Does the Noise in my Ears Bother You?

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of wearing headphones while running. I tried it once and I didn’t like not being able to hear my footsteps, breathing, traffic, etc. I felt shut off from the world and discovered that my surroundings greatly influence my running and not being able to hear what was going on around me made me feel lost. I do think it’s a safety concern. I do think that runners wearing headphones lack awareness of what’s going on around them. I do think that relying on music as a crutch can be a bad idea. What if your ipod dies during a race? Is your race over?

That being said, I understand that many people use music as motivation and agree that it’s better to run with headphones than to sit on the couch. I know some people keep the volume down and/or just use one earbud. I will also admit to using it myself, albeit when running track workouts solo, where I use certain songs to help me keep pace, and on the dreadmill, where I’ve used it in a futile attempt to drown out the sheer monotony.

Since I rarely listen to music while running, it seems odd that I would agree to try out the ClipE, a handly little clip that attaches your headphone cord to your shirt, preventing it from flapping around wildly and resulting in you getting your arm caught in it and ripping the buds out of your ears as you careen backwards off the dreadmill…not that anything like that has ever happened to me…

Nowadays I thread the cord through my sports bra to keep it from flapping around. Of course it gets a bit sweaty but I’ve found it prevents any disasters. Still, the ClipE seemed like a good alternative to that method and, for the approx. 50% of the running populace who doesn’t wear sports bras (lucky buggers), perhaps the only one.

Invented by a pilot and avid runner, who noticed how the cable clips in her cockpit kept wires where they needed to be, the ClipE is amazingly simple. It’s basically a little circular piece of plastic with an alligator clip on the back. There are two little channels in which to insert your headphone cord. Yeah, bet you wish you’d invented it. Actually, I wish I was a pilot.

Once you’ve inserted the cord you simply attach the ClipE to your shirt. It’s very easy to adjust as you can just slide the cord up and down, but it doesn’t move around. It just so happened that I was about to go to Florida when my sample ClipE arrived. There’s something about running in Orlando that drives me insane. All the houses look the same, there’s only one type of tree, the roads are some kind of concrete/rock substance that make my knees hurt, and it’s often hot. So I figured this would be a good time to try out the ClipE as music might be required to get me through all that. Since the roads are basically concrete I tend to stick to the footpaths that surround my in-law’s retirement community or run on the grass, so I felt safe wearing my headphones, albeit with the music low.

The funny thing was that I ran with my husband the day I tried out the ClipE. Here we were, with an hour or so to ourselves without kids, and we were both plugged in to our music. I felt like a total dork. I thought about just testing the ClipE without the accompanying music, but figured I may as well go for the full effect. My husband was having a good day whereas I had run the previous day (no music) and was feeling the effects of walking around Epcot the day before. Excuses, excuses. About 4 miles in he picked up the pace, and I almost let him go. Then I had a better idea. I cranked up my music and gave chase. About a mile from the house I passed him and picked up the pace, found a song I like to listen to on the track, and started pushing it. I looked back and he was right behind me. We were running 6:30 pace. I picked it up again and saw 5:55 pace. I kept going and didn’t stop until I reached the house.

The ClipE did its job. It stayed in place and didn’t bother me. I didn’t know it was there, which is the biggest compliment I can give any training tool, especially when it’s a piece of plastic. My husband is now asking if he can borrow it so he can try it out, but so far I haven’t let him…I might need it for my next track workout. 🙂

Do you listen to music while running? What’s your favorite running song? Right now I have two: Cage the Elephant’s “Aint no rest for the wicked” and Foster the People’s “Pumped up kicks.” I also like most of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.

Almost forgot…I have a giveaway! I received two ClipEs so have one to give away! I have a soccer ball (which is the one I tested out) and a flower (which I haven’t used.)








To enter the giveaway you only need to leave 1 comment letting me know which one you’d like, BUT you MUST also:

– Tweet “I entered the @racingtales @myClipE giveaway at” OR link to my blog on facebook (of course you can do both)

– “Like” MyClipE on facebook

– “Like” racingtales on facebook or, if you already “like” racingtales, “like” the link to this post on facebook

The contest will run until 11/20 at which time I will enter names into and pick a winner! And don’t worry if you don’t win because they only cost $6.95! Great stocking stuffer!


  1. I don’t want this, thanks. I need to hear the music of my heart, breathing and feet. And I can always sing if I need music.

  2. Lisa McClellan says:

    I am with you AG, I am a no ipod runner… one huge reason I run is to escape the noise even if it is great music…. I love the sound of silence. I have few friends that would love this though…I’ll mention your giveaway.

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