Sound vs Silence



  • 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.
  • ...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 image
  • 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!!!!
  • THats a good one Trickytree!!!!  wonder where that falls in the health and safety handbook????
  • 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.
  • 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). 

  • 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).
  • Well said slo sho. The deaf argument is a horrible way to try and justify wearing of MP3's.
  • 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.
  • 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! image

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • *gets banana leaf and starts fanning Simon furiously*


  • I give up....

    Thanks for the fanning though FF (WOULD PUT SMILEY FACE HERE BUT IT'S GONE MISSING!!)
  • ...Yes lets start a costumes thread now...i'm raring to go..i'm on a roll imageimage
  • Fat Fyes - I agree with Simon image

    I also agree that the Health and Safety thing gets a bit out of hand but mainly because people can't see mto work out the obvious ones for themselves. The worse people are those that whinge about health and safety and then when they do something stupid say 'Why wasn't there a notice sayng ,please do not pour scalding water over yoursefl. It was your fault I am an idiot"

    TMM - I agree this is a sub-set of the overall courtesy issue and it does come down to people being part of a race that involves others. So they need to be aware of them rather than asuming the organisers have put on an event purely for them and anybody else around needs to defer to them and get out of their way.  

    Personally I find MP3 wired runners are more often than not a menace, although not always. TMM you take a reasonablty sensible approach, most don't. That is why rules have to be imposed.

     Its like the smoking ban, If people can't work out for themselves that something is the biggest health hazard known to man-kind and is totally preventable and can be done 100% by them then you have to legislate.

  • <passes spare smiley face to Simon image>

    Brooks, I do see your point and I have not doubt that some inconsiderate people with MP3's have become a menace to others....I just find it a bit upsetting that because of these few others who are considerate in their use of music are being punished.  You can't legislate against everything otherwise I would introduce a spot fine for those runners who gob up disgusting green stuff on the side of the road which makes my want to barf! image And I agree with the Health and Safety and idiots....its a bit sad when they have to put a warning on a bag of peanuts that 'this product contains nuts'!!!

    Even if MP3's are banned they'll soon be some other group of people that irritate you and some people are inconsiderate in other ways as mentioned before.  Most races have hundreds of participants...statistically someone is going to pi&& you off! 

    At the end of the day I have no doubt that some race organisers will impose an mp3 ban on their race and as long as that is made clear then the racing world will cater for everyones needs with other races allowing them...the pole so far is 59:40 for music so this would suggest there is scope to reach some compromise.

    *peace sign*

    I don't like to see how upset some people are getting about this though....I find that quite strange.

  • Apologies if I state the obvious. I'm not trawling back through 24 pages.....image

    I've noticed that in the last few years "crowd support" at races I've been running in has dwindled somewhat and if you are on a half or full marathon, there are vast areas of the course that are pretty lonely and music can help you through sometimes.

    I don't tend to run races with my earphones in out of choice. I also know it's extremely irritating to faster runners to get held up behind slower people who cannot hear them approaching. The answer to this lies in far more start line organisation and PROPER pens, where runners declare (and prove) their PB and are categorised accordingly and I'm sorry, but if you're a newbie, then you're at the back till you've proved yourself. Football teams don't go straight into the premier league do they?

    I'm not a very fast runner. My 10K time is 57 minutes. I always feel a bit guilty when people are trying to get past me, but equally, you've got no right to push me out of the way. What we need is a bit of consideration for other people.

    My very pet hate is fat girlies in RFL walking arm in arm in a long chain! What's that all about??image

  • I'm with Simon on this one - it strikes me as very distasteful to use the "what about deaf runners" argument to justify the use of MP3 players.   Yes, a deaf runner cannot hear you coming up behind them, but a deaf runner is aware of his/her disablilty and knows how to cope with it, and adjusts their behaviour accordingly.  A deaf runner is involuntarily unable to hear and should not be penalised for that; an ipod wearer is voluntarily unable to hear and other people should not be penalised for that.  Anyone who wishes to participate in sport and works round their disability to do so should be applauded and encouraged; anyone whose approach to life is sufficiently solipsistic that they think they can race in a little bubble which affects no-one else in the race is kidding themselves.

     I am not against the use of MP3 players as I have said before, and use them myself on occasion in training, but I am against inconsiderate behaviour.  The argument that there are inconsiderate people who don't wear MP3 players, therefore inconsiderate people who do wear them should be allowed to get on with it, strikes me as both illogical and the counsel of despair.  Yes, there are inconsiderate people out there, both wearing and not wearing MP3 players; yes, there are other behaviours exhibited in races which are inconsiderate and are not banned; we should not therefore throw our hands in the air and say "I give up, it's every man for himself, I don't like you blowing snot rockets in a race so I'm going to wear my MP3 player and tune out all the other racers".  Instead, we should work to spread the message that, if you participate in a race with other people, it's not all about you, your comfort, convenience and preferences do not have more importance than those of other participants, and if you want to take part, you'd better show a bit of courtesy to your fellow racers.

