Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Cover, My Shelter

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away over a vast ocean, I was seriously charmed by a certain young Metallica-head, Brian Lew. Brian took trash metal very seriously, he went to all the shows, took photos, swapped bootleg tapes, and had lots of t-shirts, organised fan clubs and hung out backstage with bands. My little brother was also super into Metallica, so for a few years Metallica was a sort of sound track to my life. I remember loads of times driving to parties or shows with Master of Puppets, blasting on the car stereo, and at home, well they were always on.  I hated it! It was only recently, in a fit of nostalgic, that I played them again.  And you know what, I discovered a great running song, Sad But True, from The Black Album. It has a 90BPM tempo, i.e. perfect 180SPM (Strides Per Minute). 

And now for some shameless friend-promotion.  Brian and Harold Oimoen (who I don't know) just came out with a photo book about thrash metal in the Bay Area, Murder in the Front Row, for anyone so inclined! Buy it on Amazon. Or check out this review, which has some photos of Metallica where they are so young, really worth a look. 

Sorry the video can only be played directly on youtube, Metallica are super tight-ass about their music. They are not on Spotify, or Deezer or anywhere else I can find.   Yes that's sad, but true!

Friday, 23 December 2011

So Very Good For Me

Prove My Love by the Violent Femmes was a hit in the 80s when I was a teenager, but I still think it has kept its charm.  The BPM is exactly 90, so if you want a running cadence of 180 SPM (strides per minute) this will keep you in time.  It sounds sort of frantic, with loads of energy, so great for speed intervals!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Prepared Now For Myself

Seether are from South Africa, but to me they sound like they're from Seattle.  Their song Fine Again is a nice 89BPM so will get you going at 180SPM (Strides per minute), or 178SPM so close enough. The lyrics are super dark, but hey I'm in the middle of getting divorced, give me a break!  At least it ends on an up note. 

I am aware now of how
everything’s gonna be fine one day
Too late, I’m in hell
I am prepared now
seems everyone’s gonna be fine
One day too late, just as well
I am prepared now,
seems everything’s gonna be fine for me
For me; for myself.
For me, for me, for myself
For me, for me, for myself

I am prepared now for myself
I am prepared now and I am fine... again

Monday, 19 December 2011

I run to get a perfect soul

I can't believe I haven't done this song yet, Creep by Radiohead. Its BPM is 92 so its a tad fast, but worth making an exception for!!

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Between Me and the Rain

Often I have run to withstand, no release the pressures of my life; motherhood and my 'real' job and a difficult marriage.  Almost a year ago now I had a serious running injury, fractured cuboid.  Don't fracture your cuboid, it takes forever to heal.  Its been only recently I have done a few short runs and I can still feel the injury is not healed.  So I've been biking a lot and that's fun, but its just not the same as running, it doesn't 'excercise my demons' in the same way.  And without the intoxication of running I had to take a sober look at my marriage, and it did not survive that.   So ironically this injury saved my life.  But still some things, motherhood especially, I don't want to quit!  So if running can release some of the pressure of that and bring me back to it calm and full again, well that's just great.  Some of my running music is kind of dark, maybe even angry, or wild, because that's how I sometimes start my runs, so these songs are usually at the beginning of my running play list, like this one Hurricane Drunk by Florence And The Machine.

No walls can keep me protected
No sleep
Nothing in between me and the rain
And you can't save me now
I'm in the grip of a hurricane
I'm gonna blow myself away

Its at a BPM of 90 so works for a SPM (strides per minute) of 180.  Oh and plus the album's called Between Two Lungs. 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

6 Free Running Songs

I've been kind of quite recently, had a lot of crazy stuff going on. To make up for it this post contains 6 free running songs! All these songs can be freely and legally downloaded from the amazing music site Epitonic. Click on the name of the song to download it. I've linked the band name to their corresponding Wikipedia entry for hardcore music fans to get band info.

