Music and Cadence

You might ask, “What the heck is that?”

Well, this is an iPod Shuffle, 2nd Generation. I have two of them that I use for running. The Shuffles work great and have since I first started using them for running all those years ago. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This dinosaur is the iPod Nano, 1st Generation. While it is nowhere the iPod Shuffle in terms of simplicity or reliability, it still works pretty well. It is a great backup, particularly on a long run if my Shuffle battery runs out of juice.

How important is cadence to your running?

I can tell you that for me, it is very important. I gained a great appreciation for the use of cadence way back in the 1970s when I was in the Marine Corps. In fact, it really came into play for my very first long run when my platoon ran across the Island of Okinawa. You should know that the only time that we wore shorts and some sort of athletic shoes was during our annual Physical Fitness Test. All other times, at least as I remember (which is always suspect at my age), we ran in formation, utilities, and combat boots.

That Okinawa run, in utilities and boots, happened because of the unit cohesion that greatly helps in overcoming great obstacles, and something we called at the time, “The Recon Shuffle.” Now before I go on, I want to say that I was a Ground Field Infantry Marine, stationed first with the 1st Battalion 1st Marines, and later with the 1st Battalion 4th Marines. While we were infantry, I was never part of that elite group of Recon Marines. My memory only recalls that we called our running cadence a “Recon Shuffle.”

Years and years later when I took up running, I naturally turned to music to establish and maintain a cadence. And it is no different today, except my current choice of songs is slower than years back, at least for now. My approach to music while running borders on some form of compulsion, as I find myself skipping while running with the start of each new song as I have the need for my left foot to hit the pavement on the song’s downbeat. It’s probably more of that Marine training as we ran and marched to cadence, with every heel digging in along with everyone else’s.

Here are some of the songs that I am currently running to. While there are several sites on the internet that will list music by its BPM, I prefer to figure it out for myself. I tap out the BPM at this site:

It is easy to use and it will save you a lot of time scouring online looking for a particular song.

Beats Per Minute













Song Title

Der Kommissar

Sunshine (Go Away Today)

Till I Hear It From You


Losing My Religion

Just What I Needed

Run Through the Jungle

Viva La Vida


Rollin on Down the Highway

Still the One

My Sharona


After the Fire

Jonathan Edwards

Gin Blossoms

Imagine Dragons


The Cars

Creedance Clearwater Revival



Bachman Turner Overdrive


The Knack

I also have tapped out music for rowing and walking. I will add lists for both of those in the near future.