Your Perfect Playlist: The Importance of BPM Kelly Lo October 3, 2014 Be Fit Feel that crispness in the air? The sound of leaves crunching as joggers take to the roads again? Fall marathon season is upon us and it’s time to train! Whether you’re a beginner or a well-traveled expert, finding that perfect jogging equilibrium of pace, rhythm, and breathing is every runner’s dream. What’s our secret to hitting that running sweet spot? Music! Photo taken by Ed Yourdon/Flickr Your favorite jam can also be your favorite distraction. Whether it be television, music, the scenery, or your fellow joggers, a lot of us look for distractions while we run. There’s something about music that makes it the best distraction out of all the rest. Nothing gets your mind and body in the zone better than a great playlist. According to a study by the British Psychological Society, there’s science to back this up. The study found that music not only enhances enjoyment of an activity, it also improves performance. The reason? It’s all in the BPM (beats per minute). The speed at which you run can be greatly affected by the tempo of the music. Your stride length, number of steps per mile, and energy management can all be influenced by a quick and brisk tempo. Sport psychologists have seen a 15 percent boost in performance from listening to the right sort of music. Don’t expect a slow waltz to have the same effect as dubstep. So what makes a good playlist? Luckily, some smart running enthusiasts have already figured it out. Run2Rhythm, a site that sells running mixes, has charts on the ideal BPM for different levels of performance for both outdoor running and treadmill running. Whether you believe the hype or not, music is a great motivational tool. There’s a reason to why music is such a heavy component in spin classes, zumba, boot camps, and even yoga. Build a heart-pumping list of your favorite songs and give music a chance!