For many of us with less commuting to do, more available exercise time and the rise of virtual, multi-day, multi-week & multi-month races; the temptation to push yourself to a different running training level is a carrot that some of us can’t refuse.
One of the downsides of repeated long-run weeks in a training cycle is that the muscle-mass you may have had benefited from in the past deteriorates faster as your running training load increases. Your body’s rest and recovery cycle changes too, meaning more tiredness for longer, with deeper, more lasting effect.
Therefore, the need to cross-train, eat, sleep and hydrate well and retain muscle mass becomes more important. What better way to do that than to achieve that than with a #walk ?
Walking is known to be incredibly beneficial for #runners.
Walking stimulates leg-strength, helps with #recovery and is an essential part of keeping your body at it’s best. For a lot of runners regardless of level, walking may feel counter productive. For the new runner, it feels like something we try to get away from and for the seasoned marathoner the extra mileage feels like it can unnecessarily tax our legs.
That being said, the reality is different though, #walking is a low-impact activity and is much easier on our joints. It is a an excellent discipline for all runners but particularly #trail & #ultra runners to learn and help build time on feet.
Whilst walking you can eat yet continue to head towards your next checkpoint or finish-line without stopping. You can bring your heart-rate down and go further. Not only that, walking keeps us on track in a lot of virtual races as the rules count a walk 'in'. A good example of this is The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee due to finish on 31 August 2020 #gvrat.
Walking is also an excellent way to recce a course, take in the nature surrounding you or learn new routes. The Long Distance Walkers Association in England & Wales #LDWA is a great source of .gpx mapped routes for runners & walkers of all levels and I would highly recommend checking them out and contributing to their cause.
So next time you dismiss walking, ask your friends and colleagues what they do to build walking into their routines. Dog owners clearly love it. I’d wager more of your running friends walk more than you realise.
If you think walking is too easy for you, add an incline or decline, a hill, or better better yet, a mountain. Try and speed walk or tap our a rhythm at above comfortable walking pace if you are wanting to increase your heart-rate.
Walking works for runners, so walk toward the good life with your running. You won’t regret it.
Photo credit: Tanya Folliot