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Walking as Run Training

Walking is a much underrated exercise. Walking can actually help you with your run training. Let’s have a look at how walking can help your training and what other benefits we can get from walking.

Walking is a great exercise and the way it helps you with your run training is because you’re moving, you’re using mostly the same muscles as when you are running, but there is a lot less strain on the joints and muscles. So you can see it as an easier, lighter workout from your normal run. Now of course a walk doesn't do the same for your body as a run would, but as a lighter workout to combine with your run training you can benefit from this in a couple of different ways.

We need rest days in between our long runs, this doesn’t mean we need to sleep all day or lay on the couch. A nice 30 minute walk can get your blood flowing, keeps your muscles engaged, but without giving them an actual tough workout. This can also help you take away pains and muscle ache from your run training.

If you are a beginning runner and you’re having a hard time going out on your run or you are overweight and this is making it uncomfortable for you to run, then starting with some long walks could be the perfect thing for you. A 30 minute walk burns about 150 calories and it helps you prepare your muscles for when you start running. A walk can be the perfect starting point for a runner.

When you are injured and you can’t run, walking can be a great alternative. If you can walk without making the injury worse that is of course. Don’t just sit at home wishing the injury will go away, go for a walk instead of a run. If you would have gone out for a 30 minute run, go for a 60 minute walk. Just double the time you normally would have gone out. This way you stay active and even though you can’t run, you’re not falling as much behind on your training as you would have had you stayed at home.

A motivator to go on that walk if you are having trouble going out there could be an app with a step goal. You can use your health app if you have an iPhone, or if you have a sports watch or fitness tracker set the goal on there and aim to achieve your goal every day, as with any goal you set try and reach it, whether that is with your run or on a walk in between training days. As long as you are motivated to go out and you realise that it will help your run training, it will get easier to get to your goal.

If you have a busy schedule or you just don’t feel like running sometimes, we all have those days, see if you can schedule in some walking if you skip your run. Maybe going to the store on foot that afternoon, walking home from work, or even just some walking on the treadmill while watching your favourite show on Netflix.

Ok, so it doesn’t mean you should now substitute all your runs for walks, but every once and a while can’t hurt. And adding some walks to your daily schedule sure can’t hurt.

Keeping the blood flowing, speeding up recovery and keeping the muscles engaged, over all that walk is a great addition to your run training and can actually help you to become a better runner.


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