By Team ICG® Master Trainer Jim Karanas
Indoor-cycling instructors tend to plan their classes in one of two ways. Some start with music. They compile an audio profile of songs they enjoy and select the ride movement, cadence and intensity based on the song.
Others start with a fitness concept, let”™s say endurance, and construct a ride profile of movements, cadence and intensity that supports the endurance workout. They then choose music to support their profile.
I also consider the length of a song and am a big fan of 10-minute songs. Song length is important with regard to conveying the fitness concept and giving students the necessary time to get the day”™s message. My file of songs that last 10 minutes is huge, and I”™m always on the lookout, sometimes purchasing entire collections just to get a good 10-minute song.
“Best” is subjective, of course, but here are my 10 favorite 10-minute songs and how I use them. I hope you find it useful.
Hallogallo by Neu! (10:07)
This is the optimal feel-the-rhythm-of-the-road song. It”™s a dead-on beat-match of 80 rpm. After warm-up, throw the bike in a monster gear and haul ass down the road at 20 mph. Commit to the saddle, to one hand position, and to steady state just below threshold heart rate. I never get tired of this song.
Bigmouth by Underworld (10:08)
This is my favorite hill-acceleration song. Fall into a base-riding cadence of 65 rpm by riding to the beat. You can add accelerations in a variety of interval formats. I love the harmonica.
Mojave by Afro Celt Sound System (10:34)
This is the BEST descending-interval song ever. 4 minutes easy, 3 minutes moderate, 2 minutes hard, 1 minute very hard. Add the extra 34 seconds wherever you want. The first four minutes are mellow, and then the music moves into a kick-ass hill-climbing rhythm. Start seated and move to the standing position for the 2-minute interval, followed by a full acceleration, still standing, with 1 minute to go. Achieving a max heart rate was never easier.
Palladio (Symphony Mix) by Silent Nick (9:44)
The absolute best ascending resistance ladder (not a pyramid!) with fixed cadence on a hill climb. Maintain a rocking beat-match cadence of 75 rpm and add resistance every 2 minutes. Stand for the last 2 minutes, holding 75 rpm, and blow your legs to smithereens.
The Flow of Let Go by Anugama (10:31)
My favorite ambient 10 minutes dedicated to recovery. The music inspires you to follow your breath and turn the pedals in a smooth circle.
Adios Ayer (Paul Daley Remix) by Jose Padilla (9:37)
I love this song for the lightness it can help you bring to your pedaling technique at a high cadence. Ten minutes at 100 rpm in an easy gear, keeping your feet as light against the pedals as you can. Sit forward on the saddle and let your legs turn a soft, smooth rhythm. Surreal.
M”™Bali Jo by Pili Pili (10:36)
This is a not-well-known jazz piece with a beat-match of 88 rpm. I love this song for intermittent jogs, maintaining the same cadence in both the standing and the seated position. The song has a wonderful natural build that encourages you to make the jogs longer and longer.
Things Can Change by Klangstrahler Projekt (10:06)
I”™m happy that a KP song makes this list. With beat-match at 90 rpm, this song is good for many things. My favorite is a big-gear, ascending resistance ladder. Maintain 90 rpm in the saddle and add resistance every 2 minutes. You”™ll find yourself trying to break the pedal axles by the end of the song.
Homage to Patagonia by Lemon Jelly (9:34)
Some of you may not like Lemon Jelly. They”™re said to appeal to a listener demographic that I fit perfectly. I love their unusual themes and interesting rhythms. This song provides a wonderful beat-match of about 95 rpm. I use it mostly for fartlek training. Set your base cadence at 95 rpm. Mix in random, unstructured attacks with added resistance in the standing position. The song provides a rhythm that”™s very catching when you drop back to the saddle.
Alone by Moby (10:47)
I saved the best for last — early Moby at his finest. This is my favorite dream piece and provides the perfect climbing rhythm. Stay supple with strong determination. Steady state. Timeless.
Here's a Spotify playlist 5 of the 10 Best 10-Minute Songs
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