Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

421 to 440 of 523 messages
02/07/2008 at 14:25
I am with gazzer, I run, I don't race. I know I am never going to get anywhere remotely near the front of a field, my usual finishing place is in the last 10% of the field, but I do try to beat my own times but never go out of my way to do it by any more than I have to. My closest shave so far is taking 3 SECONDS off a PB, so I don't race, but I do enjoy running, Chacun a son gout, as the French might say.
02/07/2008 at 16:39


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 19:14

I prefer to run with music. The sound of my heavy breathing puts me off and makes me feel more tired than I am so I give up easier. I start off with a fairly slow beat till I warm up, gradually getting faster till I get to a sprint beat then slow down again. It works really well.

I too run alone and don't expect a conversation in a race. I find I can't talk much anyway and prefer just to get on with it.

 I don't have the music turned up so much that I can't hear what's going on around me. The sounds on a race day are usually louder than my music. At road crossings, I always have a good look round or even stop till I'm sure it's safe to go on. I think everyone should make their own choice.

02/07/2008 at 19:26
i like running with music,it gives me focus...but i will not run a race listening to my mp3 again as i did it this year on a half marathon but soon felt slightly alienated because i couldnt hear all the friendly banter from the other runners,and especially the encouragement from people who came out to cheer us all on.
so to conclude,yes you can wear an mp3 when out running,but if youre in a race,then let the ambience be your soundtrack.
02/07/2008 at 19:42
Surely it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to run with music or not - not up to some governing body to decide we can't run with music because some idiots are too stupid to look after their own safety.

Are you going to start banning the folk that just barge you out of the way in a race to get by - these folk are more anto-social than the people wearing iPods. What about those people that absolutely stink of BO ? They should be banned......

Running a race is an individual choice, therefore it is up to the individual if they wish to listen to music or not. Some f the races I do have miles and miles of country side and you need your music to keep you going.

Therefore it should be left to individual choice not Big Brother choosing for us. Are they going to tell us what we can wear to races next ?
02/07/2008 at 21:50
Blimey I'm a bit shocked by some of the virulent anti-mp3 opinions on here.

I agree it's unlikely a highly competitive racer in a 10k or a half or marathon or whatever would want to wear headphones - they're monitoring their body, real competitors etc.

But the other 90% of us in these fields that race purely against ourselves - it sees some of us through. Personally on a nice day in the country I like to run silent, but often in longer races - halfs or more - I NEED my ipod. I suffer with shin splints sometimes and other niggles with my lower legs and although I don't have it on at the start, I generally slip it on after 6 or 7 miles, as often a repetitive beat / a song that makes me smile is the only thing that keeps my feet going in front of each other at any pace.

The marshall argument is fatuous, I've never not seen or heard a marshall - you generally see them a mile off! (how loud do you think i-pods are?), and I think I generally run in a straight line - not much differently to how I run without, just more aware of my lower legs!

I think this is more that they annoy runners trying to get past people who possibly (I accept this) can't hear them coming. But I encounter plenty of runners with no MP3 player who get equally in the way...

If they get banned, prepare for a big drop in racing numbers - a shame when running is on a real high at the moment as far as I can see - I think the MP3 is partially responsible for it.
02/07/2008 at 22:54
Generally I seem to agree with most of the last few posts here. I'm a runner with music, but I'd never let the music alienate me from a race. Never had a problem with hearing other people, marshalls, and even have had convs with other runners, whilst wearing my MP3. Keep it to one ear, just loud enough to hear, and I have the best of both worlds at a race. Whilst training I tend to have it louder (especially if at the gym, if just to drown out the ridiculous "music" they put on the overheads). I agree with Berger: if mp3s are banned across the board it'll be a shame as I think it will actually alienate a lot of people who enjoy running currently. Kinda ironic given that half the argument against mp3 players is that they're alienating themselves...
03/07/2008 at 03:32
this is a test to see what happens
03/07/2008 at 08:32

Some people train with their i-pod's , me included. It becomes almost a security blanket and for some they then feel that if they change their routine for race day they won't be able to do it.

I agree that both earpieces in could put the runner in a dangerous position but running with one earpiece in they can then hear what is going on around them and it gives them  their comfort zone by listening to there fav tunes . 

03/07/2008 at 08:44
Mp3's in training if you want to, but not in races. Quite a simple rule rule of thumb.

Still puzzles me that people seem to have to 'force' themselves to run - and that they 'need' to use a MP3 to get through a race! It's not like being at school where you 'have' to go running. If this is the case, then why not try another sport?? I wouldn't choose to be a runner if I didn't enjoy it.

And if the numbers of runners went down due to the banning of MP3 players, it's a harsh but true fact that many people would be pleased to see the numbers go down so that they might be able to get in their local races again, or not have to enter 3 to 4 months before the event.
03/07/2008 at 09:27

All the defences of MP3s in races seem to be me me me. Let me do what I want. I need this. I'm entitled to do as a I please. 

Training can be lonely sometimes I accept that (although it's a strange person who is uncomfortable training with themselves), but a race is a communal event.  It's about lots of people doing one thing together.  As such a person locked inside their MP3 world is not only denying themselves the opportunity to be lost in the community of runners and to enjoy the voices of supporters and competitors alike, but is also creating a hazard by being completely unaware of the runners and marshals around them. In a race I can hear someone on my shoulder and this either leads me to make way for them or drives me on. When I approach an earphoned, wired for sound dreamer I know that my presence on their shoulder will not be registered until I nudge them and then they will resent me breaking their reverie.  If you hate racing so much that you have to do something else whilst running why do you do it at all?

