Sound vs Silence



  • I've tried it once or twice, but don't like it.

    For me running is a chance to be alone, with my own thoughts, communing with nature & with people I pass. Music just gets in the way.

    If some enjoy it then fine, but I find it very sad that people on here often say they couldn't possibly cope with running for a half marathon without music. It just shows how we have become dependent on a constant soundtrack to our lives.

    I think they should be banned in all races. Not because they offer an unfair advantage, but because they are so anti-social. Part of racing is about being part of a community, and headphones get in the way of that. (Not that people should chat all the way round, but it's a case of being polite to those around you).

  • Should we ban deaf people from running, because it's dangerous - I think not - so why should people not be allowed to wear Ipods.

  • think about it Ed
  • I'm thinking

  • Strangely nobody ever mentions hearing damage as one of the safety issues of iPod/MP3 player use - in my 20s i often had earphones from my walkman stuffed in my ears listening to music when i commuted -my hearing is ok but it isnt as sharp as it was -especially with a lot of background noise in pubs for example

    Everybody always says they dont listen to to it that loud but the concentration in ear may affect hearing in the long term

    Deaf and hard of hearing people have often much better  developed other senses and awareness due to not being being able to hear so are probably safer than hearing people in a lot of situations

  • 'tis a free world - choose what you want.

    Me I much prefer the sound of silence - or at least the sounds of my surroundings including my gasping breath, footfall on the tarmac (from which I can tell if I am footstriking smoothly and properly) and luckily enough the countryside sounds that I am fortunate to run through

    I cannot over emphasise the safety aspect though both from traffic and personal safety. I literally pulled a wandering teenager off the road onto the pavement recently as he stepped off listening to his MP3/iPod into the path of a car (whose driver was on a mobile!!!) and he simply had not looked or heard it coming.

    Then last week I was overtaking a female runner on my early morning run who had earphones in. She looked totally shocked to find someone right on her shoulder as she turned round to look back just before a corner. Fortunately for her it was just a gasping old geezer (which may have caused the shock/horror) but she obviously had no prior warning of my approach. Thought crossed my mind then that it was not a good idea to be so vunerable.

  • Thank you Gas Ed, the very same argument I had last week on this very subject.
    Apparently I caused at least one person to have a sleepless night.

    Some of us have no choice but to run in silence.

    I'm saying no more because I tend to upset too many people on this subject.

  • Where's Cougie?image

  • I only ever listen to music on long runs when I'm on trails and paths.  I can't listen to just music, I have to have the radio on so there is some chat as well to distract me from the endless miles................... yes, ultra runner!!!!
  • I never listen to music when out training, in fact I haven't even bothered to buy an Ipod, I'm one of the "communing with nature" group. I run almost exclusively on forest trails with my dogs, and find it very relaxing to be away from all the everyday noise that accompanies me everywhere else from the minute I get up until I go to bed. There's enough noise in the world, it's refreshing to me to be able just to listen to the birds and other forest sounds, after a tough day at work it really helps me to unwind. I've been running long enough that I can enjoy it for itself,  don't need distractions to take my mind off where/how far I'm running, I just enjoy being able to do it. I appreciate there are others who need distractions or can't live without noise, but it's not for me.
  • I never run to music because i'm a dj and love music so much its part od me, like an organ of my body or something and its so bad that everytime I heard a repetative noise up town or something when walking around my body starts stepping (walking) to the beat. I did try listening to music 1 time on my phone but it screwed up my jogging rhythm and I just could not (as hard as I tried) jog at a different tempo to the music so i just stopped listening to music. When I go running i'm a tower of concentration now and dont hear anything much, just complete concentration.
  • At the risk of sitting on the fence; it depends where I'm running. I do a lot of my long runs on trails and in the open country so it's nice to listen to bird song, silence, rivers, etc basically all the stuff that you don't get in the city. It's very very relaxing.

    If I'm just plodding round the streets or on a treadmill then I will take my I-pod as it can break the boredom.

  • I have my ipod on when training, and usually in races too. Its loud enough for me to hear the music, but quiet enough for me to hear shouts of support from the sidelines.  I ALWAYS take my earphones out when I'm coming up to the finshline of a race! image

  • Depends on my training

    On my own, yes, I use my ipod.

    Running with training partners, obviously no.

    In a race of a distance under 10k, no.

  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    The last time I expressed an opinion on this subject I got mugged. That's mugged as defined as being a surprise and unwarrented attack.

    However I've now learned my lesson. As a devoted fan of live music, I have now resolved never to set out for run unless I am accompaned by at least one of the following - a string quartet, a gipsy violinist, a celidh band, a tribute band or a Welsh choir.

