I've got three weeks to go before the Big Sur Half Marathon, and training is proceeding smoothly. I'm walking/running three times per week, so hopefully during the Big Day I should be alright. I'm not aiming to run rings around everyone else; in fact, I've accepted that I won't be able to run the whole way. I'll have to do a combination of running and walking. The mix that seems to work for me at this point is about 20 minutes of running, followed by 30 minutes of walking. Hopefully I'll be able to push that to 50-50 during the actual race.
Since I'll be on the course for quite a while (I'm hoping to make it under 3 hours, or just over), I'm definitely going to be taking along the W-Series Walkman that Sony sent me as one a Sony Walkman Runner. The website on the Big Sur Half Marathon says that the use of headphones is banned for the competitive runners, and discouraged among everyone else -- but if you do want to use it, then use caution. I'm definitely using mine, and I'm taking comfort in the knowledge that with the W-Series, at least I won't be distracted with all those wires bouncing around!
Here's a brief description of the W-Series Walkman:
The one-piece music player that's ready for the treadmill, trail, or gym, designed to stay put and out of the way while you work out. With true-to-life sound and deep bass, plus a water-resistant2 seal to keep the sweat out, the W Series music player works with you to hit your personal best.
And here are some of the features:
* Streamlined, one-piece construction
* Water-resistant to withstand sweat from hardcore workouts
* Easily load your music by dragging and dropping music files from iTunes®, Windows® Media Player or Rhapsody.
* Quick-charge battery: get up to 90 minutes of playback time from just a three-minute charge and a total battery life of up to 11 hours from a thirty-minute charge
Here's what I'm loving about the Sony W-Series Walkman:
* It's so easy to transfer music to the device. You can use Windows Media Player, Content Transfer (which lets you transfer songs from iTunes!) or simplest of all, you can even use plain old Windows Explorer -- just drag and drop!
* This is the coolest-looking device ever! From the front, you can barely see the headphones. It's kind of like have a bluetooth device on both ears, connected by a wire that runs around the back of your neck:
* Each of the earpieces fits snugly into your ear, so the sound is wonderful. The W-Series comes with an assortment of earbuds so you can find one that fits comfortably for you. Controls are located on the earpieces; they're simple (but not exactly easy) to use, requiring only a pressing or toggling motion.
* Best of all, NO WIRES. No more wires jiggling and bouncing in front of you, no more wires to wind up when it's time to put it away, no more wires to untangle and sort when you want to use it again, because let's face it, no matter how neatly you've wound it up, it always seems to get tangled again!
There are a couple of things about this device I've found kind of inconvenient:
* It has been quite difficult to get used to managing the controls; I'm still constantly fumbling around, not knowing whether I've clicked the volume or the shuffle/playlist button or jogged the play/pause/forward/rewind button. The instructions don't seem to help me much either! Maybe I have extra-fumbly hands or I'm just not used to it, but the learning curve seems kind of steep.
* The unit cannot be connected to a computer with a generic USB cable; you have to use the USB cable that comes in the W-Series package, or it won't work (and believe me, I've tried). We have so many USB cables around the house, and I'm used to just grabbing any of them, so I find it inconvenient to hunt around for this one particular black cable in a sea of dozens pushed into our cable drawer (told you I hate cables).
But the cool design, great sound and ease of use do make up for them!
The Bottom Line
The W-Series Walkman is PERFECT for running and exercising because of its no-fuss, no-hassle wireless design. Once you get used to handling the controls, you'll be off and running and on your way!
Disclosure: As a Sony Walkman Runner, Sony is sponsoring my registration fee to the Big Sur Half-Marathon. They also gave me a complimentary W-Series Walkman to "power me up" during my training and for the actual event. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.