For years I have been using Podrunner fixed BPM workout music podcasts as the soundtrack to my running. I have tried running to old favorites and personal playlists, but have found that if the beat does not match my cadence, it is more of a distraction and confuses my breathing. I have settled in to a groove where my long slow runs (and short slow runs…all my runs, pretty much) fall between 154 ans 158 BPM. Podrunner has a selection of 6 hour-long mixes at those paces, of varying styles. Add to that 2
do-overs remixes where DJ Steve had to replace a few tracks due to DMR and sponsorship changes, for a total of 8 unique hours, and it takes a while for the selection to get stale. If anything it gets familiar, and comfortable, with favorite segments just around the aural corner. (“Lyrics” can get annoying though…([rock it to the beat y’all] x 64) + ([push it, push it, push it to the limit] x 64) = instantly old.)
Recently I have been in the need of some intervals for alternating run/walk training. I am easing back in to running after some time off, and don’t want to kill myself. [Aside: I’ve been skeptical of the whole “Gallowalking” – not that I didn’t believe it could work…but it’s cheating isn’t it? But I am now officially OLD and can see the merits of being able to someday run ultras using this technique.] Podrunner now has their own Podrunner Intervals, but I wanted something at my own pace, with walk breaks.
Enter Virtual DJ. With a 20-day free trial download, I was able to convert any song I already own into a squeezed or stretched version to match any BPM. Wordless electronica with a faster beat works best for speeding up without sounding chipmonky. The result – a library of personal customized running-pace music. For run/walk intervals I created a playlist of tunes of 2-3 minutes (list songs by Time) with a one-minute interlude. I wanted to use One More Kiss Dear, from the Bladerunner soundtrack, but unfortuantely let my Virtual DJ software expire before I could tweak a 1 minute version of it. The interlude song I ended up with is retro-groovy Me and You by Nightmares on Wax, courtesy of eMusic, at 56 seconds. The rest of the starting-back playlist has one each by Moby, Underworld, Haujobb, and two Crystal Methods.Most of the rest of the 155BPM custom library runs in the 5-10 minute per track range, and will serve well for future longer-interval playlists. Don’t forget to set to “repeat”.