Header Technical

Linking BPM to Running Speed

How to work out which BPM to choose:  

The run2rhythm program is essentially coupling running cadence to music.
With running, very few people can sustain a steady rhythmic pace over an extended period. Many tend to start too fast and don’t get to finish the distance intended, or within the time targeted for the run. The run may not last as long as they intended…..”puffed out early!”


Outdoor running:

  1. Run for 15 minutes at a pace you are comfortable with
  2. If you are starting out this will be slower than if you are a conditioned runner.
  3. During that run count your steps for 1 minute. Do this several times to get an average.
  4. Then, refer to the chart below to determine the BPM you should choose.

    Alternatively
Time yourself over 1km or mile and somewhere during that run count your steps for 1 minute. For example if you counted 163 steps in a minute while running a measured kilometre or mile you should have run around 6 minutes for the kilometre and 9:40 minutes for the mile.

Treadmill running:

  1. Set the treadmill speed at a pace you can comfortably run at for 15 minutes.
  2. If you are starting out this will be slower than if you are a conditioned runner.
  3. Then, refer to the treadmill chart to determine the BPM you should choose.
  4. The paces listed are ok within + 1 Mile or Km per hour

run2rhythm running music will help you learn how to run with a consistent rhythmic pace.

Our research with seasoned runners reveals the following:

Table 1 Relationship between BPM and times per Km switch to Switch to imperial

BPM
Steps per minute

Time per km
(minutes)

Steps per km

Stride length
metres

Time per 100m (sec)

Steps per
100m

150

10

1500

0.67

60

147  to 150

153

9

1380

0.73

54

135  to 138

156

8

1250

0.80

48

122  to 127

160

7

1120

0.89

42

109  to 112

163

6

980

1.02

36

98  to 102

166

5

830

1.20

30

83  to 86

171

4

680

1.47

24

64 to 68

*These results are from our continuing research and may vary for different runners according to individual technique, stride length and fitness

If you want to get the best out of your running and improve your running ability and performances and you want to work out the best running music to run with, work off the chart to get an idea of the BPM (beats per minute) you should be running to. If you run correctly to these beats with correct technique and control, your times should approximate those listed.

You will notice from this table that the stride length varies with the pace. If you are running considerably faster than the time suggested by the BPM then you’re either running faster than the beat or you are over striding. This results in landing on the heels, behind the centre of mass and may be a characteristic of poor technique.

The above times should be consistent within + / – 15 seconds. These times, BPM and stride lengths are there to guide you in maintaining a steady consistent rhythm for the duration of your long run. Running strides should be proportionate - the slower you run the shorter the stride and the faster the run the longer the stride. This is running with control.

From this information you can select running music ideally suited to the cadence you desire. Visit our Rhythms music store to download. For example: If you want an easy run you may simply choose to run at 55 to 65% MHR (maximum heart rate). For a more enjoyable and accurate training method simply download music with BPM 156, 160 or 163. For a slow jog download our jogging music paces of 150 or 153 BPM. For a more intense run go for 166 or 171 BPM.

It is also very easy to make up a variety of great running programs using a mixture of our different running music BPM.

Training with Run2Rhythm     Treadmill Training with Run2Rhythm    Excercise Level and Heart Rate