There is a method to this. Here is an article that explains how a beat can help you walk and run faster:

EXERCISE PACING & USE OF MUSIC - by James Sundquist

Just in case the link breaks, here is an excerpt of the article that I found particularly interesting for racewalking:

WALKING

But what is the right pace for me?

This is probably the most frequent question we get at the institute. Of

course, we always tell people that it depends on their goals and their

health and fitness level. Unless you are an athlete, it is not important

how fast your feet are going as it is how fast your heart is going when

you are walking for exercise. If your goal is weight loss, we suggest a

slower pace of 3 mph which is approximately 60-70% of your Maximum Heart

Rate. This is not quite in the aerobic zone for many people. What is

important for weight loss is distance covered and time spent (which

should be 1-2 hours per day). This pace then projects out to about 120

steps per minute.

To get in your aerobic zone you want to achieve closer to 75% of your

heart rate. But you only need to go this fast for 20-30 minutes three

times a week. This requires a faster pace of closer to 140 steps per

minute.

If your goal is endurance and increased fitness and/or mile time, you

will need to get your heart pumping in the 80-90% of your Maximum Heart

Rate. This begins at 160 steps (beats) per minute. Then eventually you

increase the pace to 170 steps per minute. This pace should eventually

help you generate a 12-minute-mile pace which is a race walk pace. But

remember, this takes time. You need to develop your aerobic capacity as

well as your lean muscle mass, strength and flexibility, before you

attempt this pace and faster. Most walkers need at least a year to

develop paces of 170 spm (12 minute mile) or faster.

Interestingly, many people are exercising at different paces on

different days or time frames, using all of the above paces. This is

because they have all three goals in mind: weight loss, aerobic

conditioning, and increased endurance and speed. Combining paces in a

workout is known as Interval Training and is an excellent way to

accelerate your health and fitness conditioning, and can even speed

recovery from sports injuries.

For those of you who use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion, you can

count your repetitions per minute to find the pace which is synchronized

to the level your physiatrist, exercise physiologist, physical

therapist, or personal trainer have determined appropriate for you.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist usually begin their patients at around

3 mph on a treadmill which clocks out to around 120 steps (beats) per

minute. In clocking pace for motorized treadmills, we discovered that it

takes more steps per minute in terms of pace to produce the same Target

Heart Rate, or a higher mph, because the motor is doing half of the

work. A non-motorized treadmill required less mph, or steps per minute

to produce the same Target Heart Rate because in addition to the work

load of walking, the walker had to also power the treadmill, in effect,

becoming the motor for the treadmill. In all of these cases, it was the

Heart Rate which was the most important thing to watch. The pace or

steps per minute of the walker must then be adjusted to conform to the

right Target Heart Rate. So, walking in the woods, on a motorized

treadmill, and a non-motorized treadmill, would require three different

paces or mph to produce the same Target Heart Rate. This is why pace

tapes have become increasingly valuable to produce Target Heart Rate

compliance during exercise.

Matching up beats per minute to miles per hour for walking, running and

cycling became a completely new process which involved clocking footfall

frequencies of thousands of walkers and runners. We did this by simply

counting how many steps per minute they took and then factoring it into

the time they would walk or run a mile. In testing steps per minute, we

discovered that a person can walk the entire range of tempos from 100 to

220 steps or beats per minute. Racewalking biomechanics, necessary to

produce a 12-minute-mile pace (5 mph), begins around 170 steps (beats

per minute). The following table indicates empirically tested steps per

minute for each mph for walking.

WALKING PACE 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.

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