Sound vs Silence



  • Hi Bill,

    I initially started running simply to keep fit but have recently entered and completed a 10k, have another one lined up and a half marathon. That said, I wont be doing that many as it was not why I started the running, but thoroughly enjoyed the first one.

    I could not really have spoken to anyone during the race due to breathing etc!!!! Well possibly untrue but only slightly!!

    I can understand the point though and if it works for you got to be a good thing. I am quite focused and almost anti social when I train, confidence issue funnily enough, I think I am a nice guy and like company, but the running is for ME, and so I kind of skulk away quietly.

    What is good for me is the time reminders on the Ipod helps me gauge efforts etc. I do have a Garmin 305 but use that for post run data.

  • Sound defenitely sound, low volume in early morning to hear stalkers and who knows...

    speed running at lunch or after 6, full blast crazy nonsense hardcore music

     long runs a mix of jazz, blues, rock, and hardcore music at the end

  • It has to be an individual choice and Ipod's help some of us keep going, the thing to remember is that most of us who wear ipods often have the volume low or only one ear in especially on races.  So that kind of discounts all the arguments why they should be banned.

    The longer the race/training run the more you may need it, I have my ipod on me plugged in and raring to go, then when the going gets tough and I start to flag I put one ear in, it's immediate my pace increases and it's a wonderful motivation tool.  I still know what's going on around me, can still follow instructions, and still know when my training partner is talking to me cause only one ear is plugged in.

    Some of us need this option and just based on these I know at my club the people who are really against ipods are the fastest ones, give us slower ones a fighting chance we need all the help we can get. 

  • I'm with Loco!!!

    Music style and loudness is altered to suit my mood and training. 

    Off to bid good day/cross a busy road/when with company. 

    Speed sessions: Loud and manic

    Long runs: Mellow with a ploddy tempo

    When my husband has annoyed me runs: Music with relevant lyrics ('Shut up' Black eyed Peas, 'Foundations' Kate Nash, 'Bitch' Meridith Brooks)  Also works well with a tempo work-out.

    To those of you that hate music in your ears.....I feel sad that you can't experience the ultimate relaxation I achieve when I'm plodding along with my favourite tunes and I'm sure you can't understand that your style of running sounds too much like hard work to me......but at the end of the day we are all different.

  • There are natural synergies betweeen music and exercise. We are all individuals and should be able to make our own choices. If we run with music it is our responsibility to be aware of our surroundings and to watch out for marshalls who have given up their time to direct and support us.

    I would rather listen to music than to runners who feel the need to share their latest times and running injuries / excuses for poor performance. Let's get a life really................... Music also blocks out the flat footed slap/slap, heavy breathing, snorting and other equally attractive traits that we runners have.

    Banning music - what will be next!!?? - Heart Monitors, Deep Heat, Blister plasters, Watches, Energy Gels........

    Someone mentioned struggling with their Nike+ I too had problems with mine initially as I don't read instructions properly - now 4 runs later it is the best thing I have purchased - other than my Ipod and Sennheiser ear phones!!

    Happy safe running!!

  • I have only read the first and last few entries on this thread, and would tend to agree with Shenders entry on 24th june.

    I personally use music when I train alone, but would not dream of using one when I am running with others, either training or racing.

    There is absolutely no health and safety reason for banning MP3's, and you do not 'need' to hear other people running around you. It is very much up to the individual wearing the headphones to make sure they are aware of what is going on around them, and make sure there is no-one about to overtake them before they stop or move to the right or left, and if the organisers do not feel that they can trust everyone to observe this basic etiquette, then they are entitled to ban MP3s, but as has been pointed out earlier in the thread this should be made clear before people have handed their money over and entered.

    As for those people who say they 'cannot' run without music, this is just like Dumbo thinking he couldn't fly without a feather. Everyone can run without music.... how did they manage before MP3s were invented? If you prefer using music just say so, don't act as though your legs suddenly stop working unless you have some headphones plugged in.

