More iPod Talk

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yesterday’s post has some great comments. Thanks for all your input on both sides of this issue! (Keep it coming!)

One thing that I felt pretty bad about was that I implied that everyone running is “training,” and is running to try to get faster. That’s NOT the case, and I feel like a doody-head for implying that. Plenty of people might just head out on a run to enjoy some free time or to stay in shape. That’s a great time to run with music if you’d like. Use it to enjoy the moment. It’s not always about getting pumped up and running as hard as possible. My bad. Sorry.

RE: some comments on yesterday’s post:

- My post and Gary’s article are ALL opinion, not fact. But the idea behind Gary being asked to write this article for the MDRA magazine is that he’s a seasoned race director / coach with a different perspective than us “normal” runners.

- Someone brought up deaf runners / bikers, which I’ve seen brought up in iPod discussions before. Yes, they do fine on a bike or on a public trail, but they are USED to dealing with living without hearing what’s around them - they have spent years finding other ways to “hear.” The rest of us choose to not hear our surroundings if our iPods are up too high.

- 1 or 2 people mentioned using iPods during races. They said something like you’re not missing out on “camaraderie” because you shouldn’t be talking anyway: “if you’re talking while racing, you’re not racing hard enough.” I respectfully disagree. I’m a HARD racer. I just finished 95th out of 5797 people in the TC 10 Mile (1:02 finishing time). And I held 3 great conversations with 3 different people during the race: introduced myself to Marlo at mile 1 and chatted about duathlons; ran into racing buddy Tom at mile 4 and chatted while crossing the Franklin Bridge; and passed a recent acquaintance (Doug) at mile 5 where we chatted a bit. Sure, I didn’t talk as much after that (although I did a little) because I was upping the pace as I was nearing the finish, but I find it tough to say “if you’re talking while racing, you’re not racing hard enough.” Over a 1 mile race? That might be true. Over any longer distance? I don’t think so.

- And it’s nice to hear that those who are commenting who use iPods seem to be using them properly and safely. I think tri-al put it nicely when she simplified it down to this: “each to their own; but when it comes to safety; keep one ear free.” Nice. I second that. (and “keep one ear free” might just as well mean to use both ear buds, but keep the volume down a bit, too.)

Anyway, that’s still just all my 2 cents. Check out the post below for more details.

(And I’m still tweaking the layout and colors of my “new” blog, so put up with it just a little longer before you judge it too harshly! It will hopefully come together in the next few days...)

**On second thought, maybe I don't race hard enough... I mean I DID have enough energy left over after the TC 10 Mile to cheer for the Marathon runners like this:

Direct link on YouTube.


Pharmie 8:36 AM, October 27, 2009  

And I would like to point out that that would have been one of MANY great crowd support experiences that runners of the TCM may have missed had they been "tuned out".

Mel-2nd Chances 8:57 AM, October 27, 2009  

whether training or racing, i do like the ipod, just for background noise, however, i always only have earbud in at all times... and volume low. I've carried on conversations with runners, experience the race with the entertainment provided and crowd support, but really like having my own tunes available to me when I need or want it. great topic!

tri_al 9:54 AM, October 27, 2009  

thanks for the shout out; glad my inevitable opinions on everything from ipods to the consistency of the neighbours gravy is finally getting some recognition ;)

Emily W 1:19 PM, October 27, 2009  

There's a possibility that you weren't running hard enough, with that amount of talking, Steve. You should quite seriously explore that issue. I think say "Hi" and "good job" is one thing, but a conversation takes a lot of breath...

Formulaic 1:48 PM, October 27, 2009  

Very nice! I love the choreography.

So...Not that I am passing judgment on the new blog are not done yet right?

Jen Gatz 2:56 PM, October 27, 2009  

"I didn’t talk as much after that (although I did a little) because I was upping the pace"

Exactly, it makes it much more difficult to hold a conversation when you were upping the pace.
I just ran a marathon, doesn't make a difference what the distance is... I ran as hard as I could for 26.2 and I can tell you that I was not up for polite conversation, I needed to concentrate the entire time. If I'm running a 5k or a 10k it's even worse, I can't get words out and like you I finish in the top tier, typically winning my age group. Great for you that you can talk with other people while you are racing, but that isn't everyone's idea of a great race experience either. I prefer the comraderie before and after racing, sharing the experience with friends afterwards, that's my thing though....

Steve Stenzel 4:40 PM, October 27, 2009  

Jen - I've REALLY liked this conversation going on! Really!! And I’m seeing more of your point. I DO think I could have ran some of my middle miles a little harder, and I could have taken some time off my overall finishers time by doing so. At the same time, every run that I do (race or training run) is negative split. I’ve learned that I can REALLY crash if I go out too hard. So, by talking a bit at the front end of a race, I think I’m able to keep the pace a little easier so that I don’t “blow up” at mile 7 or 8. It’s what works for me.

Maybe (and I’ve REALLY considered this) I need to try to break myself of that habit and work on STARTING runs faster too. Maybe that’s a good 2010 goal!

ShirleyPerly 7:34 AM, October 28, 2009  

I think iPod use is similar to those who drive cars with their radios on too loud or talk on cell phones. It might make things more enjoyable for the person doing it but it distracts them from doing other things such as tuning in to their body, surroundings, etc. I pretty much avoid riding my bike on multi-use paths now because I've had too many close calls similar to what you mentioned. In races, I really don't think they should be allowed, which is one of many reasons why I love tris so much.

Thanks for the discussion!

E-Speed 9:54 AM, October 28, 2009  

Steve I am with you on the small chatter during races. My two best races this year I held at least a few conversations. I think while it might affect pace negatively, it affects attitude positively. And it is a nice mental boost sharing your day with others. I the relaxed approach is key to running an even or negative split race. For me when I get too focused and try to tune out others during the race I usually end up struggling rather than enjoying the race and performing better.

Ali 11:23 AM, October 28, 2009  

I'm lucky enough to run with a group so rarely have to put in any miles alone. So I never run with an ipod ... but maybe if I had to do a 20 miler alone. I've never used one during a race I think you would miss out.

Jen Gatz 7:19 PM, October 28, 2009  

Yay! Steve! A great goal! Sometimes you just have to go for it and see where you end up! Along the way you will learn a lot about yourself and you will break down some barriers and "limitations" you thought you had! I look forward to reading about your journey.
Incidently, I thought of this blog world conversation while I was out enjoying my 5 miler on some rural roads while rockin' out to Foo Fighters on my Ipod ;)

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