Back in September of 2007, I posted instructions on how to set up a playlist of your own music to go along with C25k. Amazingly, that blog entry, Make Your Own Kind of Music, continues to get comments some two years later. Time and technology march on, however, and in the last two years I've seen other (and better) ways to accomplish what I described back then. At this point, I pretty much would recommend my instructions only to masochists. There are easier ways, now, to accomplish the same result. Here are a few:
PODCASTS AND MP3s:
- Robert Ullrey's Podcast - This is the C25k podcast I used my first time through C25k. It works flawlessly, so long as you share Robert's taste in techno music. There's one song that actually made its way into regular rotation on my iPod ("Operator," by dePreslys), but many others ("My Love is Your Love, and Your Love is Mine" or whatever it is called), still haunt my nightmares.
- djsteveboy's Podrunner: Intervals provides free, varied-BPM workout music mixes for runners, joggers, and power walkers at all levels, designed to build endurance and improve overall conditioning. The mixes include audio cues that prompt you when to move from walking to running and vice versa.
- Take a trip Inside the Mind of Suze and download her C25k music, featuring audio cues. Her music runs the gamut from hip-hop to R&B to teen to 80's and 90's.
- Go Nicole Yourself - Nicole put together a collection of commercial music for each of the days of C25k and has made it available for public download. As she notes, "Should you like the music, go buy the albums off of itunes, emusic.com or amazon.com. Support artists and musicians!"
- A Question of Perspective - Elisa DelBonis made and posted some mixes for her own personal use while going through C25k. Her mix features commercial music and verbal cues, so as she says "If you *borrow* them you do so knowing you didn’t purchase the music embedded in them. (Or maybe you did and we have the same taste in music… in which case you’re in the clear.)" Check out her page for playlists. It's pop/dance/good stuff you already know that you can sing along to.
- Christian Indie Tracks - Christ-centered music from independent artists, divided into downloads for weeks designed to correspond to the weeks of C25k.
- Mindplunge - As of this writing it is not yet in existence, but Richard Lemon looks to be in the process of making his own C25k podcast. Check back later on his progress.
HARDWARE-DEPENDENT (e.g. Stuff for iPhones):
- C25k - This is an app for iPhones and iPod Touches. It does not itself feature music, but it lets you use your own iTunes playlist in the background while in the foreground the app guides you through each week of C25k, giving you audio prompts every time you need to change from running to walking according to the plan. It can be configured to post your progress to Facebook and/or Twitter. The page I've linked here opens AppBeacon, rather than launching iTunes. If you want the direct link to the app on iTunes, it's here.
- Couch to 5k - This, like the C25k app above, is a C25k app for iPhones and iPod Touches. It does not itself feature music, but it lets you use your own iTunes playlist in the background while in the foreground the app guides you through each week of C25k, giving you audio prompts every time you need to change from running to walking according to the plan.
- Get Running - Like C25kapp and Couch to 5k, this is just for iPhones and iPod Touches. I think it is far superior to either of its competitors, so if you are looking for an app specifically tailored to C25k this would be the one to get. (It doesn't do all of the things that a more fully-featured general running app, like RunKeeper, does. But what it does, it does VERY well).
- C25k app for Android - What's that you say, you don't have an iPhone or iPod Touch? But you have a phone that uses Android? This app appears to do the same thing as the two above, only for Android.
- RunKeeper - I use, and love, RunKeeper Pro. I've posted about its benefits elsewhere on my blog. It is an iPhone app that maps your running, allows for the playing of music from your playlist, superimposes clear-as-a-bell audio cues that can be customized for whatever series of intervals you are running, keeps a historical record of your runs, supports posting your workouts to the major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc), charts your run on an editable map, and so much more.
- Nike+ - Available in nano and iPhone 3GS versions. I used the iPod nano version for a while, a few years back, but the battery in the little shoe transmitter died and it is not user-replaceable. It is still attached to the laces of my shoe, silently waiting for me to replace it or just throw it away already. When it was working, it was pretty nice. It overlays training information on top of your playlist. Famous athletes even congratulate you at the end of your runs.
- JogTunes - JogTunes is a site dedicated to helping runners find music that matches their running paces. It boasts a vast selection of music all determined and categorized by style and BPM.
- fitMusic - similar to JogTunes, fitMusic provides "fresh, free, fitness music" suitable for running.
- run2rhythm - similar to JogTunes or fitMusic, run2rhythm provides "specially composed running music."
MAKE YOUR OWN:
- Audacity - Audacity is a free program for editing MP3 and WAV files. Here's a great page of step-by-step instructions to create a mix featuring your own music coupled with interval cues. As for the interval cues, you might try checking out sbellcheck, which provides no music track, only audio cues of when to run and when to walk for each week. The whole course is also available for download as an MP3.
- "Make Your Own Kind of Music" - If you DO want to tinker with the Visual Basic scripts and follow the 2007 "Make Your Own Kind of Music" instructions, they do still work. In fact, they're NEW and IMPROVED, thanks to Scott Gould. Scott recently took it upon himself to update and overhaul the VB script, and he was kind enough to share his results. His new version of the script allows for an initial playlist of any size. It starts adding songs to the running playlist from a random location, randomly selecting a start song from the playlist so that you don't have to hear the same music again and again. If the start song is at the end of the list then it loops back to the start of the playlist. The updated script can be found HERE. If you prefer the original script for some reason, it can still be found back at the original post, or directly HERE. Once again, I'd like to acknowledge Jeff Welch, the original author of the script.