Sunday, October 24, 2010

Walk, Don't Run...

"Walk, Don't Run" - Not just one of my favorite tunes from the legendary band, "The Ventures"...

... it's also the title of the latest installment on the PR Fitness blog written by PRF Coach, Richard Stent.

To improve your running, you may want to try walking. At the recent Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the women's 20 kilometer walk was won in one hour and 32 minutes, and the lady finishing 4th, was 42 years old, and turned in a time of one hour and 40 minutes. So that is basically your half marathon distance, and those are times we would love to turn in as runners. The "small" difference is that there is a "big" difference between race walking and normal, fast walking. Race walking is a difficult technique to master and tough on lower portion of the body. However, hard walking (not race walking ) is what we were born to do, way more than running. You can walk at a good pace all day, and be recovered to do it again day after day. You have none of the pounding that comes with running, and if you are walking hard (and that means swinging your arms like runners/race walkers ), your metabolism gets a massive boost, as does your strength and overall fitness. You can spend long hours on your feet....which is critical to longer running races.

Another major benefit is that if you are a traditional heel/toe runner, it's mechanically the same, heel to toe. Irrespective of how you run, you can use walking as a recovery from running, or as serious training for a race. Try walking as hard as you can for two hours one weekend, you will be amazed at how tough it initially is, but also how good you feel afterwards. You can walk a half marathon in "normal" style, as long as you swing those arms, in around 2 and a half hours. Often, ego prevents us from this type of training. You know.." hey, I'm a runner, can't let people see I'm walking!" Hard walking is a good way to recover from the post running race BLUES. You have that depressed feeling, with no motivation to train. So, get out and walk and see how your mood recovers along with your body.

Once you graduate to marathons and Ultras, you will find that walking hard in training is invaluable, because of the time on your feet, and also because you will very much feel the need to walk during a long race, and hard and skillful walking will ensure you eat up the miles as well as resting vital running muscles. As you become a better runner, you will be able to outpace runners!

Hard walking will keep you seriously fit AND healthy. Runners tend to overdo training, especially the wrong training, and are fit but most often not healthy. Try it. Most runners ARE NOT doing it must be good!

Coach Richard is PR Fitness' Lead Personal Trainer, offering the best one-on-one coaching you will find in the area. He also teaches the PR Fitness "Intro" program, which all new PR Fitness athletes must complete.
Richard is a lifetime athlete, competing in various sports as well as endurance racing that includes multiple finishes of the Comrades Marathon (difficult 56 mile race), Ironman distance triathlons, multi-day kayak races, and more. He is also a veteran of the elite Rhodesian Light Infantry, a legendary airborne commando unit of the Rhodesian Army.
To schedule a consultation or appointment with Richard, email him at:

1 comment:

  1. Excellent blog and something I know I needed to hear so that I don't run hard each and every day and, consequently, run myself into the ground.