I am a big fan of music at all times, but especially on a run. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when silence is best, but nothing beats some great music on a run. How do you choose some great music? There are programs that match your race / run goal to the beats per minute (BPM) in a song. What this means is you can listen to songs with a higher BPM and your cadence (foot to ground turnover rate) could actually speed up to match that rate.
What is the benefit of upping your cadence? Research shows that increasing your cadence can help you avoid over striding; therefore, it can help prevent injuries. It can also help you to become a more efficient runner. So, how do you figure out your cadence? While there are more accurate ways, here’s a simple way to estimate your cadence. After a warm-up, go for a run and count the number of times your left foot hits the ground in thirty seconds. Multiply this number by four (to account for your right foot) and that number is your estimated cadence. Once you know your cadence number, you can find songs that have a higher BPM and start running to their beat. If you research this online, most sites recommend trying to reach a cadence of 180. I asked some of my running friends to share their favorite songs and I’ve included their BPM (according to songbpm.com).
Postal Service – Such Great Heights– 175 BPM
Carbon Leaf – The Boxer – 135 BPM
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger – 109 BPM
ColdPlay – Fix You – 139 BPM
Neon Trees – Animal – 148 BPM
Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench – 176 BPM
The Killers- Mr. Brightside – 148 BPM
Capital Cities – Safe and Sound – 118 BPM
Barenaked Ladies – The Old Apartment – 160 BPM
Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire – 145 BPM
Rusted Root – Send Me on My Way – 119 BPM
Queen- Another One Bites the Dust – 110 BPM
Police – Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (2003 Remastered) – 164 BPM
AC/DC – Thunderstruck – 134 BPM
Carbon Leaf – She’s Gone – 120 BPM
Use this information as an excuse to add some new tunes to your library and check out the BPM for your favorites. Whether you’re Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Runnin’ Down a Dream, or Born to Run, make sure aren’t Running on Empty.
Lace up and Head out!