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6997 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2008 12:30 PM by Jay Silvio 1 2 Previous Next
nbrogdon Rookie 3 posts since
Jul 9, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 6, 2007 2:26 PM

MP3 / iPods Prohibited on USATF Sanctioned Races ??

Hi all -


I'm a runner who loves running with music in my helps me stay focused I'm looking at a few 1/2 marathons this year, and I noticed that most (if not all) are prohibiting the use any "audio or video" devices on the course - specifically listing out MP3 players, radios, iPods, CD players, etc.


I know it's purely a safety issue, but I think it sucks.


Anyone else have an opinion?

  • irungrl Pro 153 posts since
    Jul 3, 2007

    You need to be aware of what/who is around you during a race. I used to think the rule was silly but now I totally get it.

    All runners at times need to get over for other runners to pass, out of the way of emergency vehicles, hear the word POTHOLE,  or they need to hear important race info on the course. Runners with earbuds/headphones can do none of this because they have music blasting in their ears. Remember that you are not the only runner out there on race day so respect other runners and enjoy the day without your iPod. I know it is fun to train with, but the rules there for a reason.

    Happy running!!

  • jlwillard22 Amateur 20 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I also keep my iPod at a level that allows me to hear what is going on around me.  No matter where you are, training, or racing, you need to know what is happening around you in order to be safe.


    wishing you all injury free running!

  • matlombardi Pro 93 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I do not run with music, but I am curious about something. What do you mean when you say that "it helps you stay focused"?


    Do you feel that listening to music may be performance enhancing? I had assumed that people listened to music when running in order to assuage their ennui. Often I will "play" songs or music in my head, but have never thought about what effect it may have on my running.


    It also seems as though the different tempos of the songs would affect your stride. Which could be good or bad.



  • matlombardi Pro 93 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    Interesting, music replaces the passing of time, but not your sense of connectedness.


    I do not usually listen to music in the car, but I do on long car trips that I take alone. It does seem to take my mind off of how many miles I have left to drive.


    I wonder if anybody listens to talk radio when they run. Or maybe books on tape.




  • smo5246 Legend 204 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    There is no one that likes music more than I do (maybe as much).  There are simply too many hazzards out there and you don't know when you are going to be confronted with one.  Did you ever turn around from an out and back run and almost get ran over by a biker?  Or how about someone passing in a no passing zone who almost hit you from behind.  My favorite horrow story was a tractor trailor on the side walk behind me on the side walk that I was running on (I changed to the left side of the road on that one).  Someone behind me yelled or I'd have been killed.  Hearing the truck didn't help much, for I didn't know he was on the sidewalk.  I could barely hear the person behind me (a running partner who got brushed), but I did and sidestepped at the last second.  Had I had an IPOD, I'd be dead.  How about this one, two kids on a bike, one on the handle bars coming around a blind curve toward me.  Fortunately for me, I heard them coming and got out of the way.  They still dumped into the middle of the street, and fortunately there was no car or truck coming.  You just never know.  I pass the time away on my marathons by chatting with stangers and getting to know new people.

  • Yagi17 Amateur 29 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I love my IPOD, and it really makes the time out there flow.  I always put only one bud in my ear though and keep the volume low-med.  I then can hear what is going on around me, talk with others, and still hear my music.


    Give me my music USATF,..besides I am no threat to the top runners.  I am a happy, back of the pack, say "Thank You" to the volunteers type of participant.

  • mlmineer Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    First, anyone who runs with music so loud that can't be aware of their surroundings is, well, just say lacking.


    Second, I absolutely detest the fact that those lacking cause me not to be able to be a responsible music listener while I run a sanctioned race.


    Finally, someone asked about focus...I set up my music to play in a certain order depending on the type of run.  If it's short and I'm going for all out speed I will put all up tempo songs on, if I want to go out slow then pick up the pace, well, slower songs then up tempo and so on.  I have found that I get lost in my music and end up running to it's tempo so it's sort of like an internal accelerator to me.

  • gsingjane Expert 41 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I guess this is the debate that will never die!


    I don't run with music, never have, run on country roads and I bet at least once every single run, my ability to hear has saved my life (or at least saved me from massive injury).  But, there doesn't seem to be an epidemic of dead IPOD-wearers, so maybe it doesn't make as much of a difference as I think it does.


    One thing I wonder about, though, is that so many music listeners say they can still hear what's going on around them.  I am from the old school, where you say "hi" or greet another runner that you see on the street (a holdover from starting to run in the 1970's, when we really were far and few between).  I've yet to meet the plugged in runner who could hear my greeting.  They will look at you, or raise a hand, but it is always very clear that they cannot hear me when I say hello.  So, while I am sure that there are folks out there who can hear through an IPOD, I've yet to meet one!


    Jane in CT

  • carolcrc Pro 110 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I find it difficult to match the music to the tempo I want to run.  I do books on tape when running the treadmill, but never outside.  A good action/adventure book can make the treadmill time far more bearable!  (A vivid description of the Battle of Talavera in the Napoleonic wars actually had me running more than a mile further than I had planned without realizing it)


    Unlike the writer above, I've found that music actually keeps me from getting "in the zone" or reaching that semi-meditative state that I usally hit somewhere in my long runs outside.  It's a combination of the rhythm of the running and breathing and the fact that nothing is being input that I have to match the rhythm to (such as a music tempo).  Sort of like meditation in motion.


    Guess it depends on how your brain is wired, whether music works for you or not.

  • matlombardi Pro 93 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    "A vivid description of the Battle of Talavera...".


    Massive guffaws.



  • run4sanitysarah Amateur 9 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    Great conversation! I love listening to music when i run. It helps me stay focused as well. Although i have had a close call with a biker recently i have turned down my music. I ran the Virginia beach 1/2 Marathon and mp3s and ipods were not allowed. I ended up meeting some really cool people and enjoyed the scenery! So now i dont really get upset about not listening to my music during a race i enjoy the people and the sound of feet pounding the ground. Its a pretty organic experience.

  • helen82 Pro 171 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I just signed up fo a 4 mile race in San Diego on May 20th. I wasn't at all sure about being able to run without my ipod. But this morning I found I hadn't charged it, so I had to do my run without any music. I actually had a better, more satisfying run without the distraction the ipod can pose. I still love to run with music, but it was good to know I can do without if I have to.

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