101 Running Songs CD 1 – 80 minutes

I told a friend of mine, who’s also a runner, that I had started this site for running songs. We were having coffee on the weekend and he suggested I looked at a CD set that he had that was a collection of running songs. I looked it up and it’s great.

It’s called, appropriately, 101 Running Songs and it’s exactly what the title suggests.

The set is a collection of 5 CD’s, each with around 20 songs chosen specifically as running music. I imagine it would be pretty cool as workout music for most types of exercise as well. I suggest you have a look at the songs as, like me, you might find many of them are already in your iTunes library. If so, it might be best to buy the individual songs you’re missing and make your own running songs playlist out of it.

This is how the Amazon product description explains it:

This collection of tracks, the latest offering from the hugely successful 101 brand, is the ideal motivation to get the heart thumping and the legs pumping. Contains 101 tracks including cuts from Queen, Outkast, The Ting Tings, Pitbull, Hot Chip, Fatboy Slim, Survivor, T. Rex, Kenny Loggins, Billy Idol, The Dandy Warhols, David Bowie and many others.

Today I put together a playlist with the tracks in the first disc of the set for my morning run. It’s about 80 minutes worth and I have to say it really is a great bunch of running songs.

Even if you don’t particularly like the songs, the beat is relatively fast and consistent and it did keep me pumped. I actually finished the 8 kilometre run at a higher pace than ever before!

The Running Songs:

Song Artist Amazon
Don’t Stop Me Now Queen Buy in Amazon
The Rockafeller Skank Fatboy Slim Buy in Amazon
Hey Ya Outkast Buy in Amazon
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go Wham Buy in Amazon
Rebel Yell Billy Idol Buy in Amazon
Lust For Life Iggy Pop Buy in Amazon
One Way Or Another Blondie Buy in Amazon
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Dub Apollo 440 Buy in Amazon
Reet Petite Jackie Wilson Buy in Amazon
Candyman (radio edit) Christine Aguilera Buy in Amazon
Mambo No 5 (A Little Bit Of) Lou Bega Buy in Amazon
Footloose Kenny Loggins Buy in Amazon
Modern Love David Bowie Buy in Amazon
Black And White Town Doves Buy in Amazon
Milk And Alcohol Dr. Feelgood Buy in Amazon
Goody Two Shoes Adam Ant Buy in Amazon
Fascination Alphabeat Buy in Amazon (album)
Ooh La La Goldfrapp Buy in Amazon
Speed Of Sound Coldplay Buy in Amazon
How To Save A Life Fray Buy in Amazon

Lesson learned from these running songs:

There were a few surprises. For example, I was amazed at how good Footloose is as a running song. I don’t really like the song that much. I certainly wouldn’t listen to it in a different context or just because I felt like it. But as a song for running it’s great. As soon as it started I could feel myself getting pumped and for some reason made me smile.

Mambo No 5 is also pretty cool. I felt like I was dancing to it more than running, which made it more enjoyable.

Rating:

I give it a 5 out of 5. It’s a great collection of running songs.

If you’re interested in the full 5 CD set you can get it from Amazon:

 

BPM in iTunes – Conflicting results

Getting beats per minute, or BPM in iTunes is a pain in the butt.

I’ve been playing with different applications and widgets to help me do this, but I’ve had very discouraging results so far.

I’ll give you an example of how screwed up my BPM in iTunes are.

At some point I must’ve ripped the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack CD twice into my iTunes Library. Not sure how or why, but it’s happened a couple of times so I’m guessing I wasn’t that organised back then. However, the fact that I had 2 identical albums in my Library proved a good test for the software I used to automatically calculate and insert BPM values to my songs.

Well, after running the software to add BPM in iTunes, some songs match exactly, which is what you’d expect given they’re the same song. But some are completely different. It’s just ridiculous.

How can the software calculate different BPM in iTunes for the same song, ripped from the same CD.

For example, Local God (track #2) has a BPM of 111 in one album and 56 on the other one!

Then Little Star (track #12) has a BPM in iTunes of 153 in one album and 77 in the other one. Similar with Pretty Piece of Fish (track #4), with 183 in one and 91 in the other one.

The strange thing is that most of the other songs have exactly the same BPM.

I’ll keep testing different ways of getting the BPM values into iTunes and will post my findings here on the blog.