    Running is one of the few sports where everyone can take part, whatever their ability, but to read some of the comments within this thread it seems that some people would rather this was not the case, I can't believe everyone has had that many problems with people wearing headphones in races, I run regularly and I can't remember a single time when anyone has cut across me.

    In summary, lighten up.... let those people who enjoy running with music continue to do so, and those who don't can also enjoy running without it.
  • MartenkayMartenkay ✭✭✭
    Perhaps the huge interest in running by people of all backgrounds, all shapes and sizes and ages will mean those who make the rules will need to tighten up the rules. A 'fun run' might allow MPS/Ipod/mobile phones/cameras, fancy dress,diving suits,stilts or what have you and a 'race' might be defined without such items. Accessories are becoming a hazard as the user loses awareness of what is happening around them. I would guess that most of those runners' are not racing in the sense of doing the best effort that they can on the day. I am not knocking their efforts or reasons for running and I do accept them as runners'. I do think that charity runners need only name their sponsor on a T-shirt,vest or cap and can join a 'race' anything more should consign them to a 'fun run'.
  • Martenkay,

    That is a very fair point about runners with accesories such as Ostrich outfit, etc etc, but it is still a race and as you say you acccept them as runners, the difference being the motivation is different, i.e. probably not to win but to finish......

    I could see those intent on pitching themselves as "intent on winning" could be disadvantaged by the outfits and the like. However, never seen anyone at the Olympic marathon in a Gorilla suit.....!!

    Maybe semantics and event oriented but I think you raised a fair point in general terms, if your pitching up to a race, the organisers should make it clear what is permissible, you can then make your mind up about taking part, but it should still be a race in my view.

    I sincerely believe on the music side, if it helps YOU, then have it!Be sensible and risk aware, have the volume appropriately set and you will be fine. There are just as many people so focused that they will not be receptive to much sound around them anyway, music or not!


  • MartenkayMartenkay ✭✭✭
    I am pleased that you saw some merit in my comments as I do in your thoughts and others' comments on this subject.
    I don't think I have ever noticed much of a problem up to 10K. Competitors in major city half marathons and marathons which tend to have large entries are meeting problems. Nothing worse than somebody stopping in front of you to take a photo or take/make a telephone call!
    One point of view might be to avoid the big city events and have a better chance of a pb at a smaller event.
    Your own view I can happily read both ways such as Flora London Marathon organisers say anything goes so the more serious runners' need to make up their mind about taking part. If FLM adopted a more safety concious code it would be for 'fun runners' to make up their minds if they still felt it worth while running without certain accessories.
    I think running is excellent sport for general fitness and nobody is obliged to take part in a race.
  • actually .. i'd like to add another thing to all us ipod "fans".. for us over 40yr olds.. just ocassionally it like being back at a disco again.. you know... being 18 years old again... i dont think thre's many teensthat would aprove of a 43 year old joining them on the dance floor!

    so but for the "oldies" amongst us (double quotes!!!) ... give us a all a break!

    otherwise we may be joining you youngsters
  • Can I just say, being young and all. I belive that although I-pods can be helpful before races, I do think that they can hinder your performance, as you are running to the beat of the music, rather than focusing on the race or appreciating the surroundings you are in.

    Running can help to sort out your thoughts and clear your head, surely to fill it with songs is creating more stress than needed. The music is an external thing that isn't needed, it takes away the natural feeling of running that takes us back to an ancestral feeling, where no music can take us. The feeling of a run is greater when you know that you have completed it with no external help.
  • I have to say Jeremy that you are saying 'us' as if your experience of running is uniform to all.....I personally find that music helps me to distract from the thoughts that bombard my head all day and truly relax and 'switch off'......

    ....obviously my reason to run is different to yours.

  • 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.

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

    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 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 image

  • "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?
  • 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.
  • I am starting to favor taking music with me everywhere i go lately, running /gym /biking /shopping image 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 image

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

  • 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!

  • 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!!

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

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.....

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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!
  • Not necessarily. I've very rarely run anywhere with a police presence. Local marshalls can generally do a great job without much help.
  • JP,

    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......

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