Tag Archives: BPM

The playlist’s the thing: My running musical experiment

Last weekend’s run contained a downhill stretch of happiness that propelled me to a record time. But after the race, I wondered if my music didn’t also have something to do with it. I had tossed aside my faithful playlist (unchanged since July) and instead listened to one of those hits compilations that I am publicly ashamed to own but secretly love. (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.)

Finish line

The finish line on Boston Common from December's Jolly Jaunt 5K. Just coz.

I hadn’t played this Record of Shame before, so each track was a fun surprise, which I am sure inspired me to keep going, and go faster. It made me think about music and its relationship to running.

Expert types say the best tunes to play on the run are those whose beats per minute (BPM) match your mile pace. To test the theory in my world, I decided to put together a quick BPM-savvy list based on a small portion of my iTunes library.

According to jogfm.com, my ideal BPM is 135-150 (based on a 10-11ish pace). Using that website, plus a combination of the free BPM analyzer from MixMeister (crashes a lot and can’t handle large volumes, but hey, it’s free) and an app called Easy 5K With Jeff Galloway, which has a function that analyzes songs (more on the app in another post), I came up with a bunch of tracks that are allegedly the ideal tempo for my pace but for the most part are not songs I would have necessarily chosen to run to.

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