One thing I learned in the Army was the importance of music while running. Of course, we weren't popping on out iPod and listening to our favorite music, we were singing cadences. What's the difference? Well, a cadence is written with a certain beat designed for two things: set the pace for your run, and control your breathing. The beat to a cadence was suppose to match up to your footsteps, it gave you the ability to just zone out a bit mentally and keep the perfect pace without thinking about it. Plus, they were timed out so that your singing would control your breathing. Whoever was leading the cadence would sing a line, then you would sing it back or sing the response. This caused you to exhale slowly while singing your line and gave you enough time for one or two deep breaths while the other person was singing. Here is an example
Unfortunately, most of the cadences I know would offend your sensibilities. The only ones that really stuck with me were the ones that were a bit on the crude or violent side. So I won't be trying to teach them here. However, I did manage to find something just as good. It's a site called Music For Running. They have mp3s you can download that are designed to match your running pace. Giving you the same effect as a cadence, but for civilians. Check them out.