I very rarely run with an iPod. I’d rather listen to ambient noise: traffic, birds, my breath, my training partners! But today I took a short run, just a few miles (with a stop at the grocery for allergy medicine) as I am leading a yoga and running retreat at ZAP Fitness in Blowing Rock this weekend. The Shuffle is loaded with songs that have 90 beats per minute (I have a nifty program called Tangerine! that analyzes BPM, really useful for indoor cycling classes). This helps me keep my cadence up—180 steps per minute is ideal for efficient running.
At the end of the run, “Midnight Train to Georgia” came on. It struck me, as I ran back from the grocery store, Claritin in hand (it made a great percussion instrument!), what a wonderful running song this is. Not only is the rhythm compelling, it’s not too forceful. It rolls along, not too fast, not too slow. But the lyrics are also powerful, about committing to something even when you are unsure where it will take you, because it feels like the right thing to do. What a great message! And, of course, nothing beats singing the backup lines. Woo woo!