NaBloPoMo Day 3!
Part of my effort to spring out of winter hibernation mode has included taking steps (literally! 😀 ) to mend my sedentary ways. To that end, I did the Mind Over Matter 5k walk this morning. It’s billed as a “Charity Run/Walk for Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention,” so I was proud to participate.
I wasn’t pushing myself to set any blazing speed records; I was just pleased that I can walk a 15-minute mile pretty easily, especially given my training regime, which was pretty darn casual. I finished in 44 minutes and 44 seconds. Child’s play to those of you who are real runners, I know… but I am a little sore, so I know I did something! 😛
All that strenuous physical activity made my brain a little laggy, so as I was casting about for blog post inspiration today, somewhat at a loss (and with my late start, I needed something easy!), I decided to look up songs about walking. I hesitated at first, because it struck me as a rather breathtakingly unoriginal idea, but I trusted that something interesting might materialize if I poked around a bit.
After all, that’s been a pretty effective strategy for me so far! 😉
I had no trouble finding a fairly exhaustive list of walking-themed songs. As I perused the list and replayed the titles I recognized in my head, I started thinking about tempo. Sure, these songs are about walking, but what would it be like to walk to them? Which ones would be too fast, too slow, just right? It was time to bust out my handy dandy metronome. (Here’s an online metronome that’s incremented in the typical way, with speed increasing by 2 beats per minute at first, then increasing by 8 bpm at top of the tempo range. I like the metronome that’s built into my digital piano, though, because I can adjust the speed by 1 bpm increments, so I can be nice and precise.)
I wasn’t sure what the ideal tempo would be for walking — if I wanted my stride to match the beat, I needed to know how many strides I walked per minute. This would involve math, I realized, and immediately broke out in hives. 😛 But for the sake of both art and science, I pressed on.
Mr. Readmore has the stats & tunes for you below!
I remembered from the days when I actually used my pedometer that my stride length was 2.4 feet. (average stride length is 2.2 feet for a woman, 2.5 feet for a man. I’m taller than average, with fairly long legs. That’s right, I’m a lotta woman! 😉 ) So:
- 5280 feet in a mile divided by 2.4 feet per stride = 2200 strides per mile
- 15 min. mile = 146.66 strides per minute
Were there any songs on the list with a tempo of around 146 bpm, I wondered?
(BTW, if you want to find your own walking tempo, figure out your stride length and plug it into my little formula above!)
The answers were a bit surprising. I figured that “Walk This Way” and “These Boots Were Made for Walking” would be great choices. Turns out that one is too slow, the other too fast — though when I get in good enough shape to go for a 13-minute mile, “These Boots” will be just the ticket! On the other hand, the video is funny enough, on my resting days I could just stay in and watch it: 😛
Of course, walking experts recommend that you start out at a moderate speed and work up to you target speed after 10 minutes or so. And some days you just want to take it a little easier. Here, then, is a little chart of some of my favorite songs from the list, organized by speed from easy warm-up to “Look out! There’s a stream of hot lava behind you!”
Perfect 15-minute-mile Pace!
Maybe Nathan Deakes Could Do It!
And of course, it’s important to cool down, too. I think this would be a good number for that:
And after that, it’s time to go eat some carbs — Hallelujah! 😀
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Thanks — you make the world a better place! 🙂