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I just did a HM last week that had the same "strongly discouraged" rule, but I'd say probably 75% of the runners did have earbuds in. I'm so slow that generally there aren't too many people around me, and I keep the volume pretty low. I'm like one of the other posters - sometimes I need that music to get me through the tough parts.
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St. Charles, IL
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The one I just ran allowed them but suggested that they be in only one ear, particularly at aid stations and when coming up to people giving directions. Which is exactly what I did. There was a note that people using music wouldn't be eligible for the money prizes, but I think that's not going to concern me for a long time, if ever.
Bring em! Wear em! Just keep the volume low so you can hear those around you and chat when you want. I agree with others: all races you this now. But a suggestion is different than a rule. Enjoy your race!!!
A lot of races say that headphones are "strongly discouraged" but I've never seen one where anyone's gotten trouble for wearing earbuds - except for one where they were expressly forbidden (different situation). I do tend to prefer to run with music at a low volume, as I find it motivating in the hard parts of a run, but I've also gone without a time or two, and it's really not so bad. You will find other things to focus on, like the scenery or the energy of the crowd. So don't sweat the decision too much - if you want the music, go for it! (Just not too loud)
Half Fanatic #610, Marathon Maniac #7173, and officially Goofy!
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"Strongly suggested" is just another way to say "for liability purposes, we are trying to cover our behinds." I say take them, I guarantee most runners are going to be wearing them.
When running by myself, I listen to podcasts or tunes. But when running with others, it would be hard to focus on music when I'm trying to predict the unexpected movements from all the other people listening to their tunes and paying no attention to the fact that they have people around them. :-P
People who take phone calls in the middle of the race are the worst! Sometimes, they'll just come to a dead stop in the middle of the course - and get run over by a runner behind them.
Many volunteers tell stories of runners with earbuds going off course despite a volunteer yelling at them that they've missed the turn.
Thanks everybody for your help!!
It is strongly discouraged and I think I will bring my iphone and gage the crowd and make my decision. If I need motivation, I can always bring it out!!
Most races do recommend not using earbuds, but I have not seen any really enforce it. I'm no longer using music when running outside most of the time; the rare times when I do, I run with just one earbud in and the other tucked away so it doesn't dangle. That allows me to stay more aware of my surroundings, which is the main purpose (as I understand it) of the 'no earbuds' recommendation. Good luck!
Denise (Half Fanatic #1279) - PDT Time Zone
"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
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i too can NOT run without music... i run alongside a road normally, so like FANGFACEKITTY i just keep 1 in. the last race i was in said no earbuds, however i only saw a few competitors who didn't have them... i have a feeling it is rarely ever enforced.
5K ~ 11/25/12 ~ 31'58
10K ~ 4/28/13 ~ 67'55
Half Marathon ~ 10/20/13 ~ 2:29:52
For me...no music is simply not an option. I run slower and the run is harder without music. I have tried a few times and no music just does not work. Outside I do use only one bud, in my left ear which is already half deaf, so I can have my music but still be able to hear cars coming behind me with my good ear. I have not knowingly run a race with a "no iPod" policy so have no idea how seriously it is enforced.
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I used to depend on music until I started training for my first marathon. I read a book that highly suggested to leave them at home. I did it and my run was better quality. I never run with them in now ... well unless I'm confined to the TM then I do.
Good luck with your running!
All the runs I have run, do state that but I have always run with them. You might leave one out so that you can be more aware of your surroundings but I have never had a problem. Keep the volume low. Good luck!
One day at a time! You can do anything you set your mind to!!
I only wear earbuds when on the Treadmill. Anything to make that routine less monotonous! When outside, I agree about the safety issue, at least on rural backroads where I usually run.
I agree that from my observation, in those races where it has been stated "no earbuds" it is generally not enforced. If music is the main issue you might want to do as Timothynohe suggested and gauge the crowd. If you're more interested in updates from Runkeeper, you can get that without earbuds. I can't imagine hearing your stats every 5 minutes would disturb anyone (unless they are way behind their goal time and can't stand the reminder!).
The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.
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5K - 23:45 (6 races)
10K - 50:12 (3 races)
10 Mile - 1:27:07 (2 races)
Half Marathon - 1:56:35 (1 Race)
They all say that and basically it's a liability issue on their part. They don't want you missing a turn or anything else like that. Also, the rules will say that you can be disqualified for purse money for wearing music, but I am pretty sure you won't be in that category.
Here's my suggestion. Take them. Wear them. If you look around and see no one else wearing them, take that as a cue. It someone reminds you of the no earbuds rule, comply.
The only race I ever was in that the rule was enforced was a triathlon. Not wearing them in the water. Stupid to wear them on the bike. So why bother for the run?
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible -- St Francis of Assisi
Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half Marathon, Dublin, Ireland, 8/5/2013
I never run outside with headphones; I don't think it's safe. I was a little freaked out about it at first too , because I MUST have my music when working out in the gym, but soon I found that I was able to spend a lot more time thinking and enjoying my surroundings and paying attention to my running form, breathing and pace. A race situation should be plenty interesting without the help of music to keep you going.
Voluntary Discomfort is the secret cornerstone of strength. We build our whole lives around increasing comfort and avoiding discomfort, and yet by doing so we are drinking a can of Weakness Tonic with every morning’s breakfast. ~Mr. Money Mustache
5K PR: 23:40
10K PR: 48:57
HM PR: 1:59:37
in my experience it is common but not enforced.
That being said, if it's a bigger race it's SO worth it! The energy from the people around you can really carry you through.
This past weekend I did drop my phone into my pocket and hook up my earbuds. But I tucked them into my top and just checked Runkeeper every once in a while if I wanted something. But mostly I just let the race carry me along.
Congratulations and best of luck on your half!
Edited by: JECKIE at: 5/8/2013 (09:05)
Jeckie (aka. Sarah) - Lowell, MA - EST
Half Fanatic #3032
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I am running my first HM this Sunday and just recently noticed that they strongly suggest not using earbuds during the race for safety purposes. I'm freaking out because I can't imagine myself running for more than two hours without music or my runkeeper app giving me details on my pace.
Is this a common thing during HM and Marathon races? What do you do?