Have you been caught WALKING again?


Cue the blush here.

 OK, I’m totally kidding.  But sometimes it feels like that, when a runner is spotted out walking.

 A non-runner might say something like this:

“I saw you out there yesterday, but you were walking.”

 It’s as if we are expected to maintain an all-out sprint the whole time we are out on the trail or the road or the track in our sneakers.


It doesn’t really work that way.

 Even elite marathoners begin their jaunts with warmups and end with cool-downs. These may include giant steps, backward steps, lunges, and butt kicks. But they also include walking – plenty of walking.

 And plenty of fitness fanatics walk miles and miles and miles, burning countless calories without ever breaking into a jog. They’re on-the-move for hours, which is almost harder in some ways than running faster for shorter time spans.


Walking may be purposeful.

 It usually is exactly that.

 Walking is a primo plan for beginner runners, but also for those who have run countless races and are still committed to practicing physical fitness (perhaps past their primes). Professional trainers and physical therapists prescribe walking for those who are recovering from injuries or long races.

 Additionally, more than a few runners mix walks into their weeks for cross-training, socialization (with other runners and non-running friends), dog-walking, sightseeing, stress relief, or even phone calls on-the-fly.

 Let’s not judge one another, or ourselves, for slower steps.


Runners build one another up – at any pace.

 Mostly, the running community acts like a fellowship of mutual encouragement. We say things like “Your race, your pace,” and “You’re lapping everyone who’s at home on the couch.”

 Sure, runners want to become faster. We want to beat our own personal records, racing the clock more than one another. Some of us even want to win race titles – or at least place in our age brackets.

 But we generally enjoy waving at each other (at the run or the walk). We salute one another for getting out there and cranking out the miles, from 5Ks to ultras. We “like” each other’s online posts. We basically celebrate running, hoping to inspire anyone who’s getting up and trying.


So why do we almost apologize for walking?

 We act like we’ve been caught in a crime when another runner catches us walking. We trip up into a trot when we approach race cameras (if we spot them). We jump into a jog when a car comes along, if our routes take us on the roadway. We pick up the pace when another runner (or even a walker) approaches.

 Why are we embarrassed to practice a slower pace?


There’s no shame in walking.

 All miles count. And just by stepping out there, we are all burning calories, building endurance, improving our cardio condition, and doing the distance. All that makes us stronger … and yes, faster.


Related Items:

·        Long runs: Shared-track slowdowns don't have to be let-downs

·        Long runs: Sometimes ya just gotta walk a bit

·        Mixing it up: Cross training adds spice and fitness

·        Some training runs are simply dreadful

·        Walking works wonders for warmups and workouts


 Image/s: public domain photo

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