Couch to 5K
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park run query

So I have been putting off the parkrun until I can do a 30min 5k and I think that may be avoidance tactics!

So i'm going to sign up and do it, soon. Having read the website I know they prefer you to not run with headphones but the thought of running 'naked' is not appealing at all - i am really heavy footed and a heavy breather and if i have to listen to myself i'll not be able to pace myself...

Do any of you regular parkrunners listen to music? How dissaproving are they of this?

To be honest, i make such a racket I think other runners may want to put headphones in too! :/

8 Replies

I always run "naked" at Parkrun, but there are loads of folk with headphones in and I have never noticed any comment about it. Just do it, ReyC, you won't regret it.


I'm in the same position of putting off a parkrun until I get a bit further (Wk5 at the mo...)

I've been wondering if the reason they don't like people having headphones is that you can't hear someone coming up behind you, and coming past you, in case you suddenly make a step to left/right in front of them? Pure guessing here but I know when I run down the canal towpath I have no idea if a cyclist is looming up behind me and there's not much space to pass.

The local Parkrun here (Worcester) has over 300 people normally and I think is through some twisty woodland area mostly so I guess people tripping over people who can't hear what's going on is probably an issue.



No local parkrun to me, but I only run with one "ear" in for that very reason. I feel safer as I'm more alert to what is going on around me.


I prefer not to wear them either, in my experience there are so many runners making so many different noises that you will not stand out if you breathe heavy or are heavy footed so don't worry about that. Many people do wear them but they aren't banned and like astilla says more general safety advice, I suppose if someone did have an accident due to not hearing parkrun can at least say they warned about it.


I wear mine, because there are certain songs on my playlist that come up just as I am considering walking a short while - they soon knock that idea out of me and keep me running. Nearly everyone has them on at my local parkrun.

And just so you know that there is no avoidance allowed, I did my first parkrun soon after I had started running ;) Admittedly, I was running for 1 minute and walking 2 minutes all the way round, but it has been good to keep my focus up. I still can't do it in 30 minutes and I still can't do the full 5k without at least 1 period of walking in, but I am getting closer all the time.


No problem with wearing headphones but I don't understand why people want to wear them. Far better to be sociable and fully enjoy the event and take in all the surroundings.


I've always run with music and not been aware that I was not supposed to, never had any comments and the volunteers still cheer me on.


Like you I'd planned to get close to 5k in 32/33 minutes before tackling a parkrun but got talked into the idea of making it my last run of week 9. Was a bit apprehensive, but as I've always run to music (also for the same reason as you) I was pleased to see many of the 400+ runners with headphones. Everybody was really friendly, and even though I was a bit nervous and went off far too quickly at the start (just a suggestion but next time I think I'll start nearer the back rather than the front) which made me struggle towards the end, I really enjoyed it.

Whilst I didn't achieve my planned time (I finished in 36.22, with around 50 runners behind me) at least I've now got something to work towards and I'm now looking forward to seeing my parkrun times come down.


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