So is walking an activity that benefits you as a runner?
Well, I definitely feel that is resounding, yes. I’ve used walking a lot—pre-run post-run.,and while running.
All I would ask is, leave your ego at the door because there’s so much written in Facebook groups about walking, not being running. Well, of course, it’s not. It’s walking.
But this article is about the upsides of walking. This article covers…..
Walking as a precursor to running how it can get you, fitter, for running. Still, I will also cover the walk-run method that I have done in another article on that very method. So I will link to it if you want to know more about the walk-run method.
Benefits Of Walking For Runners
Helps Build Endurance
I found walking to be great for my endurance. I integrate walking into my day, mainly first thing in the morning, and I found that it benefits my leg strength and body.
However, what I love is that you’re getting the benefit of increased lung capacity while not putting extra impact and intensity on your body that an extra run would do.
So you’re getting many benefits without some of the downsides.
Also, you can start walking if you’re a new runner and build your endurance up before you start running, reducing the risk of injury that you might have if you started running straight away without little or no experience.
Many people, they can initially, walk a lot further than they can run. So, it makes a lot of sense if you’re a new runner to utilise walking, either to build towards running or, as I’ve mentioned, utilising the walk, run method where you walk a certain percentage of your run, walking, I’ve done an article on this very subject.
Here is an article I have written on how to get the best from the run-walk method 4 Ways To Use The Run-Walk-Run Method
Lower Impact Than Running.
The transition from foot to foot is more gentle and has less impact than running. The reason this is important is that for new runners, walking can be a method of transitioning to running while at the same time minimizing risks of injury.
This is not to say that walking is a better exercise than running; they are not really comparable. However, I do feel running is a tremendous bridge towards running for many people.
So, for example, someone who is overweight would not be advised to begin running due to an increased risk of injury; however, walking would be a significantly lower impact alternative.
Walking Is Good Strength Building For Feet.
Something that’s not often mentioned about walking is it’s a tremendous use of your feet.
Many of us have lived most of our adult lives and childhoods in shoes that, stop our feet from working efficiently. If we start running regularly, this can cause problems, because our feet just aren’t used to the extra workload that is being asked of them.
However, for many people to start using minimal shoes while running is high risk and increases the likelihood of injuries.
I did an article recently on the pros and cons of zero drop shoes. But for this article, I want to point out that what I do is utilise minimalist shoes, but not so much for my running, just for my walking, so it does get you using your feet in a low impact way.
So my feet get a daily workout; they get
Walking Can Be Used As A Run-Walk Strategy
Walking can also be used as a run-walk strategy; as I’ve mentioned, I’ve already done an article on this. However, it just worth pointing out that run-walk can be a real strategy to become faster.
So many runners really turn their nose up at any walking; they see it as an affront to their ability to run.
Still, a correctly executed run, walk strategy can mean that you can control your heart rate, and run further for longer, so it’s definitely something worth looking into, especially if you’re a beginner runner.
However, I utilise run-walk in many of my training sessions to control my heart rate and two to have that strategy in my back pockets to speak if I ever need to walk in a race.
Also, a run walk is great for getting up hills. Some people’s heart rate really starts to go way too high when they start going up hills, and having a run, walk strategy up hills means that you can get up hills more quickly and in better shape than if you try to run all the way up the hill.
Walking is a tremendous post-run
So is a tremendous way to cool down after a run.
Time On Your Feet And Better Health
I think the health benefits of walking cannot be underestimated. So many of us are actually running quite a bit, but we’re actually sitting for a lot longer.
So, for example, a study published by the University of Texas School of Public Health. They looked at 218 marathon and half marathon runners. And what they found is that they run almost an hour daily, but they spend seven to nearly 11 hours per day sitting down. So, the problem is that quite often, when we go for a run, we put our bodies into shock because we’ve been sitting for so long.
There have been also study that shows significant health benefits to walking as well.
In 2005, the University of Newcastle established a community study of people aged 55 to 80.
They used pedometers to measure their daily steps of the participants. The results of the study were quite revealing.
The people who moved the least had 0.97 more days in hospital per year than the people who were walking and moving more.
My Feelings On Walking For Runners
So, my feelings about walking are I think the benefits to your mind and body are tangible. I like to look at walking in two ways, walking as an activity on its own, improving my running, and finally walking as a strategy to use while running.
So, for example, walking daily is important for me. So I live three and a half miles away from my hairdressing salon; I walk to the salon five days a week. So that gives me. 40 To 50 minutes a day built into my routine.
That’s time on my feet, getting my feet moving in my minimalist shoes five days a week. And I think it’s a great variation on just running all the time.
Plus, it gives you time on your feet, versus sitting down, I could quite easily drive that three and a half-mile, and say, Well, what does it matter of I’m going to run later on in the day?
But that three and a half miles enables me extra time on my feet. It helps me keep my joints moving in my 50s, and it’s just great for my mental state, as well.
I use it in my running training, so I go on long runs after about six miles. I will have a one minute walk, so that one-minute walk brings down my heart rate, and then I go again. It helps me have mental strength, to know that if I ever stopped running for whatever reason, or less, it’s for injury, I can get going again.
So walking has tremendous benefit, as an exercise on its own, and as a way to improve your running, endurance, and mental strength.