Have you ever wished you could run a little bit faster or work out a little bit harder? It can be challenging to make yourself do anything faster if the only person telling you to do it is yourself. If there is someone hollering at you to go faster or if you have the pressure of someone passing you on a bike or on foot, it is quite instinctive to speed up whatever it is you are doing.
I have been wishing for some time now that I could kick myself in the butt and run a little bit faster then my barely-moving-pedestrian-shuffle. Once I even hired a personal trainer to go on a run with me to see what he could do to improve my time. He ran faster than me all right. Since I was trying to keep up with him I naturally ran faster. But the next time I ran and he wasn't there, I was back to my old cadence.
One thing I realized is that have I tendency to run to the speed of whatever is playing on my iPod. Try running to a slow song and you will find it difficult or that you have slowed way down. Now try doing it when you have a hill to climb and you will think you are going to die. The top of the hill looks miles away. I noticed a couple years ago that when a particular song came on from my playlist, I always ran much faster. I've witnessed the same thing happen in my biking class. Everyone starts peddling faster when an upbeat song comes over the speakers.
I recently decided to investigate this a little more. Could there be any other songs that had the same tempo? What if I strung those songs together? What tempo was it and could I do my entire run to that song looping endlessly (yawn...boredom) or any other songs that matched that speed?
First off, I had to determine what the speed of that song was that made me run so fast. Take a listen to "Fell In Love with A Girl" by The White Stripes:
(this particular video includes a mid-song rap by Jack which is not in the studio recording of the song, if you decide to purchase/download it)
Employing an available metronome in my laboratory, I continued to increase the tempo until I found a match. I decided that this tune fell in the range of 192 BPM (beats per minute), commonly referred to as Presto in the music world. That gave me something to work with. Now I could start seeing if there were other songs that were 192 BPM or higher. Using the very limited library of music on my iPod, I started searching for likely candidates one-by-one.
Come back next week when I publish a list of those songs and show you graphical evidence of how my workouts changed and your's could too.
As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.