Listening to music while running

There was some interesting discussion about listening to music while running at the Team Rogue meeting. Coach Karen shares her thoughts. My reason for not listening to music … headphones keep popping out and those dangling wires are annoying 😉



  1. I don’t care what people do on their own time, but I have a policy of no iPods during quality workouts. Part of my coaching philosophy is that people can run farther and faster because of the group than they can on their own. There’s a reason they come to group workouts, otherwise they’d just go do it alone. Some people will argue that they keep the volume low, or only use one ear piece. But the truth is, when they put headphones on, they isolate themselves from the group and from the coach.

    That’s my policy and I’m sticking to it 🙂

  2. I agree with Amy, at track workouts it’s bad enough when you’re going all out than to have to yell track at anyone let alone somebody that has music playing … at that point trying do anything but run feels impossible.

    Also, I may be somewhat of a straight and narrow type (you know don’t cut in line type stuff) but right now there’s a rule for the race so if we’re making a choice to break it if we have headphones on … yes I do break some rules, but definitely have guilt over it when I do. So for now wearing an ipod is about making a decision to break a rule, until and unless the rule changes.

    On my own long runs I’ve tried listening to music but just can’t handle the headphones, so I thought I’d use it at the gym. One thing I realized is that at the gym when I did that I wouldn’t really talk to people … the ipod became an excuse to become somewhat disconnected and removed, I stopped wearing it and have been in a lot more fun and enjoyable conversations with random strangers. So not having headphones on during a race and avoiding that rule to break isn’t a big deal for me, that may not be (and doesn’t seem to be), the case for everybody though.

  3. So taking the Ipod debate in this other direction with the idea of rule compliance, I completely understand the position and dont necessarily disagree with the idea of following rules.

    However I want to share something I have been reading that I dont think most people understand about the USATF rule. First, rules are only as valuable as their sanctions, and if there arent sanctions, they are reccomendation, not rules. Previously this was a guideline and when USATF told races they were making it a rule they didnt mandate sanctions and thus the confusion and lack of clarity on if they are really “banned.” Because several marathons as of late are bucking the trend- check out Portland- IPod friendly approach, the USATF is readressing the issue in Dec. when they meet and it is suspected that it will again become a suggestion for safety but not a rule. Also understand that the marathons listen to the USATF in the case of marathons because if they want to be a Boston Qualifier, they must, however Portland will still be a Boston Qualifier. See the confusion.
    Also, some of the other things I have read most recently about the origin of the USATF IPod guideline, and then rule is that it wasnt really focused originally at the actual marathon but a liability one where the USATF felt that if they discouraged headset use in races people would be less likely to train with them. That is some really concerned lawyers thinking there. Furthermore some have said that their real aim in all this was that they felt IPods are dangerous for people running on their own out on roads. So rather than a purposeful rule in the actual race they create guideline for training. They were apparently trying to protect us from ourselves. Hmmm, sounds a little like prohibition- might have had a good intention in mind but it didnt work out so well. Maybe the rule should be that in order to wear an IPod while running you must be 21.

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