Take a walk

Fred Deckert


Have you ever thought about the running/walking connection? I’ve been forced to do that as my stamina has decreased. For long runs and races I now intersperse walk breaks. So, naturally I try to analyze the difference. If you watch children you’ll notice that running seems to be easier to them than walking. Any mother can certify that as she tries to slow her offspring down in public places. Walking seems almost anathema to many children. Somewhere in the growing up process this changes and running seems more difficult.

The first and most obvious observation is that running takes more effort and oxygen intake. But if you watch race walkers and talk to them you’ll find there’s a lot of effort required when really racing. Of course race walking is technically more difficult and demanding than your casual stroll so that may not be a fair comparison. Also, walking is less impact on the feet and joints. But, I’ve noticed that my feet get just as tired walking as running! As a matter of fact sometimes running is a good break to refresh the leg muscles and change the foot stresses.

Most runners are aware of the hard/easy day routine advised by most experts on running and in fact for other strenuous activities. The theory being that the hard day breaks down some tissue and the easy day allows repair/regrowth which eventually leads to strengthening. Well, when running at all becomes difficult as it does with age or return to the routine after injuries, I’ve found a useful variation which seems to help me. One day I will run, the next I’ll run and walk. The walk distance is generally governed by the time it take for my breathing to return to a slower and more normal rate. This may be as short as 30-50 yards or as long as 100 yards. I have found that this makes the next run day considerably easier. This technique may not suit your needs or wants, but I never thought it would suit me either, so if you feel stale and tired, give it a whirl.