chat as we run and enjoy the social side of running. we don't chat constantly so there is time with my thoughts but I know somebody is never far away ...albeit usually in front of me LOL

06/06/2008 at 16:02
Simon Coombes 2 wrote (see)

It's not that hard. And people, stop bringing the 'deaf people' argument into it. It's not their fault and it is a childish argument....



How is that childish?  The argument is that they can't hear either and yet they're not considered a safety risk - which seems to me to have some merit.  Even if you disagree about the merit of it then that doesn't  mean it's childish.

Simon Coombes 2 wrote (see)

Racing - MP3 ban should be inforced with the offenders pulled out of the race. If you can't hack it without music, then don't race, do a sponsored walk instead


Why do you say that?  You're telling us how you think it should be, but I don't see you give any reasons to support that point of view.

06/06/2008 at 16:19

I think their needs to be some more tests done on mp3 players, for some reason runners wearing them seem to keep bumping into people that don't wear them, but not runners that do, very strange.

Also mp3 wearers are not participating in the sport by wearing them? even though they are setting some great 'club' times. and are being anti social by not talking to people during a race?

Are mp3 players banned?  the new uk athletics rule that i have read says organiser may disqualify not you are banned.

If the argument is about the ability to hear, then sorry people with hearing difficulties is very valid, also i mentioned about non english speakers a couple of pages ago. should we all stay at home and never race abroad?

Just live and let live,  

06/06/2008 at 16:50

We could all live and let live, but since the original post invited a debate, a debate is what we are having.

RW could perhaps have looked back on some of the many previous posts on this subject and noted that the likely response they would get was bound to be along these lines. But oh no, they just had to let the geanie out of the bottle again...

06/06/2008 at 16:50

 Well said The One and Only XFR Bear

The only real argument so far has been on the saftey issue of not being able to hear danger appoaching.  So if your going to wear an mp3 or iPod be cearfull and if you don't like them don't wear them.

"Does listening to your favourite tunes help you stay fired up and focused? Maybe you have different playlists for different sessions? Or perhaps you wouldn't dream of adding a soundtrack to your daily run"?

The original question was about listening to music on your daily run and not necessarily during a race. I tend to agree with the view that listening to music during training is fine but that during a race it's best to leave the mp3 player at home. 

I will be running in my first 10K (my first race) in July and although I listen to music while I train, I'm looking forward to getting caught up in the whole atmosphere of the event and the cheering of the crowd etc. So I will be leaving my mp3 player at home but I have no problem with others using them if they want

06/06/2008 at 17:04

I am trying to reach an impartial conclusion of my own....

From October last year till this March, I ran exclusively with an iPod and Nike+. Both in traning AND in races. The last couple of months, i've run without headphones or music.

 I'll let you all know what I eventually decide. 

06/06/2008 at 17:09

Yeah I think it was predictible what would happen with this thread!!

I'm all for people doing what they want - unless they start becoming a danger or spoiling the enjoyment of others.  However - I've yet to see any evidence that the danger is increased.  Sure - there are anecdotes, but that's by no means conclusive.  How does anyone know that the iPod wearer who bumped them wouldn't have bumped them anyway? Running Commentary doesn't like people citing anecdotes of non-iPod wearers bumping into people, and yet has be provided any more evidence?  I haven't seen it - just anecdotes.

That really isn't the same as the argument for smoking that "well I know people who smoked who lived to 100" or "I know a non-smoker who died of cancer".  There is non-anecdotal evidence that smoking leads to a far higher incidence of cancer, and as yet I've yet to see that for iPods - and FWIW it's not my gut feeling from taking part in and spectating in races either.

From a safety point of view  I would be a bit worried about not being able to hear marshalls' instructions - but in most of the races I've done marshalls just cheer you on and point, neither which is essential.  I'd personally be a bit more worried about a race involving laps where runners need to hear instructions to move over to led the leaders through, or where the route crosses a main road such as the Kingston runs in spring and autumn.

FWIW I don't actually wear an iPod on any runs - I'm really only entering the thread because I think some of the arguments put forward are flawed.  And while I'm on that topic - if you think running with an iPod could be a danger to other people in a race, how is it not if you're on a training run?  If you believe that an iPod means you can swerve makes you more of a risk to swerve in front of another runner, wouldn't you be at risk of moving out in front of a cyclist (for instance) causing them to fall off, or swerve in front of a car? 

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