What music will help me walk a 15 minute mile?

Monday, November 23, 2009

So I got a fancy new pedometer (reduced to $10 from $40..yea!) I wanted the stop watch and heartrate monitor it has. But I found something fun...a pulse meter (metronome). This gave me the correct step count to do the 3-minute step test. And that got me thinking. How many beats per minute does it take to walk a 15 minute mile? If I simply walk to the beat, the right music can motivate me to get my speed up. Looks like a good starting point is 140 steps per minute. Now to time some music with my new toy and put it on my MP3 player!

With a little surfing I found the following info from www.selfgrowth.com/artic

The remainder of this blog is copied from this page (wanted to easily find it again). A little long, but a useful chart.


LEVEL 1: VERY INACTIVE: 80-100 steps per minute = 2 mph (30 minute mile)
LEVEL 2: LIGHTLY ACTIVE: 120 steps per minute = 3 mph (20 minute mile)
LEVEL 3: MODERATELY ACTIVE: 130 steps per minute = 3.5 mph (17-18 minute mile)
LEVEL 4: ACTIVE: 140 steps per minute = 4 mph (15 minute mile)
LEVEL 5: VERY ACTIVE: 150 steps per minute = 4.3 mph (14 minute mile)
LEVEL 6: EXCEPTIONALLY ACTIVE: 160 steps per minute = 4.6 mph (13 minute mile)
LEVEL 7: ATHLETE: 170 steps per minute = 5 mph (12 minute mile)
LEVEL 8: ATHLETE: 180 steps per minute = 5.5 mph (11 minute mile)
LEVEL 9: ATHLETE: 190 steps per minute = 6.0 mph (9-10 minute mile)

These steps per minute are the equivalent of beats per minute in music or with a metronome. So when walking at the steps (beats) per minute the resulting pace projected is shown in the above chart. Remember your walking pace is not a guarantee, only a projection, as you could walk in place going 0 mph at 190 steps per minute.

If you are interested in knowing your own exact personalized pace and stride length, you can obtain your own precise steps per minute-mile equivalent. Simply walk one mile and clock the time. While walking, count how many times your feet hit the ground for one minute.

Divide 5,280 by your minute-mile time. Divide this figure by how many steps you took in one minute. This will give you your stride length. Now if you want to improve your time, then divide 5,280 by the stride length you now have. Divide this figure by the time of your new minute mile goal. This calculation will tell you approximately how many steps per minute you must now walk to achieve your improved time goal.


LEVEL 5: VERY ACTIVE: 150 steps per minute = 6.0 mph (10-11 minute mile)
LEVEL 6: EXCEPTIONALLY ACTIVE: 160 steps per minute = 6.7 mph (9 minute mile)
LEVEL 7: ATHLETE: 170 steps per minute = 7.5 mph (8 minute mile)
LEVEL 8: ATHLETE: 180 steps per minute = 8.8 mph (7 minute mile)
LEVEL 9: ATHLETE: 190 steps per minute = 10-12 mph (5-6 minute mile)

For most health and fitness levels and goals, the important measurement is how fast your heart is beating-not how fast your feet are hitting the ground, treadmill, or stationary bike. By using a heart-rate monitor, you will first want to run only as fast as necessary to drop you in your Target Heart Rate Zone. Only then should you count your steps per minute-whether walking or
running. Once you have counted your steps per minute-and we recommend doing it often to get an average, then you can use a metronome or music pace tape at the same steps per minute. Once you are in your Target Heart Rate Zone, your steps per minute or rpm on a stationary bike, are a much more reliable index than miles per hour. Reason: the same mph might produce three very different heart rates for the same individual, for walking, depending on whether you are walking ground based, walking on a motorized treadmill, walking on a non-motorized treadmill, or walking in the water. Tempo-based precision music pace-tapes can then work just like cruise-control on your car, keeping you motivated as well as at the pace which is synchronized to your Target Heart Rate.

We have even heard runners say that music pace-tapes help numb the pain and reduce perceived exertion.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon This is awesome! Thank you!
    193 days ago
    Thank you! I have a Tanita stopwatch/pacer/timer and I've been looking all over for this information!
    1814 days ago
    Thanks for the tips. I have a couple walk away the pounds dvd and find her to be very annoying. So don't use them often. She shoudl make one or two where she does not talk so much . lol
    Running is not an option for me several of my doctors recomended I walk.
    2712 days ago
    Hi Tariangie, Find a fast paced song that you like. Walk to the beat. Count how many times your feet hit the ground for 15 seconds. Multiply by four. (Easier than counting for a whole minute). That is your steps (or beats) per minute. Find it on the chart. Then you can see if you need a faster or slower song. For example, say you count 35 steps in 15 seconds. 35x4 is 140 beats per minute. According to the chart that is a 15 minute mile.

    i suggest starting with music that really makes you want to move, something that motivates you.

    For an easy way to get used to walking at different paces (and my favorite) try a Leslie Sansone DVD. She times the music to get a 15, 14 or 12 minute mile. The music isn't always the greatest, but it gets you used to the principal.

    Another option, if you want to run, is a Couch to 5K podcast. Try http://www.ullreys.com/robert/Podca
    sts/ Start with week one.
    2712 days ago
    So for those of us that are not smart how do we find/pick the right music to get the timing for walking we need?
    2712 days ago
    Great information!
    2719 days ago
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