Sound vs Silence

To run with music or without? Join the debate

441 to 460 of 523 messages
03/07/2008 at 20:56

This should be a matter of individual choice - not down to race directors to ban - we already live in a 'big brother' nanny state that is health and safety mad!!

 Personally, I have ran races with and without music - running marathons can get tough towards the end and a bit of music can psyche you up and get you through it. I find fast pace runners starting too far back because they were late for races far more annoying, weaving around and cutting you up.

What's next - dont wear bright colours because it might hurt someones vision?? This is just another example by race organisers of piety.

03/07/2008 at 21:48

good lord

whatever happened to "live and let live"

maybe they should separate fun runners and club members also ?

or those who run in lycra separated from the ones in racer shorts, lest anyone get upset

i run with and without music, depending on my mood, and i always smile and acknowledge other runners, cos surely that's what it's all about ?


03/07/2008 at 22:12
Must admit I never used an ipod until last October, now its a ritual and part of my running 'kit' and panic sets in if i dont have it.

I only ever have the volume on very low - I can hear my running partners every breath and foot step and fart so safety isnt an element!!!! and at races I can hear the faster runners approaching me (when they are lapping me LOL) so i can get out of their way so im not an obstacle!

One race my battery went flat right at the start, i panicked but ran anyway and did one of my best 10k times ever - so maybe next race I'll go without!

Dont think Id have the same huge admiration of the athletes at the Olympics if they all wandered round plugged into their ipods - just wouldnt seem right eh? so I wouldnt oppose a ban on ipods at races, but on training runs each to their own.

03/07/2008 at 22:20
I ran a 10k without music last night for the first time since I took up running. I normally only wear one headphone and don't have it loud. Sometimes I can just say hear it. I can't say I enjoyed the last mile because normally I'd have found some uplifting song and would have it on repeat. (Not loud). But it would have got me through the feeling sick bit.

I never have it so loud I can't hear what is going on. I run on my own most days. I don't need music to retreat into a world of my own. I can do it without music. In fact I didn't realise one of my club mates was talking to me cos I was reliving the argument I just had with my OH before we left the house. So if there had been anything else I probably wouldn't of heard it. I was engrossed in pretending I was stomping on his head at every foot fall.

If they want to ban things perhaps it should be mobile phones. In the GNR a guy ran 1/2 a mile talking to someone in a very loud voice on his phone - why.

It is always the idiot minority who run with music loud and not able to hear what's going on that spoil it for the likes of myself, who just want to be able to run with a little bit of music. After all in our house running with my Mp3 is the only time I really get to listen to My MUSIC!!!!

My dad always said give an idiot a gun and everntually he will shot someone. The same with dogs, Mp3 players, cars you always get some idiots.....
03/07/2008 at 22:30
I hate to exercise or how I lost 30 kg by walking. I have noticed a couple of postings about a site called and want to relate my experiences using their music.

I credit run2r ( as a key component of my 30 kg weight loss to date. I decided to try it to see if it worked like they said and sure enough it did.

I find that their theory of designing music to BPM is sound (excuse the pun) and I find that by using their music I keep up my pace throughout my walk, even in the face of strong head winds, inclines, and at the end of the walk where I would usually start slowing down.

I have also found that I have increased my walking time and sometimes miss my landmarks due to being in what they call the “sweet spot” and that I end up walking longer than my allotted time. I have purchased a stop watch so I know how long I have been walking (I used to do it by the different songs but now get “lost” in them so can’t count).

The nice thing about their music is that it complements your program rather than competes with it and I don’t have to put a lot of different playlists together hoping to get some kind of consistent BPM throughout the program (almost impossible to do and then you have changing beats and sounds that do not work together). It allows for deep thought while exercising. It does the work of keeping me on track so I can get on with other things. Most of the time I am not even aware of the music it just keeps me going, and going, and going.

It is also not expensive (I hate the word “cheap” except when describing bird sound and inferior merchandise) and I don’t have to buy a lot of expensive shoes and iPod’s. I just use the shoes I have and my old obsolete mp3 player.

FYI: just for the record I do not have any financial interest in this company but have met the founder and know his system is sound and has helped many serious runners improve their game.

Also you might pass this on to any “Fat Arse” friends you have who want to lose some weight.
03/07/2008 at 23:31

Wow - we really are becoming a nation of intolerants aren't we...?!

Generally when you enter a race you have to sign a disclaimer anyway that says that it's not the organisation's fault if you catch fire, collapse, get abducted by aliens etc., so I would guess that tripping over an mp3 listener would fall under this disclaimer too.

There's loads of things that can be annoying at a race but surely we don't need to be banning people from listening to headphones.....? What about banning all these people that throw their empty drinks bottles across the race route...or people who breathe too heavily, or anyone who finishes ahead of me etc etc.

I'm just happy that there are enough people out there running so that we can have races to enter in the first place!

04/07/2008 at 08:36
Unfortunately the health and safety nazis inflict the problem on race oragnisers.  They insist on a risk assessment being done before any race and race organisers are required to reduce any possible risk.  If they consider that wearing an MP3 player is increasing the risk to a runner, or member of the public, then they have to ban them or they won't get insurance.  It's a sad state of affairs and will inevitably lead to fewer races being organised.
04/07/2008 at 13:37
...still be enough races to go round though.

