Using Electronic Devices During Triathlon Events

Triathlon Event  Running my first tri in another week. While reading the USAT rules, saw that headphones, mp3s, etc are prohibited. I understand the safety issues surrounding the use of headphones, but does that also prohibit 1) wearing an iPhone on me to track distance and time and 2) playing the music from the iPhone WITHOUT headphones, so that I alone can hear it. Sadly, I’ve trained my run with music, and was hoping to use it as a crutch 🙂 Thanks!

Michelle from Texas

Triathlon Event  Hi Michelle,
Thank you for contacting!

This is a really great question. So many people use headphones/electronic devices to train and then rely on them for events. Here is the USAT document that you were probably looking at: Most Commonly Violated Rules. We think that it includes the iPhone as well and would recommend against using it for music or tracking your run.

You can always call the event organizers before the event and ask them what their stance is on the ruling if you want to be sure. It’s better to be safe than get a time penalty!

We also have an article written by Tripp Norton on the issue if you’d like to read more about it: Headphones during Triathlon Races and Training. It will give you some tips on training so that you can better prepare yourself.

Best of luck on your first triathlon. Please email us with your First Triathlon Story and we’ll post it to inspire others!

Be well.
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