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Body & Mind: Hop to the Beat, Or Rather, Run!

With the sun shining and the weather agreeing with your running shorts and tank, it’s easy to find the motivation to get out there and start running. Then again, you could also find motivation in that cute bikini you’ve had your eye on, and in that even cuter summer crush you wouldn’t mind running into wearing that bikini (am I right, ladies?). Now that we’re back to the daily grind of inconsistent studying schedules, Toonie Tuesdays at 1848, papers and ramen noodles, it’s hard to keep that motivation going. One surefire way to boost your running routine, or get into it, is to find a better playlist.

Running coaches have determined that the best runners run at 180 BPM (beats per minute). Translation? They take 90 strides with each leg a minute. Uber-runners also assert that this is the ideal pace and contributes to good running form. While you (and yours truly) might not be quite at running-guru level yet, starting at 90 BPM is a good start to then start gradually working your way up to superstardom in the running realm.

Me, myself and a little bit of research will show you how to improve your running abilities and find that extra bit of motivation:

1) There’s an App for that

In addition to a sweet pair of kicks, a great tool for running starts with an awesome playlist. Need guidance for music that makes you move? There’s an app for that! Both the Apple App store for Macs, as well as the iTunes App Store for iPods and iPhones carry a nifty line of app’s that will ensure you run your best. Those of you with Macs can check out Cadence Desktop Pro ($6.99). This app analyzes your iTunes library and determines the BPM, which you can access anytime. Those with iPhones or the iPod Touch can check out a plethora of free and paid apps which can either stream a predetermined playlist at 180 BPM, or determine your BPM based on your real-time run. Run on over to Cadence Run DJ ($1.99) for streaming playlists or apps like Running Cadence, or Wahoo Fitness which acts as a metronome for runners. Nifty apps like run:dj keep you in check with your target BPM by giving you feedback on your progress and adjusting the music to keep you at your goal.

Android users can find solace in apps on the Play Store such as RunningCadence, which monitors your current BPM, and RecordBeater, the app that matches your steps to your music.

2) Use your resources

If your music library is like mine and the top 25 tracks include the likes of Wilco, Coldplay and Said the Whale, there may not be enough apps in the world to save you. Never fear, with a little clicking and Googling, you’ll soon find there are oodles of sites out there that take the fancy guess work out of creating and building your high-adrenaline playlist. Take a cue from these geniuses and start building your own:

Running Music Mix: http://runningmusicmix.com

The best workout songs and playlists for your running pace: http://jog.fm/

Best running music: http://www.runningskirts.com/running-music.html

One other resource to add to your arsenal for awesome running is Songza. Based on the time of day you run, Songza’s concierge delivers professionally mixed playlists to suit any level of fitness. Best of all: it’s free. Hop online to stream the best workout mixes by simply typing in workout or run, and get motivated. This platform is also available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.

3) The fun begins

Congratulations! The hard part is over. You’ve synced your music, you’ve tied your laces, you’ve stretched and you’re limbered and ready to go. Now it’s time to let the fun begin! Watch how jogging to the beat suddenly becomes easier as you find your groove in the music. Don’t forget while running: relax the shoulders, look ahead, swing your arms from the shoulders, control your breathing, chin up and feel the music. You’ll leave pedestrians in your dust in no time!

Some tracks to get you started:

Wolf Like Me – TV On the Radio

Hey Ya! – Outkast

Gold Guns Girls – Metric

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl

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