Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

401 to 420 of 525 messages
29/06/2008 at 21:51

Feel compelled to add my two pennorth.

I can get a great high listening to music, and a great high running, but when the two coincide, it's something else and the outdoor environment just makes it better. Maybe some people have a stronger focus on one element of the running experience, while for me there's lots of things mixing together.

Sometimes I run with music, sometimes not, and that's including runs up to 20 miles long - the only time I struggle without music is on a treadmill because it's just sooo boring. I think people's experience of running, music and combining the two is hugely varied. Although I have a background in musicology (I did a PhD a few years back), I think I listen to harmony more than rhythm. I certainly don't run in time to most of my MP3 playlist, although there's a couple that will power me along a bit if I tally the beat with footfall (Politik by Coldplay and a thing in 5/8 time by Radiohead, title escapes me, no I don't have 5 legs but it just works!).

Safety wise - you don't always hear cars without an MP3, and certainly often don't hear bicycles, so having to look more carefully when you have an MP3 on is probably a good thing. I would never listen to music in a race because it's one of the few times I get to chat to other runners.

30/06/2008 at 14:10

Excellent quote from Pearl Izumi's we are not joggers website.

Runners don't want to escape the fact that they are running.

These days you'll see a lot of people out there with MP3 players. Blasting some indie rock to make the miles go by a little bit faster. Every one of these people are joggers. Because runners actually like to run. And they're generally a little sad when it's over. They don't want to be tuned into some dumb guitar solo. They want to be tuned into every facet of their run experience. The cadence of their footfalls. The rhythm of their breathing. The sounds of the world around them, car horns or wind moving through pine needles. Sure, runners dig music, but they know that it makes them lose touch with their environment, and lose kinesthetic awareness of their bodies, and that is something they simply cannot have.

30/06/2008 at 15:11

I've run with an ipod (occasionally but not as the norm), i'm on 4 half and two full maras' so far this year and am a huge fan of Manchester indie, am i a jogger or a runner ?

I don't really give a monkeys what i'm percieved as but talk about sweeping statements........

And i wear Asics

Edited: 30/06/2008 at 15:15
30/06/2008 at 17:55
"Blasting some indie rock to make the miles go by a little bit faster. Every one of these people are joggers."

This is just pure running snobbery - I have run a half and a full marathon this year with my ipod and I am definately not a jogger.

I like running and I like listening to music. I don't have much spare time so I combine them - if it makes the miles go faster and I get fitter in the meantime really what is the problem with that?
30/06/2008 at 18:06
I'm sure we've all been cut-up by inconsiderate runners at races before. Some of those were probably listening to their mp3 players, some weren't. It may compound the problem, but the mp3 player itself isn't the problem. Its inconsiderate runners who are the problem.
30/06/2008 at 18:28

I am starting to favor taking music with me everywhere i go lately, running /gym /biking /shopping school and even for the kids when i go take them and pick them up from school, just about everywhere i go i have my walkman phone anyway so i might as well use it a bit

I am addicted to music though and lets face it, there are many worse addictions out there.

30/06/2008 at 21:33

I would never be arrogant enough to make a sweeping statement about what makes a runner and what makes a jogger....I'll leave that to the youngsters who know everything about everything.....all I know is that I like to go out with my headphones on and cover each mile in about 8.5 minutes...sometimes 10 occasionally 7, depending on what I'm listening to!

Call it what the hell you like....meanwhile, I'll carry on enjoying it!

30/06/2008 at 22:55

Paula Radcliffe is therefore a jogger.....

 Nah, don't think accuracy was in the Ipod therefore jogger statement.

 A slight aside, experts say that making love with music in the background enhances the pleasure, so if its good for lovers its good enough for my running!!

30/06/2008 at 23:14

is that because it blocks out the sound of heavy breathing and slapping er ..feet ?

(or do some people really have sex wearing an iPod?)

Edited: 30/06/2008 at 23:15
01/07/2008 at 00:39
Read a few comments scattered throughout the debate. The 'definate no's' seem to be sitting on some very tall gee gees. They also don't seem to realise that most people with MP3s in their ears can hear voices and sounds beyond what's in their heads. I've run with and without music and find the sound of my very heavy breathing (that's just me)terribly distracting and quite stressful and it does not make for an enjoyable run. I can still hear birds cheeping with earphones in and can definately appreciate anyone cheering me on, including marshalls, and always thank them and smile. The only time i have been cut up or been faced by a wall of sudden walkers is in the Race For Life where gangs of women are chatting together, but i don't begrudge them, good on them for giving running a go and i don't doubt that many an avid runner started with one of those 5ks. I find the most dodgy thing on my runs is the cyclists on the trail who don't let you know they're going to overtake you at 90 miles an hour and expect you to have eyes in the back of your head.
01/07/2008 at 05:20
Runners never used to have them, so why do we need them now. People have jsut learnt to use them for running, but I appreciate people may want them to keep you occupied but honestly why dont you go to a concert if you want to listen to music. Runnning is running, it is something that should be enjoyable in itself.

You will never see a world record being broken with someone wearing headphones. However, running is an induvidual sport and if one chooses to use the headphones I will not stop you, because I will be waving to you as I pass you on that last hill.
01/07/2008 at 08:39

Runners used to have bare feet before air cushinoning soles, goretex trainers, wicking material vests, sports drinks, heart rate monitoring................ Why do we need them now...... well its called progress, the times of peoples races 75 years ago are not as good as they are now, I doubt evolution is to thank, its a case of recognising technology benefits and applying them.

 You could well be right in that world records will not be won with people using music to assist their training or racing regimes, but you can't be certain and I would not be surprised to find people with Ipods are able to pass you because they are better runners and using aids and devices to help them.