  1. Excuses by Bibio 91BPM
    This song starts a bit low key and takes about half a minute to really get into the beat. But it is worth it! This is a beautiful electronic landscape - with nice lyrics too. I think it might be my favourite on the list. Oh and if the slow start doesn't work for you while running, you could always trim it.
  2. R.I.P Burn Face by CocoRosie 90BPM
    Sweet tune, strange lyrics, just as I like it.
  3. My Time bu Minus the Bear 92BPM
    Although its a little fast, this is a great tune to run to. A nice little indie pop rock song, hard not to like.
  4. Glass Table Girls by The Weeknd 89BPM
    Warning lyrics contain bad words, otherwise super hip and cool, and is he rapping some old Siouxsie and the Banshees lyrics? "this is a happy house, we're happy here in our happy house"
  5. Civilian by Wye Oak 90BPM
    According to Wikipedia, Why Oak have been described as "earnest folk-influenced indie rock with touches of noise and dream pop". Yeap.
  6. Black Night by The Dodos 91BPM
    Straight up indie rock to get those feet moving.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Mon âme et mon amour

Here's a tune from frenchie Emilie Simon, who I discovered when she did the soundtrack to the film La marche de l'empereur, a beautiful documentary film about penguins. The soundtrack is great, but this song, The Devil at my Door, is from the album The Big Machine and it hits a perfect 90BPM to get those feet moving at 180SPM (strides per minute).

Monday, 5 December 2011

Always Live Forever

Using Tap For Beats Per Minute Holocaust of Giants by Rasputina is a sweet 90BPM.  Back in a previous life I played the cello, or at least tried to, and Rasputina is a cello band, so I love listening to them.  According to Wikipedia the cello has been described as being the instrument that has the closest sound to the male human voice.  So this song has a very human almost organic sound that feels good to run to.

Oh and be careful if you're using headphones, the sound in the video is really loud.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Got it Under Control?

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti 

ApSci have it Under Control, or do they?  I fecking love ApSci, they are about as hip-hop as I get, a sort of electro pop hip-hop.  They are a husband and wife team and their personalities, or musical personalities at least, are so different and so complimentary.  They make me believe in true love!  Yes I guess I am a romantic...  I also love the video, and I usually don't feel like the video adds anything to the music, but not here, the video is part of it.  Well you can't take the video with you on a run, but the tune at 89 BPM is just right for your running playlist.  Just don't try too hard to keep it under control, go as fast as you want, that's what running is all about.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Catch Up November 2011

Well I started this blog last October and have suggested quite a few songs. Since its already December I thought I'd make playlist of all the songs so far on Spotify. So here it is the Run To The Beat November 2011 playlist.  I hope you find a song to two to add to your run playlist.

All the songs are close to either 90 BPM or 180 BPM so good for a 180 strides per minute running cadence.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

"You don't have to dance, but move your heart"

I have moved around a lot in my life, but the country that I love best, is Germany.  I didn't have culture shock, when I arrived I felt like I had finally arrived home.  So its about time for some Germany music on my little blog!  So here's The Geek by Wir Sind Helden.

Wir Sind Helden (We Are Heros) is one of my favourite German bands, and very popular in Germany.  Their sound is pop rock and the lyrics are an amazing play on words.  Wir Sind Helden, are a reason alone to learn German.  I have copy and pasted an English translation of the text of this song below the video.

Oh and the BPM is exactly 90, and will get you running at 180 strides per minute.

Are too smart to draw any attention to your awkwardness
And not good-looking enough to get noticed
Do you know just how it is always to fall short
Just not far enough to get somewhere else
It hurts to be like you should
It hurts to be like you are
But when the quarterback comes to take off your glasses
Tell him: Thanks, but they're staying where they are
However, I do know
The wounded shall be the healers
The last shall be the first
Realise it: "The meek shall inherit the earth" 
The wounded shall be the healers
The last shall be the first
The first will be the last to realise that
"The geek shall inherit the earth"
Not your time, not your feet, not your beat, not your people
Not your world, and not your your pain
You don't have to fit in here, but look for something that belongs to you
You don't have to dance, but move your heart
It hurts to be how you imaging that have to be
It hurts to be how you imaging that you are
But when the homecoming queen comes to wake you up with a kiss
Tell her: Thanks, I didn't miss a thing
It hurts to be like you ought to be
When your teacher asks you:
Shouldn't we see each other more often
It feels good to be how you imaging that you would like to be
When you tell him:
Lord, let this annoying man pass me by

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Are you going the distance?

