I have a friend called Katie who used to say “” to express her horror at some unexpected event, and the phrase always made me laugh. I have discovered this app called — one of the few apps I have ever shelled out cold hard cash for (extra cold and hard considering $2.99 is more than I get paid per hour here). It has a few drawbacks — awkward silences between songs, for example — but it’s basically amazing.

The idea is it analyses your iTunes music to work out all the BPM (beats per minute) and what pace they are best fitted to. Then you tell the app how fast you want to run, and it plays music from your iTunes at that pace. If you’re running outdoors, it can also be set to track your pace and match it with songs that fit.

I started my run with set to a 6:15min/km pace + a warm-up song. The warm-up song warmed me up a bit too much and soon I was speeding up my pace to 5min/km — and holding it for entire songs. This was too much for an entire 5km but the run really flew by and I finally squeezed my 5kms in under 30 minutes: 29 minutes and 55 seconds, to be precise.

The great thing about my other app, Runkeeper, is that I can look back at runs I did over the last year and make estimates of how long it takes me to get back to a proper speed. This time last year I was also barely scraping 30-minute 5ks, but within a month and a half I was squeezing 6km into 30 minutes. Of course the difference is I was running the China Hash twice a week, not sweating on a treadmill, so I guess the next step is to find the Colombo Hash…


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