Running to the Beat and Drumming with your Feet

I have been enjoying music as part of my runs lately. This has been a investigative personal running journey to weigh the impact of music which has a good beat which is fast enough to match the cadence. The goal I have been working on is to find the best songs for me to run with. I have found that music can clearly help to aid in performance while running. It is another tool for a runner to help control the mind.

Lately, I have been using Banshee Media Player in Ubuntu to help determine the beats per minute (BPM) within my music collection. I have found certain songs help to encourage a quick pace which is supported by various research on-line. The songs with the highest beats per minute usually have a positive impact when working to find a good running pace. Since I started with this I have found numerous studies supporting the positive of running with music when practiced safely.  During my on-line research I found a company named Audio Fuel which provides high paced running music. I am in the process of testing this out as part of an overall investigation into what type of music works best for me.

Some of my favourite artists I am listening to lately are from Blues Traveler, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, and more. I have been especially enjoying the drum beat in a song like Robocop which is quite hypnotic. Following the beat of a high paced song by drumming with your feet makes it a lot easier to find a nice running rhythm on a long run. I usually like music with 150 beats per minute or more.

In Banshee Media Player you can set the program to auto detect the beats per minute in your music collection by going into Edit – Preferences and click on the tab “Source Specific”.

Auto Select Beats Per Minute in Banshee Media Player

When you edit the properties of each song you can also manually detect the beats per minute. This can be found by right clicking on the music file, select Edit Track Information and click on the Extra tab. On that screen is the Detect option. I also recommend enabling the display of beats per minute (BPM) on the song display screen. You need to right click on the menu section as show below and select “Beats Per Minute” in the menu to have it displayed in the song display area.

Ubuntu Banshee Show Beats Per Minute

Unfortunately, today I am recovering from an illness which forced me to miss my long run. I hope to be able to go out tomorrow if all is well.

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6 Comments on "Running to the Beat and Drumming with your Feet"

  1. runningsamadhi
    18/02/2010 at 9:41 pm Permalink

    Hi SDrunner,

    Thanks for your comment. I have had mixed success with the Audio fuel full length running product so far due to my running style. Currently, I prefer to have a varied mix of fast beat songs. I find the fun songs with a good up-beat tempo are the best for my running style. I also like to have varied tempos to match my pace.

    I know the feeling about not being able to run when you want to. Luckily after 24 hours of misery I was able to get back at it the next day with a really fun time running my first sole 1/2 marathon. I guess I made up for my “day off” 🙂

  2. SDrunner
    18/02/2010 at 9:06 pm Permalink

    I have heard that running to that type of music really helps, but I still don’t get how.. I have a few sample songs from AudioFuel, but have yet to really listen to them.

    Just got over being sick a couple of weeks ago, hope your’s goes away soon. Hate the feeling of not being able to run when you want to!

  3. Gerrit
    27/03/2010 at 7:16 pm Permalink

    Hi!

    Thanks, I was looking for an easy to do to BPM detection in Ubuntu, and almost gave up before I found your site! Two questions though:

    – How do you enable the display of beats per minute (BPM) on the song display screen, as you mention blog post above?
    – Any ideas on how to increase the accuracy of the BPM detection? As I’m listening to rock songs where the BPM changes, I think the detection isn’t always done correctly since only the first few seconds are analyzed, and not averaged over the entire song?

    Cheers,
    G.

  4. runningsamadhi
    28/03/2010 at 2:44 pm Permalink

    Hi Gerrit,

    I updated the post above to show how to select the menu in the display but simply you right click on the top column display (the one with Name, Artist, etc.. in it) and select the “beats per minute” option. You may need to make one of the columns smaller to make space as it shows up on the end of the list on my computer.

    I agree with you on the changing BPM in some songs are sometimes not accurately reported across the entire song. I am also trying to find a solution to this issue so if you find one please let me know.

    Cheers,

    Paul

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