Yesterday I ran into a mention of an app that would sense your running cadence, translate that into BPM, and play music with that BPM to help you keep a steady pace. Or, you could tell it your desired pace, and it would play music with the appropriate BPM.
Of course, this app was only available on iPhone. However, I found a similar, if less featureful app, called PaceDJ, which works on Android. The app went through the music on my phone and and found the tempos of most of my songs. There were some that it couldn't, and it asked me if I wanted the app to look them up. I didn't do that right away, but I did that later on. At any rate, I didn't have a problem having enough music.
So I took it for an outside run - it was nice to be able to run outside on the first day of spring! The app said that it could measure my cadence and translate it into BPM by running with it for 30 seconds. I tried that three times, but got crazy-high BPMs. That part didn't work for me. So I choose 160 BPM, which the app said is typical for a 6.0 mph speed. You can adjust the BPM as you go, but I didn't this time.
Running with the "paced" music was amazing! It was so much easier to keep going to not speed up and slow down. I never realized what a big difference it would make. I only ran with one earphone, as I think runners should not be too closed off from their surroundings, but it still worked great.
I ended up running 7.08 mi in 1:08:02, which was like 6.1 - 6.2 mph on average. That's the fastest that I have run that far and that long. My run was supposed to be more of a goal pace run (5.8 mph), but turned into more of a tempo run. I don't think that matters too much, but I'll have to change my BPM in future to control it more carefully.
I can see using the music like this to help me train my pace outside. However, most races don't allow the use of headphones (Montgomery County Road Runners Club, for one), or don't allow awards if you're using headphones, so I can't use them in a race.
Today is my rest day. This morning I did my shortened version of P90X Recovery + Mobility, with the foam rolling and stretching. It felt good. I burned a whole 100 calories.