To run with music or without? Join the debate
Headphones in training = goodHeadphones in races = bad
I wonder if it's linked to the why bit of running. Varying as it does, I can see why this subject gets a bit heated. Personally I'm in the silent camp, and I do have to admit that although I think everyone should be able to run with the soundtrack they chose, I just can't understand why anyone would want to run with music. But that's probably because I run for 'headspace', as much as anything. I never really got on with any kind of consistent meditation practice, and I think that running works for me as a close alternative. It's the time that I'm completely present - aware of my body, of my breath, of the breeze on my skin.....of the van man honking his horn and shouting "hello sexy" (Sexy? Sexy? In this gear? With this blotchy red face? Looking this close from keeling over?) . That's the thing: I get to be focused and contemplative, but also I'm connected to what's going on around me.
It's downtime thinking. I'm not thinking about anything much, but I get the feeling that stuff is ticking over. For me listening to music means I'm not listening to what's around me, or to myself. But then what I want out of running, and how i respond to music, won't be the same as someone else. Which is fine, just as long as no-one wants me to run with music I really felt for the both of the journalists - look forward to seeing how the experiment turns out really. Even if it is a little cruel and unusual (to me at least)
Eloquent, but missing the point. I don't think anyone cares whether we listen to music or not in training.
Really, no one cares.
Races? That's different. But training -- people do what they want to do, and that's OK.
touche, I agree, well said mrs pig,
i can never understand why people have a problem with people doing things different to them, live and let live. I personally find most of the arguments against very weak.
i train with my mp3 all the time and wear it in 10m and above in races for the final couple of miles. I do aim to keep the volume lower enough to hear things around me, and choose headphones with built in volume control so i can quickly turn the volume down if i want to hear something. i also follow the highway code and run facing traffic, i generally find i am very aware of things around me (might be because the volume is low).
for me the only two valid arguments i have heard are attacks from behind and loss of hearing, while these are a risk, the enjoyment of listening to music far out ways these reasons. i will take my chances and aim to use good road sense, which i hasten to add a lot of runners without music could do with doing, it scares me some of the things i see runners doing.
i find the new uk athletics rule daft and badly thought out, for instance as i understand it, if i have speakers attached their is no problem, now i am sure that will go down well with my fellow competitors when they have to listen to rage against the machine. i think its better to carry on with the headphones and risk being disqualified, than a black eye or two.
in addition, a word to organisers, if you don't want us to listen to music in your race, say on you application form. not on the race day information after we have paid are hard earned money, that i call stealing.
O.K. I am of my soap box now
I love training runs with my Ipod.
I generally listen to Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time" podcasts - usually something very worthy and informative like the Library of Nineveh or the History of Anaesthesia.
So really i am educating myself as I run and its a win win.
Or "Start the Week" - the relentless stream of dessicated academics, American flim-flam merchants and self-regarding arty types pushing their latest books never ceases to make me smile and it helps pass the time during long runs.
But I prefer to be Ipod-less in races, despite the fact that for long stretches i am running alone. This is more to do with soaking up the pre-start atmosphere and being open to conversations with other runners rather than an Elf n Safety argument.
In cars or on buses or on the train, someone with an Ipod on is effectively saying "I'm listening to music, thank you." So I think it can be perceived as behaviourally anti-social.
But again as always, would I ban it? No I wouldn't. People should be allowed the freedom to choose whether they wear one or not - just don't be surprised if no-one ever talks to you if you do!
What debate are you referring to? Are you not simply describing a preference?
I can't see any debate. If I don't want to buy and wear an MP3 player, not even a Winston Churchill could persuade me that I should do so. Equally, if I want to listen to music as I plod down the canal tow path, no amount of debate will stop me.
OTOH, I can see that there are wider issues in races, where one person's actions can affect the comfort of other people, and that definitely IS worth discussing/debating.
Fair comment, Spinkletoes.
Personally I think wearing an iPod in training is a bit risky but each to their own. I think that wearing one in races is a bit rude and potentially unsafe to self and others, but again, each to their own. And despite what a lot of people think, it is possible to disapprove of iPods without wanting to have them banned.
But if race organizers ask you not to wear headphones, then don't wear them.
