The Power of Walking
Never underestimate the power of a good walk – and not just as a mid-run break. ‘Going for a “pure walk” – no running at all – allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips,’ explains coach Jeff Galloway. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance and give your joints and muscles a break, which can eliminate the aches and pains caused by running. Here are Galloway’s tips on how to add walks to your routine.
Give thought to your form
Most people find an upright posture to be the most comfortable and natural way of walking. Take short steps to avoid overstriding, which can cause aches and pains in your legs, feet and hips. Keep your feet low to the ground and step lightly.
Speed things up
Walking on your non-run days is an efficient way of burning fat and increasing blood flow to aid recovery. On cross-training days, walk for 30-60 minutes continuously or do five- to 10-minute segments throughout the day. Keep the pace quick, but not so demanding you’d struggle to hold a conversation.
Walk on a run day
When you’re subsituting a walk for a run, take the number of minutes you would have run and double it. So, if you were going to do 30 minutes of running, walk for 60 minutes. You don’t have to complete the workout all at once – you can break it into two: going out in the morning, say, then again in the evening.
Take the scenic route
The more varied your route, the better workout you’ll get. If weather permits, walk a few hills or do several reps of stairs. When it’s too cold or wet outside, stairwells are great venues for exercise. Try to do a few flights a day, several times when possible, to build your leg strength.