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Best Music Apps for Running and Race Training

Our team at Decoder and Uppercut have been busy training for the Spartan Race. This will be Tim’s second year tackling the intense 5k obstacle course and a first for the rest of us. We’ve been preparing ourselves by doing outdoor strength training, hill practice, and frequent runs along Calgary’s river pathways to improve our strength and speed.

To run with or without music is a hot debate. Many runners prefer to run unplugged so they can focus on stride and technique. However, for many of us, good running music is an important motivator to keep us energized during our training sessions.

Discovering new music can be difficult, and organizing and uploading a large collection of songs on your iPhone can take a lot of time and memory. Luckily, music-streaming apps provide a constant source of new playlists. IndieShuffle, an app developed by us for the popular San Francisco-based music blog, has become one of our personal favourites for training.

Here’s how to make a great running playlist:

If you haven’t already, download IndieShuffle for iOS or Android and browse for songs.

Indie Shuffle app by Decoder

From the main navigation you can see what’s popular, as well as the latest releases. An easy way to quickly find upbeat music is to browse by genre. Electronic, Hip Hop and Remixes are our go-to genres for workout music, although you may prefer the Indie Rock or Folk and Acoustic categories (the Sunday Night Chill category is perfect for yoga or a post-workout cool-down).

App development by Decoder

Log in or create an account then choose the song you want to favourite. If you fall in love with one song or artist and want to discover more, it’s easy to browse tags like “female vocalist.” You can also use the “sounds like” function to find similar artists.

Once you’ve favourited a few songs, you can go to “Favourites > Play All” for your customized continuous playlist. As a bonus, the app is synched through the web, giving you the ability to build your playlist from your home desktop and have it immediately ready on your phone when it’s time to work out.

Remixes app by Decoder

Another great way to build a playlist of training music is through our Remixes app, free for iOS. If you already have music uploaded to your iOS device, the app will browse your library and discover remixes of your favourite music. An upbeat dance remix of one of your favourite tracks could be the perfect power booster for your run or hill training.

Best of luck with your own workouts, and wish us luck in running the Spartan Race!

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