(UPDATE: I found a better, and free way to add BPM in iTunes)

Rock Music Playlist – 60 minutes

This time around, I decided to go with a rock/alternative running playlist for this week’s jogging.

Instead of doing a smart playlist as previously, I just filtered by genre and randomly listed to a few songs and made a very quick decision. If they sounded “runnable” I threw them into a playlist, if they were too slow I skipped them.

I did this very fast until I had roughly 60 minutes worth or songs for running. I didn’t want to think about the songs too much as I really liked the feeling of listening to stuff I hadn’t heard in a long time or even ever!

I realised I have a lot of songs I just haven’t heard.

I’ve purchased way too many CD’s over the years and I either never got around to listening to the whole thing or I just don’t remember. There are also songs that others in the family have purchased that I hadn’t heard. Since we keep all music in a huge shared library, there’s a lot to choose from. This will be fun.

The Rock Music Running Playlist:

Song Artist BPM Amazon
Love foolosophy Jamiroquai 129 Buy in Amazon
Alt.end The Cure 115 Buy in Amazon
Not Afraid Earshot 84 Buy in Amazon
Pardon Me Incubus 76 Buy in Amazon
Yesterday’s Today Living Syndication 171 Buy in Amazon
Guerilla Radio Rage Against The Machine 207 Buy in Amazon
The Door Silverchair 184 Buy in Amazon (full album)
Suck My Kiss Red Hot Chili Peppers 102 Buy in Amazon
Song 2 Blur 172 Buy in Amazon
Around the World Red Hot Chili Peppers 155 Buy in Amazon
Everlong Foo Fighters 79 Buy in Amazon
Brighter Than The Sun Tiamat 134 Buy in Amazon
Juicebox The Strokes 155 Buy in Amazon
Black Bugs Regurgitator 65 Buy in Amazon
Brown Eyed Girl Everclear 110 Buy in Amazon
Break My Body Pixies 127 Buy in Amazon

 

Lesson learned from this running playlist:

This rock music running playlist turned out great. I chose the songs just by ear and it worked. I’ll do a few more of those using different genres.

What I’m now convinced of is that the software I used to calculate BPM didn’t do a good job.The difference in the tunes on this playlist are just way too big that it doesn’t sound right. Either they’re wrong or I don’t fully understand BPM.

(UPDATE: I found a better way to add BPM to songs in iTunes).

Rating:

I give this rock music running playlist a 4 out of 5. It was pretty cool

Latin Music Playlist – 55 minutes

After my previous running playlist failed attempt, I re-run the smart playlist in iTunes with 2 changes:

  1. BPM is in the range 190 and 195
  2. Limit to 60 minutes

I kept the genre to contain “Latin” as I wanted to get what I thought the previous playlist should’ve been. Note that I have genres for “Latin Pop”, “Latin Rock”, “Latin Mariachi”, “Latin Salsa”, etc., so setting the rule to Genre contains “Latin” will pick up anything that has the word “Latin”.

I found similar issues as previously with BPM. I don’t think they’re correct.

The first song that came up, Suelta Mi Mano (Let go of my hand) by Sin Bandera, is a ballad. A good song, but not a “running” song by any means. I guess it was OK as the first one for a bit of a warm up, but I would definitely exclude it from the playlist next time.

Then it goes into a pretty fast paced death metal type song by Brujeria, then into a couple of pop/reggae style tunes by Mana, then back into slow ballads, then rock, etc. You get the point. I think the rhythm changes way too much, which is not ideal for a playlist of songs for running.

The Running Playlist:

Song Artist BPM Amazon iTunes
Suelta Mi Mano Sin Bandera 192 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Raza Odiada (Pito Wilson) Brujeria 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Te solte la rienda Mana 193 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
En el muelle de San Blas Mana 193 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Dudar? Quizas Enrique Bunbury 194 Buy in Amazon
Quisiera ser Alejandro Sanz 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Sin Ti Sin Mi Ricardo Arjona 195 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Brujerias Victimas del doctor cerebro 195 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Salida Miguel Rios 192 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Inocencia Efecto Mariposa 190 Buy in Amazon
King Kong Five Manu Chao 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
cai (con nina pastori) Alejandro Sanz 192 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Frijolero Molotov 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Si He Cantado Mal Alejandro Sanz 193 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes

 

Lesson learned from this running playlist:

Although the combination of songs was a bit random, I found this a great way to listen to old forgotten songs I haven’t heard in a while. Some of them were quite a surprise taking me back to my high school days. That’s really cool.

