Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Music Wednesday - Running Edition!

Miss Allie proposed that I share all about my running faves and must-haves, which I definitely want to do in a month or two when I can really share what has worked for me and what hasn't.  (At this point, I'm mostly still just trying to not fall over.)  

But I thought I could go ahead and share with you guys how I went about setting up a "running" playlist to get me in the mood to pound the pavement.  For me, music can be a huge motivator and can significantly affect my mood, so it was really important to me to find music that makes me happy and really gets me going.

At this point, I was mostly interested in finding songs that would help me set a really nice pace for the walking portions of the "run."  This might sound counterintuitive, but just hear me out.  See, I couldn't care less at this point how fast I'm actually running so long as I'm running.  I'm still so out of shape that I just can't realistically expect to run at any particular pace yet.  So right now I'm just focusing on being able to run (at any pace!) for as long as I can, and I'll worry about how fast I'm running after I get more endurance.

But I think it is important for me to keep walking quickly, even though I'm tired, so that I keep my heart rate up throughout the workout.  So I wanted to figure out a good walking pace that kept my heart rate up but didn't wear me out too much.  By a happy accident, the shuffle on my iPod started one of my runs out on Your Love by The Outfield (you know the song... Josie's on a vacation far away, come around and talk it overrrr.  So many things that I WANNA SA-AAAY, you know I like my girls a little bit older.  Yeah, I like cheesy 80s music. So what?), and the pace was absolutely perfect.  Not too fast, not too slow, elbows-bent-at-waist, power-walk PERFECT.  (For me, anyway.  You real runners are probably laughing at how ridiculously slow I am. :))

So I set out to find out how "fast" the song was.  I googled "your love the outfield bpm" and found that it had roughly 130 beats-per-minute.  And then I found jogfm and JogTunes, which are amazing (and free!) sites which categorize songs by how many beats per minute they have, so you can search for songs that will help set a consistent pace throughout your workout.  I looked for all the songs I could find with close to 130 bpm that I thought would be fun to walk to (and wouldn't annoy the crap out of me... I'm not in love with most of today's pop music).  That way, I could use the beat of the song to determine when my feet should hit the pavement during the walking portions of the "run," and I'd still enjoy listening to the songs during the running portions. Here's the list I came up with:

Your Love by The Outfield
Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
All Over You by Live
Love Song by Sara Bareilles
Forever by Chris Brown
Long Hot Summer by Keith Urban
Marry the Night by Lady Gaga
California Gurls by Katy Perry
I Gotta Feeling by The Black-Eyed Peas
Kiss from a Rose by Seal (for cool down)

It's not a long list, but since I'm just jogging 25 minutes right now, it's pretty perfect.  (Plus, I've ended up putting Forever by Chris Brown on repeat a couple of times because I just love it so much, so I don't usually get through all the songs anyway.)  When I get a bit faster, I'll probably buy a few of the Xtreme Cardio Mix albums, which are mostly 140-160 bpm (a girl can dream, can't she?).

So there's my overly methodical, totally lawyer-ish method for finding the perfect workout music.  If you want to find songs that work for you, just shuffle through your iTunes library during your next run and find a song that sets the right pace.  Then check out jogfm and JogTunes to figure how how many beats that song has and to find more songs at that speed.  Voila! :)


Melissa G said...

I'll also suggest SpinCycle on iHeartRadio (app) if you have a Blackberry or iPhone. It's all upbeat remixes of Top 40 songs.

Also, there's no such thing as a "real runner"! That's the best thing about running. There's no membership card or qualifying time to make the team. You don't get cut if you can't keep up. If you get out there and move you're a Real Runner!

The Autry's said...

Love it!!! I'm still mentally preparing... I'm thinking maybe after Valentine's I'll start the C25K. ;)

Candice said...

I love Black Eyed Peas.

I left an award for you on my blog. Keep up the great posts!!

Ryan said...

Ooh, fun, Melissa - thanks!

Definitely wait until you're mentally ready, Allie. I feel certain that if I had jumped in before I really set my mind to it, I would have quit after the first run. I'm not sure what allowed my brain to finally click into place, but I'm glad it did! :)

Thank you so much, Candice - how nice! I'll be sure and pass the award on. :)

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