Following on from Hillseeker Jeff’s POSE running course on Saturday, I went on a search for 180bpm music to practise to. Anyway, I’ve been looking for a way to automatically find exercise music in a given tempo range for a bit.
My ideal was to find an iPhone/iPad app that will allow you to play Spotify tracks of a given mood, style and tempo range automatically… I didn’t quite there yet, but am pretty close. Maybe I’ll learn to create my own iPod app to do it: the ingredients definitely exist, and they just need mixing right.
Key ingredient is the resource from the.echonest.com which is a service which has catalogued 30 million songs, with 5 billion data points including tempo, style and similar song links as well as API’s to access Spotify and other music services along with the echonest data too.
There’s a pretty cool iPod app SynchStep that will allow you to play tracks from your iTunes library at a certain tempo that synchronises to your running cadence, but I didnt yet find one that will run off Spotify content. However, web based site jog.fm is a website that allows you to search on tempo, and narrow the search by style, and click tracks to play them in spotify. They do an iPhone app too, but also limited to iTunes library.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried out a couple of iPhone apps to track bike rides or runs:
The basic functionality of these apps is broadly the same, and without extra sensors they use the iPhone GPS to track location, speed and elevation. The distinction between running and biking apps seems mainly a marketing one and all can do both sports.
RunKeeper and MapMyRide are quite closely integrated with social media style websites and upload and store your workouts under your account at that website. Cyclemeter stores your workouts on the iPhone, but you can export them using standard GPS route formats. All three allow you to post workouts (and even progress info) to Twitter or Facebook and email you with summaries of the workout and links to the workout on the site. All three allow you to map out routes on Google maps as well as import routes from other sources.
All of these apps will integrate with “Ant+” standard heart rate, speed, cadence and pace sensors, and even crank power meters if you have a dongle or case for the iPhone. I got a heart rate monitor, combined speed and cadence sensor from Wahoo! Fitness that seems to be a very solid product.
RunKeeper. Has the most pleasant integration with the website, which is not too in your face. However it wont handle cadence.
MapMyRide. The website integration feels too in your face and commercial. The rides are only stored in summary, whereas the other store all the waypoints so you can analyse how quick you went up that hill this time etc. It also seems to keep on forgetting your sensors which is irritating.
Cyclemeter. Although it doesnt have the website integration, it is extremely configurable and it is very easy to upload the workout file to the Runkeeper site. It also allows you to race against a selected route file.
So I think for now the preference is Cyclemeter App+Runkeeper Site combo. If I were just running RunKeeper would be my choice.
Seconds Pro is definitely the best training countdown circuit timer app out there, and the frequent updates just keep making it better. Use it! Both for iPhone and iPad.
I’m still trying to find an equally good looking and functional stopwatch timer.
http://map.schweizmobil.ch/ is a pretty useful site for planning walks and bike tours. Google maps offers quite similar functionality, but this site has some very useful extras:
- the ordnance survey view with contour lines and all the usual symbols
- fact that you can plot “click to path” routes right down to single tracks
- the instant elevation mapping
- save and export routes in the usual GPS formats.
Velomarkt.ch is the place to go and buy second hand bikes and equipment in Switzerland. A lot of the advertisers are still private individuals unlike sites like ebay.ch or ricardo.ch. In typical Swiss style, the equipment is generally very high spec and not overly abused, of course you have to cut through a fair amount of optimistic pricing too, but there is enough traffic (say 40-50 new bikes a day) to ensure its a reasonable market.
Haul so far 200chf for a 1000chf set of MTB forks, 200chf more for a 1000chf set of wheels for aforementioned MTB. One Specialized Roubaix carbon road bike in good condition 800chf vs list price 4400chf.
Gizmo’s site is bar none the best sit to find all the essential software for your PC for free and entirely legitimately. Apart from Windows, Office and the odd game or very specific application, I haven’t purchased any software for home use for years now thanks to Gizmo’s tips. Check it out.
“Supple Leopard” has never been a term that I could associate with, and after years hunched over emails and spreadsheets this really came home when I started Crossfit in January, and discovered my shoulder mobility was scarily compromised. Kelly “K Star” Starrett is the go-to mobility guru for Crossfitters worldwide. Checkout his www.mobilitywod.com site, for an education in modern mobility techniques: active stretching, joint mobilization, pressure points and fascia. The pain you can induce with a small ball is amazing. Luckily it works too, and the endorphin rush is kinda pleasant too!