Introduction: Make an MP3 Mix for a Marathon With a Metronome, Cheering Section & Course Guide
Let's face it. Running 26.2 miles is a lot better when you listen to music. But not just any music. This Instructable walks you through how I compiled my Marathon Mix Tape. The key features are:
Between every track I have a 20 second sample of a metronome set at 180 beats per minute There are 28 segments of friends and family rooting for me along the way. At key points of the course I include a description of the terrain and what I need to prepare myself for. I also coach myself on form and pace. Here is how to do it.
- All the music either
- Is something I love or
- Is something I love AND is between 175-185 beats per minute to help me keep my pacing
Step 1: Get 28 Messages From Friends on Your Phone and Convert Them to MP3 Tracks
- I asked friends and family to leave one minute messages on my iPhone. I told each what mile they were responsible for. I also had a starting line message and a finish message. I recorded a couple of segments for myself.
- I then used MP3 Recording Software on my MacBook to record the messages played back over the phone. Any software that can access your microphone will do. I labeled them with the mile and the person's name so that I would know where in the mix to place them. The software I used to record the messages was http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Step 2: Download MP3 Files of a Metronome at the Right Pace
- The "golden standard" marathon pace is 180 Paces per minute. But you need to figure out your own cadence.
- I downloaded a 180 bpm MP3 here: http://www.goodformrunning.com/180-cadence-file
- I then used this program to rip a 20-30 second sample of it because I did not want to listen to two minutes with a metronome. I used this program to do this: http://download.cnet.com/MP3-Trimmer/3000-2170_4-43446.html
Step 3: Find Songs That You Like at Your Cadence Pace
- You can look at compiled lists by Googling "songs at 180 (or 170 or 190, etc) BPM (beats per minute). Here is an example of such a list: http://running.about.com/od/musicforrunning/a/Running-Songs-At-180-Bpm.htm
- You should confirm that the song is at the right pace and also confirm that you can run to the songs. Some songs might be technically 180 BPM but I could not really identify where the beat was when running.
- Use this web program to determine actual beats per minute: http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm In the program you press a key to the beat of the song and it tells you the bpm.
Step 4: Create a Description of the Course
- Go to the race website
- Find a description of the course, preferably including course elevation
- Either for mile marks or significant points of the course record a description of the terrain. For example, in the Pittsburgh Marathon you want to tell yourself to prepare for the long climb coming off the Birmingham Bridge at mile 11
Step 5: Create Your Play List on ITunes
- Put it all together.
- You need to figure out which song to put where by calculating the play time. For example, my target pace was 9:40/mile so I would calculate the duration of the mile announcement, the metronome sample, the course description and then the songs.
- It's not an exact science but I was surprised at how close during the actual race my announcements came.
- And it really helped to have my wife and kids and family and friends cheering me on thru the miles!
Now comes the hard part:
- Run 26.2 miles without stopping.
Thank you: I'd like to thank Fleet Feet Sports in Pittsburgh http://www.fleetfeetpittsburgh.com for holding the "Good Form Running Clinic" where I learned about the importance of pacing/foot cadence. Love you guys!