Disclaimer: I downloaded the FREE Weav Run App to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
As someone that uses music to help pace my faster miles or interval runs, the new Weav Run app is an exciting new venture!
I was given the opportunity to try this groundbreaking technology as a BibRave Pro. I am certainly impressed, but there is still some upgrades I hope come down the pipeline.
History & Technology
I first heard about the Weav Run app a little over a month ago on a podcast I follow – Run Selfie Repeat. Kelly Roberts has been working with the WeavRun team for a couple months and brought on the co-creators to chat about this new running app.
The co-creators of Weav Run, Lars Rasmussan (also co-creator of Google Maps) and Elomida Visviki talk with Kelly about what made them take a big risk creating this new music and running technology.
The running app is about the music. The music that changes tempo so you are always running in sync with the beat of these incredible songs. – Lars Rasmussan
While the story of how the app was inspired is rated a little more than PG-13 (check out the podcast for the story), the concept for the WeavRun app was born.
WeavRun | matching your music to your run
I first downloaded the Weav Run app on Thanksgiving morning. I planned on going for a run sometime during the day (since I didn’t get up and out before the sun came up) and thought it would be a good time for a test run. I set everything up in the matter of a few minutes and here are the first questions in the app to set up :
**I sure hope that I can change the “where I keep my phone” and “where I usually run” because those change on the daily…
Once the app is set up, it goes through how the music works in the app. The “thinking” prompts were a little entertaining (all 5-10 seconds of them) :
Once ready, the Weav Run app shows you how the music sounds depending on your pace. The music starts and you can adjust the wheel to a faster or slower pace. The background beat changes depending on your pace, as well as the song itself.
Can I go run yet?!
Just kidding…the process to get all of this set up is the matter of a couple minutes. Nothing as exhausting as it is to read about…
On to the road!
The first run using the app, you start by calibrating your pace. Once you start moving, the app tries to sync to your cadence and automatically adjusts the BPM of the song. Once this was complete, I just kept running until I was ready to stop.
Now some fun! Here are a few videos of how the app / music responded to my running!
Here is my first run you can see how the music is matching with my stride – even when I try to confuse it and speed up!
…and here is another!
My first run few runs with the Weav Run app were great! I had the extra pep in my step that I needed to get through some harder climbs and no complaints here!
For another run, I used the app solely to keep my pace quick and efficient. I used it for my cold, zero-dark-thirty Saturday morning group run. My overall cadence stayed in the low 170s which was great! The music kept me motivated and I was able to keep my cadence up and my HR reasonable!
For this run, I kept my phone in my fuel belt and once I ended the run, the app had a hard time registering my location/mileage – so I input what my Garmin 935 told me I ran. A little odd, but it could be because my phone was in my fuel belt rather than on my arm (as it was the first time around)…
One of my more recent run was on the trails. If you are anyone like me, your cadence is typically faster on the trails.
Quick feet = quick recovery when the trail tries to trip you up and bite you!
Anyway, this is where I first noticed something funny with the app. When my cadence reached over 175 BPM (like 176…), the background music would stay fast, but the top-level music would slow way down. Take a listen :
While this certainly isn’t a deal breaker when using the Weav Run app on the trails, it is certainly something to think about.
Since using the Weav Run app, there are a few things that I’m sure are being looked into, but are my two cents (**update: comments from WeavRun**):
- Does the questions when setting up the app the first time have any bearing on how the app works? While I run quite a bit of miles on the road, I hit the trail whenever possible. Also, the location of my phone varies per each run depending on if I am using a fuel belt or handheld… We gather this information to improve our tempo detection algorithm and get to know our runners better; your answers aren’t altering the experience. We are rolling out a new on-boarding soon that will address this better.
- I need more music variety – There is a small playlist that continues to cycle through. The first couple runs, you may not double up on the tunes. Once I got into my longer run, I started getting the same songs multiple times. We are working on it! Takes a while to acquire licenses and then to process the track (weav the track) to make it adaptable, but we’ve got a batch of tunes coming fresh out of the oven shortly!
- I want the top-line music to be fast up to a higher cadence – As I found on the trail, the BPM around the 175/176 mark is where the top-level song slows to a crawl. When my trail cadence is between 170-180, I would hope that the music would be a more consistent pace – rather than being FAST and then sssllllooowww as my pace naturally changes through the twists and turns of the trail. As you increase your tempo during a run, so does the music. However, vocals will start to sound distorted at higher tempos (chipmunk voices). So while we try keeping the music energetic and pumping we halve the playback speed of the vocals and with that a few of the melodic elements to avoid chipmunks entering the track. If you notice the rest of the music, especially the rhythmic parts and the beat stay unaltered. We are working on solutions to make this smoother and avoid the “snail-pace”. And we encourage you to try a few other tracks on higher tempos!
- I like the music, but I would like MY songs to work too! – If the app were able to use either my phone’s playlist or somehow sync with my Spotify playlist, that would add a lot more to my music selection and overall interest in using the app every run! Every track in Weav Run is using a custom format so it can transition between a wide range of tempos and be adaptive. You can read more about the magic behind our music here: https://medium.com/@weavmusic/whats-so-adaptive-about-our-music-bc9190772890
Overall, I am going to continue to use the Weav Run app and report back later. In January 2018, the app will also have a subscription based service. Maybe some of my two cents from above will be worked out by then and I will be enjoying the app for all of my runs!
There are also several other BibRave Pros that were able to test the app – here are their reviews as well (will have links added once I have them)!
Chris Aubrene Jennifer Vanessa Katie Mai Mary Stephanie Brenda Meridith Emily Christine Lissa Justin Amanda Fallon Laura
Do you listen to music on the run? You should totally check out Weav Run!
We will be chatting with Weav Run the Tuesday after Christmas for our weekly #BibChat! While the Weav Run app is currently FREE, you totally should go download it so you have something to talk about : ) I will be present and accounted for as @livinglovingrun – will you join me?!
As always, check out these awesome run-spiring linkups this week :
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and start a conversation!
More Ways to connect with Lindsey from LivingLovingRunner :