  • Liverbird - I really agree with you there. I think proper organisation at the start is key to keeping it all running smoothly, and keeping it "safe". The whole ban mp3 idea is just stupid when a large group of people running together isn't exactly the most "safe" idea anyway in a health and safety obsessed world. People should be allowed to enjoy running in whatever way suits them.

    On a different but related note, I just got back from a run without music and I gotta say it was probably one of the first times where I've actually enjoyed running in silence more than with music. Although I did start singing to myself at points, but that most definitely doesn't count as music image.

  • People should be allowed to enjoy running in whatever way suits them.

    Even if  that is potentially to the detriment of others?

    No amount of good race organisation can prevent people behaving inconsiderately.  We need to take responsibility for our own behaviour, not expect "authorities" to do it all for us. 

  • Agreed Slo sho - been some good arguments about this on the thread - but there is alot of what seems to me as 'Me me me, sod everyone else - I MUST wear my MP3 in races - so deal with it!

    I hate PC crap and health and safety as much as the next person, but this is more about common courtesy than anything else.

    FF - Thanks for the image...dunno why they disappeared from that thread! Regarding the 59:40 for music - depends in which mag really - would be a different result in Athletics weekly I reckon!

  • Thanks Simon - I think you just said what I meant a hell of a lot more succinctly than I did! image
  • I've taken to singing ABBA songs in my head! All about the same tempo as my legs and I don't need to actually vocalise the sound! image

    Otherwise you'd have a barrel load more complaints......image

    "Mamma Mia, here I go again...."!!!!image

  • I like the word courtesy...

     We used to be taught that when we learnt to drive, consideration and courtesy mean traffic flows, people giving way and doing all with a cheery wave and smile. Now were all about road rage and going for the gap.

    I have to say that irrespective of wearing mp3 players, the issue is about sensible awareness of your surrounds. I agree with those who say deafness is a poor argument and taints the argument, these souls have developed their other senses and are living with a permanent need to overcome the disability so they are totally distinguished out of this argument.

    But if your wholly focused on what you do, struggling, in a catatonic state or just so competitive that someone in your way, or your being in someones way will happen, earphones or not. Withsome courtesy and consideration, on both sides, then there would not be a problem, but the competitive spirit sometimes exceeds the sporting one where taking part used to be the pleasure and winning the bonus.

    So lets get real, lets stop looking at the effect and consider the cause, cos it aint listening to music that upsets folk............... its the bad mannersimage

  • MartenkayMartenkay ✭✭✭

    How do other sports get on in training and competition? Triathlon and Ironman, football, rugby, hockey, swimming, cycling. Is it really only running that has these problems. Is there an undesirable element in running or are runners more friendly and accommodating? How would you feel if the 'goalie' was on the phone! The cyclist in front of you pulls up to sort his mp3! The teams hooker decides to take a photo of the game!

    I wonder if the big charity involvement in running has attracted many who would never have considered running (or any sport) and excellent as that may be, many of those runners need a 'prop'. Others attracted to running to lose weight might also need a 'prop'. 

    My earlier post recognises all as runners though I feel recognition must be given to those who are runners because they want to run, get PBs, improve their times etc. Many of the big race organisers are competing with each other to get a world record, the biggest race field or the biggest amount collected from sponsorship. Though they put the elite up front they really have forgotten about those between the elite and the fun runners.    

  • Would never dream of using a personal music player at training (hockey goalie) - the coach would bollock us as it would be a)extremely rude and b) a complete distraction from the focus and concentration we need all the time ( so also more than a little dangerous) but it is a fast moving highly competitve team sport so we dont need the distraction or get bored despite it being a 2 hour session!

    might use music pre match to get psyched or to warm up with but that would be with a ghetto blaster in the changing room when we would do a group aerobic session

    I suppose the other side of it is that sports have rules and using gadgets is quite clearly outside of those rules ..if i stuck a ghetto blaster in the back of my goal for the quiet bits during a match the umpires would haul it out right away !

  • I have only been running for 10 months. I train alone so I usually listen to music when running. I had my mp3 player with me for the first 3 races I run in this year and done quite well. However after reading some other posts about running without I thought I would give it a go. In the last  2 races I have done without music I have been significantly faster, I knocked 3mins 14 secs off my pb first time, then another 1min 19 secs off that pb second time out. I now intend never to run a race with headphones on again.
  • you know it makes sense image

  • I do now.. I always thought I could never run without headphones.. Now I realise that the people wearing them cant hear you coming so it`s even better when you pass them to see the look on their faces wondering where did he bloody come from.. It`s great motivation..image
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