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Half marathon rules say that ipods are not allowed. Is that usual? why?

(11 Posts)
melpomene Sun 16-Oct-11 11:11:49

I'm considering doing a half marathon for the first time in March. (I've done race for life 5k a couple of times but no more than that).

I was getting quite excited about the idea until I checked the rules for the race and found this rule:

"Music / I-Pods
Very simple – these are not permitted, anyone listening to music during the event will be disqualified. "

I always use my mp3 when I run; I find that a good (music) track gives me a real boost and helps me go faster. On the few occasions when I haven't had music when I've run I've found that it feels like a much harder slog and I can't run so quickly.

Is this a standard rule for longer/bigger races? What's the reason - is it just in case people need to hear announcements about the race? And how could I adjust to running without music?

sfxmum Sun 16-Oct-11 11:21:09

most races advise against use of ipods mostly because they take place on public roads or because they are very busy with loads of people running, this is usually to ensure safety
afaik most people ignore that rule but are sensible to keep one ear free for most of the race so as to be aware of cars and other racers

I do not know of races when they threaten disqualification ask others doing the same I guess
good luck

Hulababy Sun 16-Oct-11 11:22:19

Yes, it is for health and safety reasons I believe.

whostolemyname Sun 16-Oct-11 11:35:04

Hmmm. I did the reading half marathon about ?5 years ago and ipods were allowed. I think its an odd rule, I too would find it harder to run without music. Although i would say that when you are running in a big group and with crowds of people watching, it helps you keep your momentum going.

MrsCog Sun 16-Oct-11 11:47:51

I have heard of it before - again on health and safety reasons so that you can hear if someone is going to overtake you etc.

I was a real music 'needer' when I first started running, but then I had a problem with my ipod and had to run without for a bit. I found it actually improved my running (after a couple of slower runs), as I was 100% focused on what I was doing, technique etc. It's all too easy to drop your pace to the beat of each individual track, so even though you might have some 'boost' songs, actually overall your pace is slower, unless you find all songs at your optimum pace in bpm.

I asked a friend who is an expert on running/training etc. about this and he said that it's much better to run without if you can - again for the focus reason.

Having said all that I'm ultra jealous as I'm 19+4 pg and really missing running - had to give up at 9 weeks as knees and pelvis were too wobbly!

melpomene Sun 16-Oct-11 12:54:58

Thanks, I've now entered for the race despite my trepidations smile

I guess it's true that crowds/atmosphere will keep me going on the day, though I don't fancy doing long training runs alone without music.

I wonder what exactly the race organisers mean when they say that people will be 'disqualified' if they try to listen to music during the race - does it mean that they will be prevented from completing the course, or allowed to complete the course but not have their time included in the official results? Best not to risk 'cheating', I suppose.

futurity Sun 16-Oct-11 13:16:03

The marshals may stop you running during the event if you don't remove it when asked or they will just disqualify you at the end and you won't get an official time.

It's the Cambridge Half isn't it? I recognise the "quite simply" bit as it made me laugh with the way it is written. I've entered it and I have never done that far without music. The first half I ran with a friend and talked until 10 miles...she then went ahead and I listened to music. The half I did last week I listened to music the whole way so the Cambridge one will be new for me as well. I figure though that more runs have these no music rules now so I've just got to give it a go.

The crowds and fellow runners will keep you going would be surprised how easily it is to strike up conversation whilst plodding along with fellow runners and there will be plenty of sights to look at in Cambridge to keep you occupied.

mollycuddles Sun 16-Oct-11 14:00:29

If I'm road running and at races I run with one earphone in and one out. I can hear other runners and hazards and still get my music. I'd be very irritated if I was told I had to run completely without. I probably wouldn't enter a race that was this strict.
When is this half? I'm thinking about a half next spring but sticking to 10k for now. Good luck Melpomene.

futurity Sun 16-Oct-11 15:05:07

I would be the same normally and be wary of races that were this strict/grumpy but it's Cambridge which is too good an opportunity for me as its so close. It's next March 11th.

I think music is also banned due to it being used as a running aid...people make playlists which are at a certain tempo and the argument is that it could give an unfair advantage.

melpomene Sun 16-Oct-11 18:36:39

Yes, it is the Cambridge one in March. I live in Cambridge and it does look like a good route. Part of the route is the same as the route used on the Cambridge Race for Life and that was great fun running along The Backs.

If they're banning music on the grounds of it being an 'unfair advantage' then perhaps they'll be less strict about enforcing that rule for those of us towards the back of the pack? Because it's a mixed gender race, I'm 41 and it'll be my first half marathon I expect there will be at least 2,000 people finishing before me so nobody needs to be too worried about me getting an unfair advantage!

I'll be having a look at other threads later for training tips and probably seeing more of some of you in this section over the next few months smile

fridayschild Sun 16-Oct-11 18:39:31

I normally run outside without music - if I am with someone I will chat to them, and if I am not I think I need to be able to hear people sneaking up on me.

I did a 10 mile race today where music was not banned. The course was narrow in places and it was hard to overtake people, especially if they were wearing an i-pod. And listening to someone else's tinny beat is really annoying. I like races where i-pods are forbidden!

Try run to the beat, a half in London in September. Music provided round the course!

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