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I am training for the Richmond marathon. It is my first one and am curious weather they allow or frown upon headphones? Everyrace says no but i always see people with them on.....What are some of your opinions on the use of headphones for long distance runs?

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First off, good luck to you Buck!

And you're right, even though most races say 'no' folks still wear the headphones to races.

If you NEED the music to keep you going then go ahead and use em.

personally, I like to take in my surroundings...
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I personally do not use headphones and every race form I have seen "bans" them yet race directors never do anything. I guess if you are told, then something happens maybe they are not liable for anything.

Really it is a matter of personal preference. I am with Joel on this, there is something to be said about all of the sounds around.
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I would suggest to stay away from headphones while running outside. Too many things going on for you not to be aware.
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For my first 8 months of running I used headphones, and my long run was around 9 to 14 miles depending on the month. When I got to a certain level and decided to become more serious about the sport, I put the headphones away. Things I noticed:

1. My pace. Music interferes with your pace. Mine was very uneven. I've been working on that.

2. The whole expererience is better now. You become much more in tune with your body and with what is going on around you when you don't have something distracting you. Also, I started speedwork, and can't even imagine how much music would interferfe with that.

Now, I think the music helped me get to a point where I could just put the headphones away and sometimes on short runs around my neighborhood (boring runs) I still wear them. I almost never see anyone wear headphones during races. If it works for you, though, and it's helping you reach your goals, then do what makes running better for you.

:),

Shelly
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