We’re going to be totally honest here: Working for WomensHealthMag.com comes with some serious perks. Recently, one of the biggies was being invited to participate in Nike’s Zoom Academy, an eight-week program the shoe company created to help editors run their fastest mile ever. “The mile is just ingrained in American psyche,” says Nike trainer and running coach Joe Holder. “We gauge everything against the mile.”
While we had the good fortune of being able to train with Holder (we’ll be doing our final mile time trial at the end of August!), anyone can follow a similar plan—just download Nike’s Find Your Fast training program (or tag along with a Nike+ Run Club if you have one near you). Speed drills are a crucial part of Zoom Academy, but the music you listen to while you’re sprinting also plays a role, says Holder: The higher the beats per minute (BPMs) of the songs you’re listening to, the faster you’ll run—and research proves it. That’s why Nike partnered with Spotify to introduce a new feature on its Nike+ Run app: pace stations. Just enter the pace you want to run and a theme (“Taylor Swift,” for example—don’t judge), and Spotify will generate a playlist for you with the perfect BPMs to keep you at that speed.
The playlists Holder makes for the workouts he leads are pretty sick, too (he’s been known to throw a speaker in his running backpack and blast music during outdoor runs). Here’s the mix he made for a HIIT and run session:
You can download the playlist on Spotify. Not ready to sweat this second? Sample some of the songs:
Nike+ Run Club has chapters nationwide.