The BPM on this is 91.73, so its a little on the fast side, but it is just SO much fun to run too. Enjoy!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Battle Song for Running Warriors

Today's song is Leyendecker from the band Battles. The BPM is 91, so just a little on the fast side to tempo your 180 strides per minute run. It has a crunchy, driving electro sound that will make you run strong and hard, like the warrior you are.  You can download it for free from the AMAZING music site Epitonic.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

I run to find my peace of mind

In this post I am recommending a hit song, or what we call in France a 'tube', Soul To Squeeze by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  My musical taste is reasonably diverse, but probably a little obscure - I don't usually like hit songs.  That's good, since it means lots of stuff to discover for most people, but every now and again its good to be normal.  That said I hope this isn't already on you run list...

Oh and the BPM is 90, so it'll get you in the perfect 180 strides per minute running cadence.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Running in the Dark

I just love YACHT. I discovered them on Epitonic a while back, when I downloaded (for free) their amazing song Dystopia. Here's the link if your interested. Sometimes a band has one or two amazing songs, but YACHT only has amazing songs. So I listen to them a lot on Spotify and their song Love In The Dark has a BPM of 90 (measured with tap for BPM) and has a hypnotic beat that gets my feet going at 180 strides per minute.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bonnie Glasgow

In my last post I paid homage to my adopted country, well now I want to pay homage to a band that adopted my home country, my home city even.  Snow Patrol are originally from Northern Ireland, but are now based in Glasgow, in bonnie Scotland. Also I was kind of inspired by @TheRunningMike's tweet of a Snow Patrol song for #RunningSongThursday.

The song is question is Make This Go On Forever.  Haven't you ever felt that on a run, you hit that sweet spot where everything is smooth and easy, and you just want it to go on forever?

The BPM is 90, calculated using the MixMeister BPM Analyzer.  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Don't Forget To Take A New Breath

I'm not French, but I've been living in France for over 10 years, on an off, and becoming more and more on - I think I'm stuck here!  France is known for its electronic music, so here's a tune I like from Kap Bambino, who are from Bordeaux.   

I measured this song's BPM using the tap for BPM tool  and I get it at exactly 180 BPM.   This song is super high energy, frantic even, so I'm going for the 180 rather than 90, since I don't know what is officially the difference.  Don't put it on your play list for your LSD runs, it'll make you run too fast!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lets move like cagey tigers

I love The Cure and have lots of Cure songs on my running playlist, so to mix things up a bit I am recommending this cover of the classic Cure song Love Cats by Tricky.  I think he just totally gets this song and takes it up a notch - its so sexy!  At 90 BPM its a perfect song for your 180 strides per minute run.

We slip through the streets 
While everyone sleeps 
Getting bigger and sleeker
And wider and brighter

Sunday, 6 November 2011

We Are Strong

Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield is one of my favourite songs to run too. Yes I was a teenager in the 80s, and I am in the veterans age category in France.  Hey I think that makes me sound tough, not old!   Anyway the song has got a BPM of 90, which works perfectly for a 180 strides per minute run cadence and I find the lyrics motivating...

We are strong,
No one can tell us we're wrong,
Searching out hearts for so long.

Oh and although at 121BPM it doesn't have a good BPM for running, I just love the recent cover of this song done my Thao and Mirah.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

More and More Kilometres

Here's a tune from Canadian indie rockers, Metric : Gold, Guns Girls.  Its exactly a BPM of 90 (half of 180), so perfect for running. It has a fast high energy sound which gets me motivated.

