Runners should add some regular walks to their daily routine. Many people including runners don’t see the benefits or enjoy walking regularly. Studies show that even an hour or two of exercise each day does not offset the damage of sitting down the rest of your waking hours, especially with long days sitting at the office desk.
Benefits of Walking for Runners
- Walking builds endurance- Consider it extra credit training.
- More time on our feet during training ensures we are race or virtual race ready.
- Some people can walk much further than they can run.
- It uses the same muscles without the impact.
- Walking eases lower back pain.
- Walking strengthens our feet.
- Walking large hills strengthens the glutes without the heart rate raising intensely.
Adding some walking to our routine might just help us run farther and faster by building leg strength, increasing lung capacity, reducing stress and burning extra calories.
Where to add walking in our training?
- Walk on rest days as active recovery which is both low impact and beneficial to your run.
- Add 10-20 minutes at the end of your long run which will increase the total distance and time on your feet, but without the added injury risk of running past your limits.
- Walk to do errands, walk around the office at lunchtime.
- Walk during lunchtime, before or after dinner to activate your metabolism.
- Walk in place of a run when you are injured or under the weather. Walk double the time of your run.
- Walk or hike with your friends and family on the weekend, over the holidays, instead of vegging out with the screen time or TV.
While walking takes longer, it will provide the same endurance as running, and reducing the injury risk.
- It works for runners of all levels from beginners to Ultra runners.
- For new runners walking breaks allows the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems to recover while building endurance.
- For injured runners it reduces the risk of overuse and can be a great mental relief in returning to running.
- In the summer months it allows the heart rate to drop reducing effort.
Proper Walking Form
It is really important to make sure we perform any exercise properly. Walking seems like it would come naturally, but when we are using it as a form of exercise, it is important to make sure we are doing things in proper form, like running form. Even minor things can make a huge improvement not only in how it shapes our body but also what would cause undue stress on our joints.
- Heel to toe meaning our heel touches the ground first.
- Stand tall and look about 3 meters in front of you.
- Engage your core.
Create a Walking Challenge
To create and schedule a walking plan can make it more motivating, easier to follow and enjoy!
Start Your Challenge by Creating a Walking Plan
- Plan for a daily walk even on your running days.
- Schedule your run according to your work and life schedule, add a run when you are available and when it will help to make you feel better.
- Plan to run for a certain time- 15 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins.
- You can even add your walk to Strava to save the distance and timing data.
- Add, and appreciate your thoughts, feeling and emotional positivity benefits from your run.
Run, Walk, Run, Feel Better and Stronger!