    On a more serious note, if you find running so unpleasant that you have to resort to the means of taking your mind off it, then perhaps it just isn't the sport for you.
  •  i love running to music. it really energises me. i have the volume such that I am still aware of my surroundings and am putting myself in no danger/ nor anyone else in danger. the music helped me through the FLM. I could manage short runs without music;but i prefer it with. I can understand though how frustrating it is in a race when you are trying to overtake a person blasting away their i pod. i think at sensible'background' levels;people should be able to listen to music if they wish. if they do not wish; they shouldn't be critical of those who do. everyone is different in this world and it would be boring if we were all the same
  • Let's be honest here. Runner's World is going to say running with music is bliss because Nike is throwing the cash around. It's the same with rubbish races such as the British 10k, which are never given the kicking they desrve because they throw the cash about.

     Personally, used to listen to music when I was a jogger, don't now as can't run with music on.

  • Piers,

    I don't think Nike will be fussed what the outcome is. Think about it, they have two products out at the moment- Nike+ (with music) and sportband (without music), so whatever the outcome they have a product that covers both angles.

     I personally enjoy listening to music and podcasts whilst I run, although when training seriously, I like to skip the music and concentrate on my pace and breathing.


  • I dont think it comes down to people finding running being "unpleasant". For me listening to music whilst doing longer runs makes the whole experience even more enjoyable, just a bit of company I guess.

    At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preferrance. Some hate it, some love it. 

    I think there maybe a problem if someone absolutely cannot run without an ipod at anytime and at any distance.

  • I run to my own rhythm - no ipod - always found sufficient natural (music) noise to distract when the going gets tough.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    It's a shame to see Muzzy persisting with his line that opponents of iPods are opponents of deaf runners. They're not, and have never said they are. Enforced silence (or tinnitis or whatever) from hearing loss is one thing; voluntary distraction through headphones something entirely different. The former is not a safety issue, the latter is. Or rather, the former is a safety issue but it's one its sufferers are aware of and can compensate for.
  • well said M     image
  • Totally agree, Muttley. Nicely put.

  • FF runs to music most of the time except club nights.  I don't get annoyed at runners passing me without headphones and always switch off my music to bid good day.  I find the fierceness of some non-ipod wearers completely bizarre.  My music helps me to switch off and stop thinking for sometime...white noise in a midst of a chaotic life (I work full time nights as a midwife and have four children).   As for birdsong...I live in the country and they wake me at 0400 with that noise!!!  If I'm struggling up a hill a change of track will get me up there!  As for safety I turn my music off to cross the road but run mostly off road ..... occasionally, if I'm out early, i'll turn my music off to out-stare a deer or two.

    Live and let live I those who run in sillence, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy running to my tunes.

  • I mostly run with music when I'm training to motivate me for tempo running and intervals.  I tend to run faster if there is pounding beat and I'm having amazing fun whereas if I've got time to appreciate the scenery and the sounds around me, then I find I'm not necessarily running at my best level unless its an LSR day.

    That said, if I'm running in a public place, I usually only have one earphone in (I know musos will be shocked at my lack of stereo!) but it means I am more aware of my surroundings than if I'm plugged in fully and cranked to the max.

    I always take my iPod to races but have pretty much never listened to it as my pace is totally different as I get caught up with other runners whereas when I run on my own, I'm not so aware of my pace being too fast, too slow or inconsistent without music (I now have a HRM to help me out with that one!)  Plus in bigger races, the atmosphere is so brilliant, I wouldn't want to miss out image

  • My Ipod keeps me going. I try to listen to music with the same or similar tempo to my running. That way i can run in time to the beat and it stops me from slowing down. Its added motivation for me as well cos I think "I'll just keep going till the end of this song"

    I do, however leave it at home when I'm running in the evenings and when I am using it, I only listen at a volume that means I can hear the music and know whats going on around me.

    As for during races, I agree with Melissa. I have it just loud enough for me to hear both my music and the support from the crowd.

  • I use a Nike+ thing with no head phones.  I can't stand the noise in my ears!

  • I always run with music on when training - not in a race,  I feel it gives me a boost, but I am still aware of whats going on and remember how to cross a road.  There seems to be a bit of snobbery coming out here:  if you need to listen to music while you are running then you are not a proper runner.  Some people like it, some don't - doesn't make you any more or less of a runner. Music can enhance a lot of experiences - I find running is one of them.

    Each to their own  image

  • Agree with LWR.

    Runners = purists and no ipods  ?   Joggers = riff raff like me who listen to music occasionally   ???     image

    Really ?

    Each to their own and neither should enforce their views on others nor affect others with their choice. Suggesting listening to music makes you a jogger /because you don't enjoy running is bizarre. I listen to music when I cook, drive and er 'play'..... it doesn't ruin those activities nor does it suggest that I hate those activities.

    The wearing of ipods etc in races/on roads  being safe or socially polite is a separate argument 

  • Well said, Mrs Pig!

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