 

Rating:

I give it a 2 out of 5, just because the rhythm varies too much for a running playlist.

My first running playlist, Latin Music – 45 minutes

This is my first running music playlist.

It’s the first time I’ve built a playlist specifically for running, so I decided to do a smart playlist and let iTunes pick the songs based on set criteria.

I wanted to do a 6 kilometre run on a fairly hilly track, so I figured about 45 minutes of music would be more than enough.

For some reason, I was in the mood for latin music today. I thought it might be a good match for running at a comfortable pace of around 6:30 minutes per kilometre. Plus, I have literally thousands of songs in Spanish that I really like and haven’t heard in a while.

The running playlist has the following rules as the image below shows:

  1. Beats per minute (BPM) is 190
  2. Genre contains “Latin”
  3. Limit to 45 minutes selected by random
Latin music playlist itunes running

As far as running playlists go, this one turned out OK, but not great.

For one, I’m not sure how the BPM (beats per minute) is calculated, but it doesn’t seem entirely accurate. I’ll write about how I added BPM to my entire library in another post. (UPDATE: Here’s how to add BPM in iTunes)

The first song starts with a long intro with people talking and the music doesn’t kick in until about 1:30 into it. Hardly what you want in a running playlist. Once it starts it’s ok though, it’s a fairly fast song. But the boring intro is annoying while running. Then the second one is more of a rhythm ballad. Nice for running, but completely different from the first. The rest are pretty good until the last one, which is just an intro to an album. Not sure how this is 190 BPM.

The bigger issue is that even though I thought I’d capped the time at 45 minutes, the actual playlist is only 20 minutes! I later realised that restricting it to songs with exactly 190 BPM is the problem. Not many songs are exactly 190.

So, my music ran out about half way into the run. I ended up fumbling with my iPhone while running to play something else.

The Running Playlist:

Song Artist BPM Amazon iTunes
Raza Odiada (Pito Wilson) Brujeria 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Quisiera ser Alejandro Sanz 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Inocencia Efecto Mariposa 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
King Kong Five Manu Chao 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Frijolero Molotov 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes
Intro Luis Miguel 190 Buy in Amazon Buy in iTunes

Buy the entire Playlist in iTunes here.

Lesson learned from this running playlist:

The main thing I learned is to check the actual total time in iTunes. With this one, it turns out I don’t have enough songs in my “Latin” genres that are exactly 190 BPM, so it couldn’t fill the 45 minutes I had in the rule. Running out of music halfway through a run is not fun.

Rating:

I give my first running playlist a 2 out of 5.

Welcome to JoggerTunes

After many months of not exercising much, I decided it was time to get back into it. Many years ago, I was doing triathlons, mountain biking, and adventure races, but somewhere along the line work got crazy and I stopped. It’s been almost 7 years now. I miss it. My body can feel it. It’s not cool.

During these 7 mostly sedentary years, I’ve done a bit of running here and there, but nothing to write home about. And certainly not consistently.

It’s time to get back into shape.

A few weeks ago I started running regularly again. I’m pumped. It feels good although it’s still a pain in the butt to get up early. But I’m doing it. I want to run a full marathon this year. That’s my goal.

Back when I was in shape, the iPhone didn’t exist. I never used an iPod to run, so I never really knew what running to music was like. This time around though, I do have an iPhone and I’m sort of obsessed with apps. So I did some searching in the iTunes Store for running apps and found a few that I’ve been testing. I love the fact that I can track exactly where I’ve run using the GPS, see it on a map, and know the exact distance I did.

Running with an iPhone of course meant that I also have my music with me, so I gave running to some tunes a go. The first time I just randomly chose a playlist and set off.

It was a great experience, but after about 15 minutes of running to great tunes a slow song came on and it screwed up my rhythm. For the rest of the run I kept thinking I had to create good running playlists. I got back to my computer and spent the next few days obsessing over this and realised others might be interested in this as well. I also decided I needed a place to track my progress. Sort of a logbook. Plus I wanted somewhere I could capture my thoughts and learnings through the process.

Which brings me to this website.

Primarily it’s where I’ll share the running playlists I create and put to the test. But I’ll also write about the apps I use, the milestones I achieve, and most likely some random but hopefully related thoughts.

I admit this site is mostly for me. But I’m putting it out there in case others find it interesting.