I think the music broadcast at my fitness club does help me on the treadmill but I wouldn't listen to music with ear phones outside when training or racing because I need the assurance of being aware of what is going on around me, this includes being aware of any runners in races who may be looking to overtake me because it might either hinder their progress or cause an collision.
Yes, I agree with Muttley about races. I also think it rude to wear them when in the company of others. But.....
I wear headphones. I accept the risk that entails running with headphones. I feel they make me more focused on my running, add a tempo. Some people dont think that way, we are all different. Folk should therefore do what they makes them happy.
I hope RW dont end up making a declaration as to whether headphones make a difference to our running. On some people it will make a difference and on some people it wont. Its not like speedwork, which is proven (I think??) to make you faster. Its a holistic or psycological thing, rather than a physiological thing.
Running with or without music?
In my case, I guess it depends on the session,
If I'm running on my own and don't have any company then I'll usually have my iPod on. If there's a good podcast that I've not listened to yet and I'm just doing a steady slow pace for a set distance (easy day) then I'll probably listen to that.
If I'm doing interval work then I'll listen to the mp3's I have that are for interval work (basically a voice kicks in at set times so I don't have to watch my watch).
Or I will have an uplifting playlist for everything else, sometimes I'll have the music on when running on road's (drown out the noise) however you can always turn off the music when you get to that country park or nice carless/road less area.
When I'm running with friends or at events I'll usually don’t run with music and soak up the atmosphere.
Personally Music gets the thumbs up for solo run's and atmosphere gets the thumbs up for events in my opinion.
Marshaling duties at a local race on Saturday.
Runner (towards the rear of the field and on her own) started running off the route and along a different road.
"Oi !! Here. Here. Keep to your left!!" - Nothing.
Starts waving arms and jumping up and down - "Oi!! - THIS WAY!!"
Finally notices me. Runs buy and takes out earphones - "sorry, didn't hear you..."
I'll come out of hiding (lurking) just so you can take a pot shot at me. Like most on this thread I do both, it depends on where I'm running, why and who with.
If I'm running in a group (training or racing) then I won't take any music. The chance to talk to people is enough motivation/distraction when I need that extra 'focus'. But I'm happy enough for others to wear their headphones in a group run, and even in races.
When on my plod to/from work then I'll wear the headphones - mostly to reduce the noise of the cars on the concrete section of the A30 which can be heard for miles!
I keep the volume quite low so I can hear cars coming up behind me, so the safety issue is minimised in that sense. And to be honest I'm deaf enough not to hear bikes with or without headphones so again that makes no difference.
For me the most important thing in all of this is CHOICE, there is no right or wrong answer. But like one of the previous posters I think the test is flawed. Choosing someone who never listens to music to see if they like running with music is pointless. You should have chosen someone who likes music but prefers to run in silence - as the previous threads have proven there are quite a few out there.
I personally am in a very social job and spend my whole time at work being chatty and chirpy...when I get home I have a big family and my ears bleed from my teenage daughters love issues and my sons stories of x-box adventures, not to mention the latest escapades of the wonder pets from my youngest. Similar to Yorklass, I love music and initially started running as an opportunity to listen to music uninterupted ....I just found I enjoyed the running more than I expected.
As for being socially rude....I never wear my ipod on a club night as I know people there and will chat....the rest of the time (races included) I don't talk to strangers outside of work....its a Yin Yan thing. Sorry if others believe I'm being rude but this is my time where I choose to be just with myself and my music. If a race advertises no ipods, then I will either run without it, or not participate....I'm not rude enough to go against rules.
I have a foot in both camps I'm afraid!
On my long slow runs on my own, I listen to music, but have the volume at a reasonably low setting. This way I am still aware of what's going on around me. Unfortunately this means it doesn't drown out the honking of smart-a$$ mens in cars (why do they feel the need to do that?!)
I also run with a club, and obviously on these nights I run without music. Being part of a group though, I don't tend to miss it, and never think about it.
As for races, anything under a half-marathon I don't bother with music, halfs & marathons I use it - I can pick the music to give me a boost if I need it at specific times.
I agree with a previous poster - people should be able to listen to music if they wish. If they choose not to, they shouldn't be critical of those who do.
And by the way, the other poster who said only "joggers listen to music" - well I run a 1hr 20 half, and just did a sub-3hr marathon - am I classed as a "jogger" with those times?
Each to their own I say
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