From non-runner to running-addicted

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180 bpm – Part II

metronome_01This is a follow-up to my previous post about 180 bpm cadence, here’s the link to Part 1

I usually listen to drum’n’bass mixes during my runs, but I found a couple of alternatives for running to the music beat (and as close as possible to 180 bpm). Those alternatives come in the form of two smartphone apps, namely Spotify and Temporun.

You might be already familiar with Spotify, but if you’re not Spotify is a music streaming service and it has many “180 bpm” playlists to choose from. The free version allows streaming only, whereas the paid version allows download for offline playing.
I find the premium version pretty expensive if used uniquely for this purpose. On the other hand streaming during runs can drain your monthly internet bandwidth pretty quickly.
There is a one-week free trial though.

The second option is even more interesting. Temporun is a fairly new (paid) app that analyzes all the music stored on your phone and divides it by bpm ranges, on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is slow and 10 is fast.
The levels that are relevant to running are 6 and 7, where level 6 is 170 to 180 bpm and level 7 from 180 to 190 bpm.
The app itself still needs a bit of bug-fixing, but does a pretty good job in finding out a track’s bpm.
This kind of approach has many positive sides: the payment is one-off and after that you can use your existing music to build your running playlist. As you add new music the app takes care of it and new suitable tracks are available for your runs.
It is also possible to “help” the app by loading up tracks that you know are in the right range.
This is where the other app, Spotify, could come in handy: note the tracks on the 180 bpm lists, download them from somewhere else and load them up. They will mix nicely with your existing tracks and give you many hours of 180 delight.

Here’s a brief summary of the pro’s and con’s of both apps:

SPOTIFY – the pro’s

  • Free version available
  • Various 180 bpm lists to choose from
  • New playlists are added and existing ones are updated all the time
  • Easy to use

SPOTIFY – the con’s

  • The free version does not allow downloads
  • Streaming can drain internet bandwidth
  • The paid version has a monthly fee
  • Some 180 bpm playlists are not run-tested (some tracks just don’t fit)

TEMPORUN – the pro’s

  • You can use your own music
  • Longevity: the app automatically adds the tracks to the right level as you add new music
  • It’s possible to choose the right level for the workout (e.g. level 6 for an easy run, or 7 for a speed session)
  • Tracks that are not right for any reasons can be easily flagged and skipped by the app next time around
  • Payment is one-off
  • Interface and use are pretty straightforward
  • The algorithm that picks the bpm will be improved with updates

TEMPORUN – the con’s

  • Only paid version
  • A few bugs need to be fixed
  • Some of the tracks seem in the wrong level, and at the time of writing it’s not possible to manually force a track’s level
  • Music needs to be downloaded separately


Paris Marathon Dress Rehearsal

paris_marathon_outfitSo here we are, only 2 days to the Paris Marathon. If I think back to my 7 months of training I remember one particular Sunday run at 6 am under the pouring rain. During that run I doubted my sanity more than once, but I enjoyed it. And I was thinking that all those efforts were to be channeled into one very moment. It feels odd to think that moment is now. Continue reading


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