The masses will have moved onto something else by then - and annoying the sponsored swim organisers by demanding that music be pumped through speakers to help them through the last length
04/07/2008 at 20:27
All this talk about banning headphones from races cause the runner causes a risk to others by not been able to hear, so do we ban deaf people as well!!!!
04/07/2008 at 21:22
THats a good one Trickytree!!!!  wonder where that falls in the health and safety handbook????
05/07/2008 at 08:12
I sometimes listen to music because music can but a pace setter. Faster music for fast runs and slower music for a plod.

I understand about mantras but I don't really thing they work for me.
05/07/2008 at 13:24

The argument that if you want to ban ipods in races you must want to ban deaf people has been made before, but it doesn't work.

 Someone who has a disability learns to adjust to it and to some extent to compensate for it - I'm thinking of blind people using their hearing more than sighted people, and assume that deaf people learn to use their other senses in more ways than lip reading.  Even if I'm totally wrong about that, deaf people presumably learn the ways in which their lack of hearing makes them vulnerable and act accordingly. 

I would therefore expect a deaf runner to be safer to run with than someone with an ipod blaring in their ears; the deaf person is not distracted by their deafness, but knows how to deal with it, whereas an ipod wearer may be distracted by the sensory input they are receiving, quite apart from the fact that they are not used to functioning without their hearing. 

I speak as someone who occasionally trains with an ipod but would never wear one in a race ( and who has been caught out by not hearing things while running with the ipod, even though I thought the volume was low enough not to be a problem). 

06/07/2008 at 16:21
I nearly always train with an mp3 player. I find that both running and house music are the two things that relax me so the two together works great for me (the genre is key for me as I would not bother for any other). Plus on long runs having a song entitled 'Don't Stop' playing some how makes sure I don't.

But safety - and on races manners - are a factor and if you don't have it blaring out (which I have read somewhere can actually damage your hearing anyway) and have it quietly in the background it is fine, as it does not impair your hearing, if it is something that works for you. I ran a HM with my mp3 but actually talked to people on the way round and the mp3 did not stop that. I also think you should keep the volume down as not everyone will actually want to hear your music on a race.

I can run without it (well on the street - not so sure about on a treadmill) and am less likely to wear it for intervals. I know that some races ban them - particularly duathlons - on the basis of safety. If I am allowed to wear one I will, if not I won't - although I think I can safely say even if allowed I would leave it at home for a duathlon for fear of crashing on the bike.

I think this is inevitably one for personal choice and I don't think it makes you any more or less of a runner nor mean you don't enjoy running depending on your choice.

I agree with a previous poster - this may as well be a debate on marmite (I am in the hate camp there).
07/07/2008 at 14:05
Well said slo sho. The deaf argument is a horrible way to try and justify wearing of MP3's.
08/07/2008 at 01:52
if music isn't 'motivational' then why do they have so much live music blasting out along the route of the London Marathon?

Some of it is so loud that surely the runners passing by may as well be wearing MP3 players. If the 'health & safety' nannies want safety, then surely they must ban loud 'entertainment' as well. Such entertainment also has a 'visual' element as the runner passing by may turn and look at the band, thus taking their vital concentration away from the road. Even worse!!

Slo Sho - OK - a deaf person may not be 'distracted by their deafness' but I fail to see how they could hear a runner coming up behind them. In my mind, a person with MP3 on reasonable volume would be at least as good as if not better than a deaf person at this.

So if we allow deaf people, and blind people, and people with costumes that may muffle their hearing and restrict their peripheral vision (and I totally agree that we should allow all of these) then surely the MP3 wearer should also be allowed.

It would be interesting to get some statistics on 'incidents' in races and their causes, so we can get some hard facts on what really causes problems.
08/07/2008 at 09:21

Agreed Shenders!!!

I think we should start a revolution agains Health and longer is my daughter allowed a skipping rope in the playground (yet they complain that our kids are becoming obese), no longer is sports day competitive...its the taking part that  counts! (yeah that prepares you for life in the real world). At the Great South Run last year I nearly lost an eye to very short lady in a Robin Hood outfit with arrows sticking out of a sack on her back!

Life is becoming very boring with everything being assessed for risk and life races where people are wearing MP3's....I dare ya!

08/07/2008 at 09:27

I may be stupid, but being deaf or blind is something that is a natrual occurance and cannot be helped - UNLIKE deciding to wear an MP3 during a race. It just strikes me as so disrespectful to try and justify the use of MP3's by referring to natrual disorders.

Yes, I know you are not all evil - but it doesn't make my image of MP3 wearers any better to be honest. I think I may have to bow out now before I get too annoyed - sorry but I feel so strongly about this.

08/07/2008 at 10:31

Somehow this is more down to courtesy than mp3 players! Yes I've come across runners with Mp3 players that are oblivious to their surroundings, but then i've also come across runners who are in a world of their own.. on their mobile phones.. in lines of 6 across the road making it impossible to get past.. those that stop dead in the  middle of the road to fiddle with their shoes/clothes/costume.. those in enormous costumes that haven't a clue what's going on around them.

Whatever happened to being aware of whats going on around you and being nice to those around you - surely its not too much to ask for.   I always run with an mp3 player - on low with one earphone if its crowded, but if I'm on my own during a half or marathon, I will have both in, but then only lowish so I can hear what's going on around me, don't particularly want to be run over.  it does keep you going and uplifts you during the hard times. Sometimes there's not even anyone to talk to!

08/07/2008 at 11:02

*gets banana leaf and starts fanning Simon furiously*

08/07/2008 at 11:38
I give up....

Thanks for the fanning though FF (WOULD PUT SMILEY FACE HERE BUT IT'S GONE MISSING!!)
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