03/07/2008 at 11:05
If people want to blast their eardrums playing their ipods so loud that they cannot hear anything else, then they should be allowed to do so. They are all adults, and responsible for their own safety. I am tired of the nannying that goes on - health and safety, risk assessments, ban this, ban that.
I happen to enjoy listening to my MP3, both when running alone and in races. I can hear the sound of the traffic, cheers of the crowd and the instructions of the marshalls perfectly well, as I don't have it at an ear-splitting volume. It is just a pleasant background noise to take my mind off my aching limbs. I don't see why I, and other responsible listeners, should suffer from a ban imposed because of a mindless minority who have their sound up so loud that they can't hear anything else. How loud must that be anyway? They are surely damaging their hearing but, again, that is their responsibility. If, through their stupidity, they cause an accident, then they should be banned from racing.
03/07/2008 at 12:37

Uncle Bob - what about the people involved in the accident who were paying attention, but suffered at the hands of one who was more involved with the mp3. It's all very well letting people do what they want, but if the worst ever happened, there'd sadly always probably be one who'd go and try to sue the race organisers, or something ridiculous. I don't agree with this at all; I'd love to live in an age where everybody was sensible and we didn't have to be controlled by rules like irresponsible children.

What bugs me is when I've been at recent races, where the rules have clearly stated only one earpiece in with MP3s, I see loads of people flouting these rules and running around with 2 in! Unless people do want mp3s banned totally, I think everybody should respect the rules laid down and show they can be responsible and a comprimise can be made. 

Martin - your post made me think of races in a different way..I guess I have always seen running as a solitary sport. For the sake of argument I may try my next race without any music at all and see how I feel about it then.

Simon - I guess for some the love of running comes in the achievement of having finished it, rather than the actual doing it. I'd hate to see these people turned away from participating, however.

03/07/2008 at 12:49
I can see the arguments on both sides. Organisers concerned with health and safety and runners wishing to listen to music when they run as they feel it helps them. I have completed 37 races in the past 2 years, some with music and some without, and I feel that music can be of great help when you are feeling fatigued or unable to pick up/maintain the pace. Provided the music volume does not prevent a marshal from instructing the runner they should be allowed as we have enough of a police state as it is already; individuals can decide for themselves and accept the risk that comes with the activity. Perhaps adding a disclaimer to the rules and conditions before signing on to a race that the runners use music and mp3 players entirely at their own risk would satisfy the legal matter for organisers and allow runners the choice.
Edited: 03/07/2008 at 12:50
03/07/2008 at 13:21
I don't like to run with music myself but if it gets you through thats fair enough. But, what does get on my nerves is those people in races who suddenly slow or pull up because they need to change a track volume etc. Then they give you a dirty look as you barely avoid running into them.
03/07/2008 at 13:29
I agree with what you say, but there are plenty of other menaces in races in addition to mp3 listeners - you can't legislate against them all.
My pet hate is people who overtake then cut in front before gaining a bit of distance, I've often been kicked and nearly tripped up by such people. Then there are the ones incapable of running in a straight line, weaving all over the place, barging into people. Then there's the chatterboxes, two and three abreast, yapping away, oblivious to people who want to get past, forcing them to veer out into the road.
I still say that we shouldn't all have to suffer because of the irresponsible actions of the few.
03/07/2008 at 13:52

 agree with what you say, but there are plenty of other menaces in races in addition to mp3 listeners - you can't legislate against them all. -  I know that, but not taking an MP3 player with you is a decision you can make before you leave the house. Usually other menaces  are spur of the moment things that cannot be helped.

All the talk about disclaimers and what might happen to the MP3 wearer - but what about the MP3'er who wandered into my way when he did not hear the instructions of a marshal? These things happen in courses with more than one lap.

So not only might they endanger them selves, they might slow up other runners - when they affect others runners, its not good..

03/07/2008 at 14:08
skaterboi wrote (see)

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.

I've just been skimming through this discussion and chatting offline about it with a mate and didn't really want to get involved with all of this (don't listen to music myself and can't understand why I'd want to, but live and let live I say), however that site linked to above has to be the biggest load of crap I have ever read. It makes me ashamed to have once touched a pair of their shoes in a running shop.

 I feel better now, had to get that out of my system.


03/07/2008 at 14:16

Well said LadyBee!

If you are in a race/event there you are going to running in close proximity to others and inevitably there will be problems, that's just racing or running in an event. It would be lovely if nobody got in anyone's way in every race but it's just never going to happen. All this talk of banning this and banning that is quite disturbing and I'm shocked at the poll percentages.

I've run with an MP3 and without, I don't have a problem with either. If people want to run an event with an MP3 let them, all the talk of Health and Safety just leads to one conclusion.......we should ban running races altogether.

All the pro banning voters should lighten up! It's supposed to be fun! 

03/07/2008 at 18:11
OK a solution......

MP3 wearers left side of the course, non MP3 players right side of the course.

Like that would work............ (Be interesting to see how far apart they finished though.....)

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