If you do a parkrun (www.parkrun.org.uk/events) the pace at the back is usually a brisk walk, if you aren't sure how fast you can go then start at the back on the first week, it's depressing to start too far forward and be overtaken all the time, but uplifting to start at the back and overtake people! Also it's better to start slow and speed up than start fast, blow up after 1k and struggle the rest of the way.
Once you've got the hang of it you can start further forward with the people who are doing similar pace to you.
Even when running on your own, start gently and see how it goes then gradually increase time and speed, don't expect to be able to blast out a few miles straight away!
Banning headphones violates people's right of freedom of expression, IMO.
If they ban headphones they should also ban deaf people from running, but you can bet they don't.
Some people don't half write some twaddle! You can have as much freedom of expression as you like when you go running outside an organised event but if you enter an event you do what the rules say.
If you play footy/cricket in the park with your mates you can ignore whatever rules you like, if it's too complicated to apply off side/lbw you can ignore it but if you play in a proper match then the rules are enforced - is that restricting your freedom of expression? - 'You're infringing my rights ref/umpire, I'm am a conciencious objector to the off side/lbw rule therefore I will not abide by it'
For anyone who argues that they should be allowed to block off their ability to hear (safety) instructions from race officials, go and volunteer to marshal an event, you'll very quickly see why organisers don't like having runners who can't hear instructions!
As for questioning that deaf people could be banned - they don't choose not to be able to hear which is completely different to people with good hearing blocking it off and they will probably to be able to lip read which it's unlikely that earphone wearers can.
If you are so upset by organisers having rules then either don't enter organised events or only enter ones where you like the rules. Do you also object to rules that prevent you taking short cuts? It is an infringement of your human rights to be forced to wear a race number or to wait until the gun goes before you start or to start in the correct coloured pen?
By all means wear open earphones or only put one in but self applied deafness is just stupidity when yours and others safety is involved.