A Lollapalooza Playlist: Pedal Pedal Pedal

Dru Ryan
by Dru Ryan
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A Lollapalooza Playlist: Pedal Pedal Pedal

Lollapalooza 2017 featured more than 170 bands performing to daily crowds of 100,000 people in Chicago’s Grant Park. While seeing every act is impossible, sampling some of the biggest names in music via this playlist is easy — plus it’ll fuel your workout. Each epoch asks your legs for something different. It’s OK to get lost in the music, just keep your legs moving at the prescribed pace!

EPOCH 0: WARMUP

Ride the tempo on tracks by Chance the Rapper, Tove Lo and Dillon Francis. Be willing to adjust resistance and recruit muscle as you spin.

EPOCH 1: CADENCE

Recreational cyclists pedal at 60–80 rpm. It’s more efficient, using less oxygen than a higher pedal rate. Paradoxically, serious cyclists pedal at 85–100 rpm on both hills and flats. Yes, it’s more taxing on the cardiovascular system, but less onerous on your leg muscles.

Tracks by Mura Masa, Baauer, 21 Savage and Little Dragon contain steel pans, pianos and other rhythmic beats to keep your feet dancing — like a serious cyclist.

EPOCH 2: CLIMB

Cadence without resistance is like a hamster running on the wheel. Yes, you can go for a long time, but you shouldn’t expect a noticeable improvement. Add a bit of resistance to your wheel and attack rolling hills on “Somebody Told Me” and a steady climb on back-to-back tracks by Muse. The focus here is on power (watts), not cadence. Don’t sprint your climb. My riders hear this maxim often.

EPOCH 3: INTERVALS

Chicago’s own Vic Mensa provides a bit of recovery on the first half of “Dynasty.” A thumping bassline implores your legs to push harder in the final two minutes. “Fight Night” by Migos consists of shorter (Read: all out) intervals on the handclap sections of the track.

EPOCH 4: PYRAMIDS

While intervals are all-out efforts, pyramids consist of gradually increasing periods of efforts and then gradually returning to your starting point. “Push” by A-Trak provides 15-second intervals.  Recover for 15 seconds then push hard for 15 seconds, 15 second rest, 30 seconds hard, 15 seconds rest, then 15 seconds hard. Repeat. Treat “Sunset” by The xx as two pyramids totaling 1:50. Starting from your average speed, add resistance and/or cadence building up to the 55-second mark and gradually come back to your average.


READ MORE > PUSH CADENCE TO THIS AUSTIN CITY LIMITS PLAYLIST


EPOCH 5: THE VALLEY

Climb – Sprint – Climb. Get it? A valley. The mellow tempo of “Hold On” by SBTRKT featuring Sampha invites you to climb in the saddle. Add resistance to recruit muscle and maintain a comfortable heart rate. A 1-minute downhill to blink-182 gives way to a second standing climb via Drake and Majid Jordan on “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”

EPOCH 6:  SPRINT INTERVALS

Pedal downhill to the first 30 seconds of Rae Sremmurd’s “Start a Party” before attacking all-out intervals to the oscillating beat provided by Crystal Castles’ “Baptism.” A well-earned cool down leaves you ready to press REPEAT and ride the playlist a second time.

What’s your favorite song? Share in the comments section below.

About the Author

Dru Ryan
Dru Ryan
Dru teaches indoor cycling at Equinox in Washington, D.C. His History of Hip-Hop classes at George Mason University and brief deejay career in the Bronx are two big reasons why his playlists are unique. Ryan‘s cycling claim to fame is having the former road world champion, Peter Sagan, comment on an Instagram photo. Follow Dru (drucyles) on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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