The London Marathon 2017
Cor Blimey! It’s that special time of year when people can travel around the capital at speeds greater than five miles per hour, and all of London turns out to offer support to racers and plodders alike. The London Marathon is back, and promises to torture participants with its gruelling tour of the Big Smoke.
Despite all this wonderful support and encouragement however, a surprising number of runners elect to don headphones. It’s perhaps testament to the fact that a musical accompaniment is a more powerful motivator for many.
Here are some things to consider if you’re considering some musical impetus.
It’s all very well being in your own world, but sealing in-ear models will leave you less aware of environmental sounds such as traffic. Also, something called the occlusion effect can magnify the sounds of footfalls through the bones, breathing or speech for example. This might affect your enjoyment but sealed in-ear designs remain popular with runners, such as the MEE Audio M6P –
When your body is aching and you’re in a world of pain at the 18 mile mark, you don’t want to be worrying about pain coming from your head too. A lot of on-ear models are designed to remain in place on the head and so grip a little bit tighter than their full-size counterparts which usually stay at home. Also, the earcups tend to be of a leather (or leatherette) material which will not release moisture so you’ll get awfully sweaty under there. Again, there are a lot of people who like to wear this style on a run but we’d recommend the Koss SportaPro –
They are light, comfortable on the head and are an open-back design, so the ears can breath a bit. Also, environmental sounds make it through for a safer experience.
Many runners are now finding Bluetooth technology to be very useful for this type of activity; gone is the danger of catching your cable on a passing Beefeater, and it’s easier to change volume or the track being played. One thing to be aware of however is how the battery is designed into them. A few have huge capsules and some people find difficulty getting the right fit. Other models have a bulky battery on one side of the cable which tugs on the cable.
The SoundMAGIC E10BT has the battery in the middle of the cable so it’s well balanced, and it also has a clip to secure it to clothing. The E10BT can be a sealing or isolating earphone, but the included ‘vented’ tips, if fitted, will allow some environmental sounds to come in for a safer run.
So this is our pick for the runner’s perfect headphone; you’ll have the music AND the adulation of the crowd to get you the full 26 miles and beyond!