It's Good To Walk

I have just read the above article by Amby Burfoot, and had to say that my 5 year old son agrees!

I am a beginner runner, and sometimes take him out for a warm-up or warm-down lap of the block, figuring he would enjoy it (he does), and it would be good for him. The only problem was that he would sprint off, trying to beat me, and then walk for a while. One annoyed Daddy!

.. but according to this article, he was right all along... I shall be taking more training advice from him in the future!



  • Excellent. There's no shame in walking. I've just returned to running after having a baby. Running with a baby in a babyjogger is an art in itself. I am pushing another 17kg, and so I need to walk! Having never been a particularly fast runner, it's nice to watch my baby look at her surroundings and when running at the side of her, I can see her looking at me (goodness knows what she's thinking!)
  • I cannot believe that this article has come at a much needed time! I am preparing for the New York marathon(only my second marathon) and I find it very hard on my long runs. This has greatly encouraged me and I can not wait to get out there and try the 9/1 regime!
  • Totally agree. It's been so helpful to my training (and on bad days to even just geting out there!) to know that to walk during runs is an accepted and beneficial training method.

    When I'm feeling nervous of a particular run I just promise myself that if it feels horrible I will walk for a bit. And very often, I find I don't have to. And when I do quite often it's through boredom rather than physical meltdown, so then I tell myself to start running again.

    Thanks RW (Maybe we should start a Ramblers thread, oh dear.....)
  • Having stopped running for about 5 years , I started again 3 years ago and after several false starts due to various running injuries, I adopted a run/walk approach. Now my training is exclusively run/walk and on this I ran a 1:26 in the recent Glasgow 1/2 marathon. I believe it is the only way to train and look forward to introducing some of the variations mentioned in the article.
  • Way to go Rob ! That's some time for a half marathon.
    I'm sure I'm going to be doing some walking in my first half on Sunday week - but at least now I won't feel ashamed while doing so !
  • Pah, pah, pah!

    I love walking. I would rather walk than run most of the time. I can walk until I run out of ground to walk on. Walking isn't exercise, it's transport.

    So, rather than going for a short recovery run when I fancied moving some muscles on my rest day yesterday, I went for a walk. Didn't bother changing my (frumpishly sensible) working shoes for trainers - they'd have looked silly with a skirt and black tights.

    It was lovely. Five or six miles, a spot of window-shopping, and all ready for work again.

    Woke up this morning with a distinctly shin-splintish feeling in my left leg. Race tomorrow. Bah! Walking schwalking. Next time I'll just run :-(

    Having said that, I think run/walk in appropriate footwear is the best thing since hamstrings were invented!
  • For the first time since I took up running it was just about cool enough, here in Dubai, to run outdoors at 6.30 this morning. It was about 30 degrees C, but I decided to have a go anyway. Bored of the treadmill.

    Running on the treadmill doesn't present me with any problem for continuous running, but running outside does.

    The ouside elements affect me, especially in the heat and humidity of this country.

    I'm glad I saw this thread today because it reminded me that there is nothing wrong with run/walk/run/walk, which is what I had to do today on a 35 minute run.

    I ran for 18 minutes in total before taking 30 second breaks every so often to bring my HR down when it got too high.

    Any tips for running in hot weather would be much appreciated.

    Roll on the winter when it'll be cooler in the mornings.

  • I would have never tried the walk/run method until I took some children out during a sponsored race/walk. Using the run/walk, one of the children (intersted in running but absolute novice!) ran the circuit 4 times. Each cirucit is about 2.5 kilometres. With my encouragement, he did in 90m minutes.

    I have now decided to adopt similar pattern in my runs as I am hoping to run in the forthcoming London Marathon (if I get a place).
  • Hey Beth,

    I didn't know you lived in Dubai.

    What do you do out there? We have an office at jebel Ali and I occasionally get out to Dubai. Gitex is on shortly but I won't be going this year. I just got off the phone with one of my colleagues who tells me he is going to a Toploader concert at the weekend and that Deep Purple were there last week. Seems you gat all the good gigs!!!

    All the best.

  • ...But don't call yourself runner. It's one thing being forced to walk at the end of a marathon, or as a beginner, but experienced individuals, planning to do this run/walk thing during races?? What a bunch of wimps!
  • how encouraging!

