Hi all. I'm about to do my first 5K in just 12 days! I have a weird question...I've been jogging alone with my MP3 player, and I'm wondering...are most people plugged into their music during the actual event, or are people more tuned into those around them, encouraging eachother and being in the moment? Just wondering. No idea really what to expect, being my first race ever.
Congrats on your first 5k! if you want to run with music, go for it! Majority of people I have seen in the numerous races I've done wear iPods. Sometimes races discourage it, but unless you are out there to win it its all good. Maybe just don't blare it so loud that you can't hear whats going on around you (but hey...who am I to say...if a good adrenaline song comes on and I need the pick me up, up the volume goes on my iPod ;)!!!)
So, do what will make your first race fun for you! Good luck :)
Generally, I run alone, and have almost always used my MP3 player during races. There have been some concerns by race officials that people plugged in are less attentive and perhaps a hazard, but I've never seen any problem with it. Nor have I ever been at a race where listening to music was not allowed. So, the choice is yours.
You might consider starting out without the music, just to see what it's like to hear the race course environment, and how it differs from training. If you find yourself having trouble concentrating, or keeping a steady pace, plug in!
I see a lot of MP3 players, iPhones, and the like during 5K's. I wouldn't say a majority of racers use them, but the percentage is reasonably high; perhaps one-third, or thereabouts.
Unless prize money or awards are at stake, it is normally the race director's discretion whether to allow headphones. Most do allow them. If there's any doubt, check the race website or flyer for instructions. Personally I train with an iPod but never race with it - I'd rather focus on the race experience and pay full attention to the surroundings. If you use headphones, use your common sense - keep the volume sufficiently low so that you can hear the voices of other runners and/or race officials, and pay attention to what's going on around you.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17
New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15