How Music Affects Running Pace

The other day while running, I re-visited an app I tested about a year ago. RockMyRun (iOS and Google Play) has a lot of good, high energy mixes specifically made for running. What I like most is the feature to match the music beat to your current pace.

RockMyRun match music to pace Miguel Runner

As you can see in the screen capture above, you can match the music to your pace by letting the app use your phone’s accelerometer or you can set the beats per minute (BPM) manually. I chose the auto-detect feature, which has other settings for sensitivity, etc, and it did a pretty good job of matching my pace. Every now and then it would speed up and then come back to my current pace.

One thing I noticed right away, when the BPM’s were out of sync with my pace, was how it affected my heart rate! For the life of me, I couldn’t keep my heart rate in my zone, it shot up about 5-8 beats higher than my training maximum.

Around 25 minutes into my run, I switched the settings to “manual” to take control of the music beat. It took about a minute of running to match my pace with the beat. It’s so easy to set that it’s almost a no-brainer! I think I ended up around 150 BPM and the beat matched my steps perfectly for the rest of my run!

Once I had the music in sync with my steps, my heart rate immediately settled down and pretty much stayed right where it should. I’m surprised how much the speed of the music affected my heart rate (for those of us that train with HR).

Heading out on a run right now, with RockMyRun!

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