Last 20 miler - walk instead of run?

Just a quick question folks.

Doing Goofy in Jan and was due to run 20 today but cried offf because of the snow hoping it would be better tomorrow. Now we've just had another load dumped on us and tomorrow isn't looking great.

 Big question.

 Shall I just walk the 20 instead of running it? Briskly I mean.

Is that any good in terms of time on legs or a totally crap idea?

Gym (and treadmill) is 8 miles away in car but no guarantees I'll get there either the way things are going.

Thoughts folks? Thanks in advance.



  • It's got to be better to do something than nothing - provided you don't injure yourself slipping over of course.

    Some experts recommend walking long "runs" as part of training anyway, so you are exercising for at least as long, possibly longer, than you will take to do the actual race.

    I'd suggest a sturdy pair of boots, a hefty back pack, and a brisk active walk, if you can include some hills too, that should give you a good aerobic and muscular workout. Be careful though if you're not used to walking lots as is different muscles/strains.

    Maybe don't stuff in so many carbs beforehand either, as I understand one of the reasons for the long runs is to get your body used to operating whilst carb deprived so do the above maybe first thing in the morning after just a small breakfast and don't take on carbs during it.

    Final thought, don't know when you're race is, but you can do your longest run 2 weeks ahead, provided you properly recover straight after (sleep, food, rest) and taper properly. If you're short of long runs you could do this (snow permitting), if you've got loads in the bank then probably don't need to worry.
  • Kittenkat - the main issue is that the trainers I was planning to use would be wet through before I got to the end of my street which might not be good for blisters etc. The trail shoes I could use because they are Goretex are probably not cushioned enough for a 20 miler on the road! I'm loathe to take to the trails because with that amount of snow I  can't see stuff that might trip me up. So I take your point but everything considered - no thanks.

    Aching legs - your advice sounds good. I've got strong Berhaus Storm walking boots that took me to Everest Base Camp so I reckon that's the way to go. The Goofy is the second Saturday and Sunday in January. I have one 20 already banked and it went well but I really want this one as well just for psychological reasons.

    Luckily I teach so I've broken up already and tapering/resting will be  easy after the 20. Just don't feel I can wait for snow to clear as next Sunday is a 12 and I wouldn't want to be doing the 20 on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day lol plus that would be too close to the 12 I reckon!

    Thanks for the replies. The race is in Florida so no probs with snow during the actual race itself!!!!

  • My vote is walking 20 miles is a crap idea.   If there is no chance of a decent run then just rest up and do the run when the snow clears a bit - if it's then too close to the 12 then ditch the 12 or turn it into a shorter recovery run.   Of course if you fancy a 20 mile walk in the snow then go ahead but I wouldn't count it as training.
  • Yes but I'd rather walk 20 miles and not risk getting  injured 3 weeks away from my marathon.

    There's no sign of a thaw here in the next 5 days so I don't think I have much choice really. Tomorrow is the day with the best temperatures - 0 or 1, 2 as opposed to below zero for rest of week.

    Walking has to be better for leg muscles than sitting in a chair all day.

  • Forgive me for saying so but given the number of poor excuses offered there (I count 5 of them!) I would just ditch it altogether as you don't seem all that bothered in doing your upmost to get a good time.  That's not a criticism but an observation - people have different motivations for running and I'm not familiar with yours.

    Don't take it personally but I hope you'd appreciate an honest opinion. 

  • Moraghan - you probably consider them poor excuses but I forgive you for that since this is an anonymous internet forum and you don't know me in real life. image

    I can't tell if you are talking about a good marathon time or a good time for the training run. So I will answer both of them.

    Good time for training run? Not bothered as long as distance is covered.

    Good time for Goofy Race and a Half Challenge? Not bothered - I'm a recreational runner.

    But I don't won't to get swept and not complete the race hence my unwillingness to give up on the 20 altogether.

    We aren't all elite atheletes on Runner's World - some of us are middle aged female Primary teachers who just love big shiny medals!


    Grateful for ALL honest opinions but it helps more if they're about the weather LOL!

  • You're better of resting than walking.  Walking uses slightly different muscles to running so there really is no point.  There are plenty of people who are managing to keep running in the snow, most of them by running off-road.  Don't you have any nice trails and footpaths?
  • WDW2009 - fair enough!  Good luck.
  • Interesting point M.ister W

    I did run in the end.

    Decided to do a couple of miles to see how it was and ended up doing 11 which I'm more than happy with. Started off on trail for 1 mile then hit road for 2 miles. Back to the trail for the next 5 or so and then did the rest on road.

    Wore my trail shoes Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX ones and was VERY impressed with the grip they provided.

    Decided to call it a day after 11 but I'm happy with that.

    Running in snow is actually quite nice - hard work because it feels like running  in sand  - but the clarity of the air and winter sunshine is lovely!

    Ran in shorts too!!!!

    Thanks for the thoughts folks.

    Cheers Moraghan image

  • Good effort!  I believe Paula has partaken in snow running for her training (?)

    Bit late for advice now, but 11 miles running will definitely have done more than a 20 mile walk for your running fitness and with the difficulty of the terrain would be worth a bit of additional distance compared to running on the road.  You will have been out there for long enough to provide a good stimulus to your aerobic endurance fitness.  If there's snow on the ground next time you're planning a long run, go out for 18 or so, and chalk it down as a 20 miler.  image

  • Thanks Phil!

    I'm due a 12 miler  this Sunday so if roads are clear by then I may well push it a bit further  if I feel OK.

    That would still leave me with a 2 week taper which is enough I think.

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