It is quite surprising that having been running for so many years, I have never ran with music before; music in my head yes but not in my ears. I am not used to having something stuck in my ears or a dangling wire about me whenever I moved so I have never gotta around to using a MP3 when out for a run. However, I do know that some studies have shown that running to music actually helps in the running so when I got the chance to test drive the Sony Walkman W252 , I grabbed it.
So on Saturday took it out for my maiden 'run with music' and to live up to the spirit that the people from Hill and Knowlton said - to 'stress test' the W252, the run was a long 20km. The night before, I had dragged a mixture of English and Chinese songs from the Princess' pc. Adjusted the volume to what I thought was a comfortable level although M said I was talking very loudly which means the volume was still a bit too loud. But to me it was probably just alright as I could still hear the surrounding sound. (Uncle here has to sound a word of caution - do not blast the player at full blast - it is bad for the eardrums and also runners need to be aware of the surroundings, in particular traffics and other road users coming up behind)
So how did it went? First, the earphone sits very snugly and there was absolutely no slippage or bounce. It wasn't too heavy either and after a while, other than the music, I didn't even noticed the earphone. Also, there was no jump or skipped track despite all the bouncing and running up and down the slopes. Indeed the music really took the mind off the miles (or KM as we said it here in Sg). Along the usual distance from Upp Pierce to Lower Pierce, despite the late start, I took 2 minutes faster than my usual time. Is it really the music or psychological?
Just towards the end of the run, it started to rain. Just nice to test the touted water resistant feature of the W252. Even with the rain and my tons of sweat, the W252 continued going on without any undue side effects. Despite the short charge on Thursday (I think it was charged for less than an hour), the W252 went on strongly for the 2 hours that I took to complete the 20km. According to the specs, it can last 11 hours on a full 90 minutes charge so I think there was enough juice in it to go far longer. Maybe I should bring it along for next week TNF 100 to distract the mind from all the slopes?
Finally, if you are looking for a nifty MP3 to bring along on your run, the Sony Walkman W252 will fit the bill very nicely. At the recommended retail price of $129, it is very reasonably priced and you get a rugged player without all the wires and extra weights.
And oh by the way, Jay Chou and running do not go together, if you know what I mean:)
NB: The Sony Walkman W252 tested in this review was made available courtesy of Sony Singapore