Live Better

4 tempo-based running apps

Sync your music to your pace with these clever apps.

While smartphone apps have long been used to track distance, time, speed and route of runs, a new wave of tempo-based apps now match the music on your device to the pace you run at.

Cleverly detecting the pace of your footsteps using your smartphone’s sensors, the apps then select music that matches the speed you’re running at based on the song’s beats per minute.

Scientists have shown that music helps you work out harder, and runners can attest that syncing your pace with your music can help increase the length of your run – along with making it a whole lot more enjoyable.

Here are a handful of tempo-based running apps to try.

1. PaceDJ

$1.49 – iOS

This app scans the music in your own library and analyses the beats per minute of each track. Then you choose your pace, and it picks songs to suit. If you don’t know your pace, it can measure your speed using the motion sensors on your phone. You can also build interval workouts with playlists to match, and choose from popular playlists for running, walking, jogging or cycling.

2. RockMyRun

FREE – iOSAndroid

This app uses ‘myBeat’ technology to adjust the tempo of the music you’re listening to as a way of matching your pace or motivating you to go a little faster. It doesn’t work off the tracks in your playlist – instead it streams music while you run and creates mixes that last up to two hours. You get to choose the genre, length of songs and input particular tracks or artists you like, and the app does the rest.

3. DjRun

FREE – Android

DjRun is a simple app that plays songs from your music library that match your walking or running tempo. Working with the acceleration sensors built into your device, the app detects your stride rate and retrieves songs that match the pace. A few handy features include avoiding repetition of songs, easily skipping to the next song and the ability to work with other sports including skipping, rowing or skating.

4. Spotify Running

$11.95/month – iOS, Android

It’s on the more expensive side, but if you’re already a Spotify Premium subscriber there’s a fantastic feature to take advantage of for your workouts. Spotify Running finds your tempo as you run, jog, walk or cycle, and chooses songs set to the same rhythm. Check out remixes specially designed for working out, and discover new music to keep you motivated as you move, with seamless transitions between tracks.

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