randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

I Would Walk 500 Miles…

on August 24, 2013

…I mean run 500 miles!

As the next topic on hand from the Run with an Idea discussion group, we are talking about walking during a race. As in, can you call yourself a runner if you take walk breaks? I was excited for this one, as my opinion has changed over time and currently am in the camp of walking having a very small place in a road race.

When I started distance running, I did a run/walk training style. This was more for boredom than actual endurance and helped pass the miles. Over time, I would walk about a minute every half hour or usually when I needed a snack. Overtime, my comfort in running for long periods of time increased and the walking was phased out. Currently, I do not walk during a training run or race. I believe that if I am paying to run in a road race, I need to run.

While the above reflects my personal idea of the run walk/debate in my training, as a personal trainer I have a very different opinion. I don’t like being on both sides of the fence especially for this discussion group, but honestly if I believed in the above with my clients and others I have helped finish their first race I would not be very successful. Its all about the effort put in. I thought this quote from Runners World was very fitting coming in the other day:

“You don’t have to be elite to be a runner. It’s all about setting a target, giving your best effort to achieve it, and being proud of whatever that effort results in.”

So while I see people completing their race with the run/walk technique its all about the pride and effort put in and if that is what it takes to get them that, then I think walking does have its place.  I DON’T agree with those that sign up for a race and put zero effort into the training and then walk their race.

So what do you think, does walking have a place in the running world??

Please join the discussion and share your thoughts, there are some great prizes for the best comments!

Run On-

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4 responses to “I Would Walk 500 Miles…

  1. Absolutely love the RW quote and completely sums up the whole thing for me! It frustrates me when I’ve actually managed to run a distance in training but not being able to run the whole of a running event. One day I might actually do it. My walk breaks are never structured, just as and when and for the shortest time possible!

    • I think having the goal to someday run a whole distance is awesome and exactly where walking has a place in the running world. I know for those that use this to push themselves get hooked in seeing if they can run just a little further on their next run!

  2. I do think walking has a place in running.
    Touch wood, I’ve never walked in a race except for enforced walking at crowded aid stations or for a toilet break. However, I use walking breaks in my training all the time, whenever I do interval training or TLT sessions, or for refueling during long runs.
    My opinion is that being a ‘real runner’ and needing/wanting to walk are not mutually exclusive. Many people complete races using Run-walk-run. If that’s what they need to do to finish it doesn’t mean they aren’t runners. If someone bonks in a race and needs to walk to complete it, so what, Paula Radcliffe has done it and I doubt anyone is going to try and say she isn’t a real runner!
    It’s about the definition the person applies to themselves. If they run-walk and consider themselves a runner, then they are a runner!
    My greater concern is people who give themselves a hard time because they had to walk. Sure, in a race it might be disappointing to have to walk because you can’t keep running, but that just means you pushed yourself beyond your ability, and that’s awesome, because as the saying goes “nothing awesome happens from staying in your comfort zone”.

    • Such a great comment and I do beat myself up when I am forced to walk in a race, but I have tried to accept that not all races are going to be great and sometimes it is needed to get to the finish line. As always thanks for stopping by!

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