You might want to check out the Mike Shinoda Remix of this song, which using the Tap for Beats Per Minute tool I calculate to be the same 90 BPM.  The mix has more of an electronic sound, rather than indie rock sound of the original version.  I use the tap for beats per minute tool for music I don't own the mp3 of and so can't run it through MixMeister, see post here for details on doing that.  Even though it might be a bit less accurate, it is how my body feels the beat, so how I am going to move when running.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Doing some hill work?

Today I want to recommend Placebo's cover of that fantastic Kate Bush song Running Up That Hill.  It is exactly 90BPM, so perfect to rhythm a 180 strides per minute run.

"Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill"

Another cover of this song I love is by Kiki and Herb, who played it at a show I saw in Philidelphia on September 13th, 2001, just a few days after the Sept 11th attacks.  It was very moving, but in that version the BPM isn't right for running, so for my running playlist I stick to the Placebo version.  It has a very strong beat and I just can't help move my feet in sync to this song.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

"We will catch our hearts"

The first song I want to recommend is one of my favourite songs, running or not! The Garden by Sean Hayes. I just love Sean Hayes. Don't let the chilled out feeling of this song fool you, it's 91BPM (just over half of 180BPM) means its a perfect song for running, a little fast even!

Running to stuff that sounds relaxed makes me think of Caballo Blanco from Born to Run,
“Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one—you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”

Let Sean Hayes make your run feel easy, light and smooth!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Intro to BPM

So for my first real post I am not going to even recommend a song I am going to tell you how to figure out the BPM of your music library. You probably have songs that are the right BPM that you love already. What you need to do is figure out the BPM of all your songs.

I did this using MixMeister BPM Analyzer, which you can download here. Don't forget to unselect the "Would you like to hear about..." check box, if you don't want to get spammed.

They have a Mac and PC version. I am assuming you Linux guys will know how to find a BPM analyzer all by yourselves.

Unzip the downloaded file and run the .exe file, which will install MixMeister on your machine and launch the programme. You can add your music by clicking on the first little folder icon on the top bar and choosing a folder to be searched for music. So add either just an album or your whole music folder.

MixMeister calculates the BPM and writes it to the files ID3 tags, which can be read by other music programmes like iTunes. Note : MixMeister works with mp3s. If you have your music in another format and want to convert it, you can use iTunes and follow the instructions on this page.

That was quite a bit of work, and depending on how much music you have probably took a while. So now have a look, do you have any 180BPM songs? The chances are you don't! A lot of music, maybe even most depending on your taste falls into the danceable 100-130BPM range. The good news is that songs with a BPM of 90 work just as well. 90 is half of 180, and in fact I can't figure out the difference in sound from 90 to 180BPM. So hopefully you do have a few songs at 90BPM, you can also try 89 or 91. It doesn't have to be super precise.

Happy Running!


A while back I started a blog about running. I wanted to tell my running story, about how I got in shape after 2 babies, about the joy of running, about my injuries. It never really took off, for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because what I had to say just wasn't that useful, my heart wasn't in it. There are loads of running blogs out there, how could I ever out do Runblogger for info on running tips, injuries, SHOES! Or Vanessa Runs for woman powered running, or Haute Running Mama for beauty and humour! Or a load of other excellent blogs. It'll all been done before I got here, so well my little blog just sort of fizzeled out.

Then yesterday, after another frustrating search on line for running music, it hit me. What I love and what I can contribute is way more focused that a general 'my running life' blog. My niche is running music. I have spend a lot of time and energy on my running playlist and I want to share my love of running with music with the world! But even this already exists, there are blogs about running songs, but without pointing fingers, no one is doing it well, or no one I've found already.

My bent on this problem is the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of the songs. After struggling with injuries and reading up on this, it seems that experts recommend running at 180 strides per minute. Short fast strides are more economical and help avoid injury. Running with music that has a 180BPM tempo helps me run with a 180 strides per minute cadence. But its hard to find music with the right cadence. So that's what this blog is going to be about, BPM specific running music. Mostly short posts with a song recommendation with the BPM and other posts about running music and BPM. I hope that the focus will mean that it is actually useful to people out there, and that it will be easier for me to post regularly.