there are many different types of runners: those who overdress (guilty as charged), those who run for pleasure, those who run to train and race, those who hate gadgets and others who can’t live without them…you get it. you may not be aware, but running with music is a hot topic for debate in the running community. as someone who has to have actual one-sided conversations with herself to even get out of bed to get a workout in some(all the)times, you can probably guess which side of the fence i’m on in this department.
running to music/with headphones hasn’t always been a practice of mine, however. on the cross country and track teams in junior high and high school, i never ran with music. i don’t even think it was possible back then (the days of yore, 1999). apart from the one mile warm ups and cool downs each day, we always ran in packs with people who were about the same pace. we would talk and chat and laugh and joke while running at paces i can’t even believe i was ever capable of. on the weekends the coaches would let us loose for two hours to run wherever we wanted throughout the large state park where we practiced.
/end tangent. 2012 tara can’t bear the thought of running without my headphones and baby ipod strapped to my person. although on my longer runs the music eventually takes a backseat to my mental thoughts and i don’t even realize it’s on, sometimes having the beats of some of my favorite tunes is the only thing putting one foot in front of the other one (hey, btw, that’s a GREAT song for running). the one problem that i’ve had over the past few years, however, is the headphones situation. i’ve burned through probably 2-3 pairs of ipod buds because, let’s face it, they break easily. and i sweat a lot. in the ears. last summer i ordered a pair of sport headphones from amazon that promised they were sweatproof, waterproof, etc. they were pretty cheap but had good reviews. and they did the job just fine, but i was always having little problems with them that honestly could bring down the whole run.
enter polk audio. the kind folks at polk offered me a pair of their new ultra fit 3000 headphones to review, and as i was pretty fed up with my current pair, i of course jumped on the offer. the box arrived a few days later, and i couldn’t wait to take them out for a spin! the first thing i noticed while unboxing was just how many options there were to customize your headphones. the HP’s (yep, i’m shortening it) come with three sizes/sets each of two different silicone in-ear covers, and two sizes of a foam model. you’ll seriously be able to find the perfect fit after mixing and matching for a bit.
THEN you have three different options for your cord length. there are two extenders, the longest of which has a “remote” for volume and phone control (if you use your phone – i just use a little shuffle). the second extender was juuuuuust long enough for me to put my shuffle on my shorts waistband, but ultimately i ditched both and just had the HP’s go directly into my ipod, which i now clip onto my sports bra near my shoulder. it works well, and i don’t get that pulling/bouncing sound – you know the one.
the headphones themselves produce great sound and deliver it right to your ear canal. however, at a low enough for me volume, i was still able to experience the great sound AND was able to hear cars, bikers, and other runners around me that i needed to be aware of. another feature of the headphones is that they’re flexible and moldable, so you’re able to wrap the HP around your ear and get the most custom fit without any bounce or chance of it falling out.
i’ve used my headphones four times now (including a 9-miler this weekend) and have yet to have a bad experience with them. with my old pair, the cord was almost as long as i am tall, and i had to clip it literally across my entire waistband, and then up my shirt to keep them in place. but because they were all wonky, the right ear HP was constantly falling out because the left side was always pulling. i don’t see any signs of this happening with the ultra fits, and I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED about future runs!
okay. here’s where your incentive comes in for reading all of my blabber. polk graciously included a second pair of headphones to give away to one lucky person! seriously, you want to get in on this.
TO ENTER: comment on this entry and tell me one of your FAVORITE workout songs (or audiobook, or podcast – your choice! [because i'm always on the hunt for new tunes, i figured this method could benefit me as well. sorry not sorry.]). you can enter multiple times, just limit it to ONCE per day. i’ll select a winner using random.org on AUGUST 15th, 2012.
and if you happen to be running the philadelphia rock ‘n roll half marathon in september, polk will have a booth at the expo. also check out their ad in the newest issue of runner’s world!
disclaimer: i was provided with one pair of headphones from polk audio for review and one for giveaway. i have and will not receive compensation for my review. all thoughts and opinions are my own.
UPDATE: Our winner is the lucky CARYN! Congrats lady, I’ll contact you soon!