Not using an MP3 player does not make you a better runner simply because of the lack of it. Using an MP3 player does not make you a worse runner either.

 And I do go to concerts to listen to music and get up and dance when everyone else does, weird body sympathy makes you want to exercise in a rythmic manner............. clearly can't be good for my ears.....

Love double negatives.....

Edited: 01/07/2008 at 09:01
01/07/2008 at 09:20

It is clearly utter rubbish everyone who listens to music is a jogger.

 I would draw the line differently: I would say that those who listen to music in races are runners and not racers. To the person who said you don't have to hear other runners: what? Whether you are at the front or the back it is still a race and you have usually paid to race. If you aren't interested in other runners then you might as well have gone and run somewhere else on your own for free. If you race the same as you train: with the same music in your ears and the same lack of awareness, then you aren't going to run any faster. My mum is usually at the very back of races, but she has an on-going race tally against another woman, another V55, and listens intently for her coming. It is that which gets her out running during the week.

I use music before a race, particularly a big one, and sometimes important sessions. However, I would never consider using it during a race or session apart from a treadmill, spinning or circuit session, which are safely indoors and usually alone.

A lot of athletics tracks have now banned MP3s from coming within the barriers, regardless of whether you're racing or training: my county championships entry form clearly stated this. This reflects the wider discussions going on within UKa. What Nike are or are not producing is IRRELEVANT to discussions going on within UKa. Firstly, Nike are an American company, and therefore it would still be in their interests to produce the things even if UKa did ban them: they have a worldwide market of which we are just a proportion. Secondly, what happens in races is irrelevant to training, and Nike know that people will still train with them, particularly in the gym, even if UKa ban them from races. Thirdly, Nike recognise that most new runners won't realise that they're banned in races when they buy them, so Nike will still make their money. Finally, UKa have no duty to Nike - they don't sponsor the GB team or any UKa events. Their interest is in the safety of all the participants in their events, and that is best done without headphones.

However, they have been experimenting with other ways of providing incentives: Run to The Beat in London played the music over a tannoy for everyone to enjoy. This is also commonplace at major track events, particularly indoors. Similarly, at major marathons music is often played or performed on different sections of the course. This is a positive way of using music to enhance the atmosphere, rather than as a way to cut yourself off from it entirely.

01/07/2008 at 09:38
As a very late starter in running, a geriatric plodder who is usually very near the back of the field, I have come to realise that generalising about anything in running is pointless. We all train differently, we all eat differently, we all react differently to different stimuli such as music. I know folk who use gels regularly, I know others who nearly throw up if they try one. Some folk like running with music, some don't. I did and now I don't. The safety angle is debatable, but the one thing which I have not seen mentioned on here at all is the legal angle of who is responsible if there is an accident. If that ever happens badly enough to make front page news you can bet they will be banned 100% in races.
01/07/2008 at 10:42

Dancing in spikes...I can see your point about runners rather than racers.  However, when I run a race...with my ipod on....I am racing against myself.  It gives me an official time and goal to beat next time (so not officially a 'racer' in the true sense of the word as I have no desire/ability to win).  Despite my ipod...I love the race atmosphere and benefit from the many other runners and supports and whilst I can hear most things...chose to communicate non-verbally.  I am more than happy to pay for this service.

So lets say ipods are banned at races on Health and Safety grounds....looking at the pole I would imagine that many (not all) would chose not to race in these races...therefore race funds would be affected....police are considering charging for their services at races (if they haven't implemented already).  Less funds=less police=health and safety issue ....just a thought I had whilst running and listening to music this morning (see multi-tasking ...thinking and listening to music...whatever next)

 JP: "Runnning is running, it is something that should be enjoyable in itself"  ....says who?? I'll enjoy my running in the way I chose to thank you.

02/07/2008 at 04:59
hahaha, its so funny how people are getting so serious and defensive over who listens to music when they run. I find it really funny how you can get so worked up over some material thing. I honestly dont care if someone runs with music or not. As long as they are enjoying themselves, who cares. They are running are they not? Is that not good enough. With or without music who cares just enjoy living. Jesus!
02/07/2008 at 08:19
Not necessarily. I've very rarely run anywhere with a police presence. Local marshalls can generally do a great job without much help.
02/07/2008 at 10:00


Pun intended,  you appear to have changed your "tune" somewhat. Maybe your still laughing about it, but appear to have accepted using music makes you neither athlete or non athlete, it is all about personal choice. Therefore Ipod wearers can be runners, hooray, consensus.

 But for some people to enjoy themselves "running", they do like music, so glad to see you accept that point too.

Great thing about forums is you get to put a view over, and then have a debate about it, not getting worked up, its just in written form (pen mightier than the sword) some expressions appear louder and over stated than they would in the post race beer...... sorry speak up, forgotten to take my earphones out......

02/07/2008 at 11:40
 I find the use of my i.pod at races a great motivational tool. I run races for my own enjoyment and part of that is to music which keeps me going, makes me push the pace at times and keeps me going when ready to slow down. As simple as knowing to tie your shoe-laces, so is safety awareness for yourself and fellow runner when wearing an music device. It's your choice.
02/07/2008 at 13:03
Run to the Beat - interesting idea, but I find if I'm not keen on the music, it's actually quite draining. I'd need to know the playlist before signing up! I'd rather run in silence than with music I don't like. Gym music is a pet hate, particularly when it's audible over my MP3, as most of the tracks aren't my cup of tea. Also I would never take up someone else's recommendation on what to run to: I'm curious to know what works for other people, but it has to be down to me what I listen to. Is it just me who's this fussy?
401 to 420 of 525 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW Forums