The Corona Running Boom?

It is clear that the Corona pandemic will radically change people’s behavior for the foreseeable future. What is less clear is precisely how behaviors will change and whether new habits will stick around after the pandemic is over (fingers crossed).

The New York Times reports that a running boom is happening–which makes sense given the number of people who can no longer exercise at gyms or indoors. But with potentially millions of people taking up running, how many of them will discover that they enjoy the habit and continue even when their gym membership is available again? The impact could be huge for years to come.

Running along the Hudson River.

Why it’s hot: What other activities are taking off? What activities are being displaced? What long-term impact could new habits have after the pandemic ends?

While on a Run, Apps to Match the Playlist to Your Pace

If you are a runner or just enjoy walking for exercise, there are several smartphone apps that can add a helpful boost of motivation or reduce the boredom of your five-mile run. Music can be a great help to runners, but sometimes putting together a playlist can be a chore. So leave the song selection up to RockMyRun or PaceDJ.

Why It’s Hot

RockMyRun is a free iOS and Android app that streams music while you run, serving mixes of tracks from its archive, with a fun twist: You can choose how many beats per minute the music should have, and the app will match the songs to the pace. If you are out for a fast run, you may choose a speedy setting of 150 to 160 beats per minute. For a slower jog, try 120 beats per minute. You can also choose the music genre, mix the lengths of songs, and even search for a particular track or artist you like. The app then selects the mix, which can last up to two hours.

Another free music app is PaceDJ, which uses your own music archive, so you are more inclined to like the music. This app works by scanning your archive and logging the beats per minute of each track. You  choose a beats-per-minute rate and it starts playing. If you don’t know what your pace is, the app measures your walking or jogging speed by your phone’s motion sensors. This app can also deliver a staged workout that starts at a slower pace, picks up, then slows down again.

If you are taking a long walk or run, check out Map My Walk. This free app tracks your routes by using GPS and shows them on a map. It will also deliver audible updates on your pace using a synthesized voice, so you can learn how fast you are moving without having to reach for your phone. It runs in the background, so you could even use it with one of the music apps above.

Listening to music is the only way I can endure exercise.  These apps would definitely make my walk/run more fun – running to music that matches my pace and challenging myself to up the tempo and discover new music.