For years I have listened to audiobooks to keep me going on my long walks. Over the years I've been told music is better for maintaining a fast pace. I'm not really into current music, so it has been difficult for me to figure out which songs are good for what pace.
Recently I discovered a podcast called Motion Traxx. Deekron the Fitness DJ puts together play lists at a specific pace for set amounts of time. There are sets as short as about 30 minutes and as long as an hour or so. There are sets as slow as 120 beats per minute (BPM) and as fast as 180 BPM. Some are a steady pace and others increase gradually.
I downloaded a couple of podcasts to try for my speed workouts. Because I had never used anything like this before, I wasn't sure how fast I would need and guessed at 160 BPM.
The music is "techno" and most of the songs have an exaggerated beat. Most of the songs in the sets I downloaded do not have lyrics, however, the credits do list the artists.
At the beginning of one set, the beat was very heavy, and I found myself flinging back my right elbow with each beat. There was something about such a heavy beat that felt as if it needed more than just normal arm movement. And of course, pushing my right elbow back caused my left elbow to go back harder and made my feet keep the beat better.
What I discovered is that music with a consistent strong beat did keep me walking at a strong consistent pace. During my eight intervals or fartleks of 3 min. each, I ended at almost the exact same point for each interval. When walking with audiobooks, I am never this consistent.
I also found out that I hate techno music. Well, I knew this all along, but I really, really do not like techno music. But by using music with such a strong beat, I can keep the volume low and use just one ear of my earphones and still benefit.
When doing intervals, 160 BPM ended up being too slow. I found myself trying to go just a little faster than the music. For my next experiment I'll try something a little fast, like maybe 170.
There are several other options for pace music including more podcasts and applications such as Podrunner. (The few sections I listened to on Podrunner were less mechanical sounding.) I'm going to keep experimenting until I find music I like at a pace that will keep me going.
If you have tried programs such as Motions Traxx, let me know if it was helpful.