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.