Now where oh where did the week just go?
I always promise myself that I’ll be blogging throughout the week. And then I blink. And then it’s Friday. How does that happen?
On to Fitness Friday!
Mid-Run Walking Breaks
When I first began running, I had the mindset that walking was for walkers and running was for runners. Or, in other words, runners don’t walk. Ever.
But then I began to hear from other more experienced runners who claimed that mid-run walks were their secret. That a planned intermission of walking every so often revitalized their energy and prevented slouchiness throughout the run (i.e., bad posture, sloppiness, etc., which can cause injuries.)
Needless to say.
I decided to start planning a walk break in between my runs. And, to be quite honest, this has changed everything regarding how I view my long runs and also how I feel (physically and mentally) during these runs.
I don’t plan an exact time (when? how long? etc.) to walk, which may or may not be a good thing (depending on who you ask!) But it works for me and it really has improved my performance.
For example, during today’s 6-mile run, I knew I was going to be feeling tired by the 4 mile mark, since I rarely exceed this length of running. So I decided to sneak a walk break in at the 3-mile mark (based on a guesstimated time), before I became tired and sloppy. I walked briskly for a good 2-3 minutes, swung my arms around, performed a light quad stretch, breathed deeply and kept on running.
The walk breaks instantly bring my legs back to life and I’ve noticed that my breathing becomes more normalized for the rest of the run. My posture remains good, I don’t clobber the ground with my presence, and I enjoy finishing up the run with a tired but energetic feeling. In addition, I look forward to these walk breaks. If I’m running a tough hill, I power through it, knowing that I’ll be having a “rest” before long.
In essence, walking breaks have given me the ability to lengthen my long runs in a way that I never really have before.
So there you have it.
A very unscientific explanation of why I like to walk mid-run.
If you’re not sure how you feel about this sort of thing, I recommend trying it for yourself and see how you feel the next time around. Remember to plan the break so that you’re taking a “rest” before you become overly tired. You want to train your body to push through tired feelings (not stopping every time you feel like it) but you also want to revitalize your body when you need it. Feeling “sloppy” or having that feeling of “clobbering the earth” can cause injuries, and a simple rest can be enough to prevent that. Sometimes all you need is a minute or two to relax yourself, walk it out and continue on.
Saturday: Rest Day (shopping!!!)
Sunday: 6-mile walk
Monday: 3-mile run + 2-mile after-dinner walk
Tuesday: Yoga + 2-mile walk
Wednesday: 3-mile run
Thursday: 2-mile run + 2-mile after-dinner walk
Friday: 6-mile run
QUESTION: Do you like to take breaks in between your workouts (running, biking, hiking, etc) or do you feel that you need to keep moving until it’s officially “over”?