  • Gosh thanks Daniel, I'm really glad you dropped by. Anything else utterly demoralising that you'd like to share with us?
  • Cheers Daniel. What on earth are you doing posting a totally de-motivating reply on this thread? Remember when you were a beginner? Bet you walked then....
  • obviously a super elite runner who never has to walk and does sub 2.30 marathons every week - think I'll slob back to my couch...
  • Dear Daniel,
    Many i wish the fleas of a thousand camels to take up residence in your running shorts?

    To everyone else: there's no shame in walking. We all started that way and as some of us on this Forum have shown, it's the only way to go.
    I'm impressed - under 1.30 for a 1/2M with run/walk? Would you like to come and give instruction to my beginners group??? Show them what can be done.
    Well done everyone.
  • I agree - You are a runner as soon as you start - read Claire Kowalchik book Running for Women - We are all running - whether we are aiming for world records or just to get out there - but we are all looking after ourselves. Also just remember Daniel that pride comes before a fall - you may end up eating your words! What will you do if you are injured? Stop altogether or run/walk, and anyway what is the difference between being 'forced' to walk at the end of the marathon, than having 'chosen' to wlak ealrier on and you being in control rather than it controlling you?
    I am proud that I run. Full stop.
  • Well, I am glad my intentionally provocative comment finally attracted a response weeks after I posted it - I was just trying to get a debate going on a thread which had become something of a self-congratulatory love-in amongst run/walk devotees!

    But, seriously, I don't have a problem with beginners walking: but their focus should be on quickly building endurance so that they no longer find it necessary.

    This planned run/walk strategy for racing (in marathons in particular) is something which started in the USA and which has contributed to a general erosion in running standards over there. The median finishing time in many US marathons is now hovering around 4:30 (or slower) and a significant proportion of participants are finishing in well over 6 hours. OK - they may get around the course, but like I said, don't call them runners.

    For me, running is about health, fitness, enjoyment, socialising, competition and - crucially - trying to realise one's potential. You will never do that if you set out on a run, planning to walk when you feel like it. I didn't see Paula R walk a single step in Chicago!

    Happy running!
  • Daniel does have a valid point. May as well call the mag. Runners / Walkers World.
  • harumph- Ill p**s off back to Zest and Health and Fitness then!( sorry but I'm really mad now)

    when I first ran in my late teens I ran around 7min miles, my best was just under 6.30min. The years, some 20 odd, have passed and I havent run much properly apart from on a treadmill - but I played county hockey in the meantime so distance running was an inferior form of training.

    Now as I find my health has decreased as my girth has increased I'm trying to get back into running. Im walking because it actually says that veterans should walk first, because my knees grate and my shins ache and my achilles is tight and well I actually want to carry on playing hockey until Im well into my forties!

    I no longer desire running obsessively and overlong - done that been there- but I would like to recover the joy of something as simple as an easy continuous run around the golf course.
    I've always been put off getting involved with runners and running because of the heavy focus on marathons (London Fun Run?)
    speed and things that my body no longer enjoys.
    Fortunately there are lots of people on these forums who are encouraging and helpful and inspirational. i doubt i will ever enter a race as my 7 minute miles are long gone and not that fast anyway, and I wouldnt want to get in the way of the the real runners!

    Paula is a brilliant, gifted and inspirational professional athlete and I admire and applaud her achievements.
    Interstingly i also admire Olympiade Ivanova who won the European 20k walk in under 1hr30. Now when I can walk that fast...

    rant over
  • We are still runners!! I can run 8.5 miles WITHOUT walking (but slowly) and if I did the marathon at the pace I run it would take me 5 hours or just under , but I wouldn't give a dam. I am proud of myself that this time last year I couldn't run 400M and now I can run. I have walked - mostly when I have got too hot in the summer and my running partner hurt her ankle, but at the end of the day we should do it for our own goals and not worry about those who think it is whimpish to walk. It is all relative. I used to swim, but I don't think any the less of people who have learnt later in life and do a few lengths. Good for them for trying and persevering with something new!

    Don't give up Bune. Your doing more than most.
  • I went into print a couple of weeks back stating that I found walking during my sessions was a nice change to running without a break for 10 / 12 kilometres . ( This was suggested in an article in the mag. ) How wrong I have PERSONALLY found that to be. I now cannot run for more than 2 kms. before I find that I "want", indeed---need, to have a little the hell do I get out of this frame of mind.????? I love to run, and I love to walk...but I feel as though I made a great mistake combining the two..
  • Know what you mean billyboy, I canrun continuosly in races, but HAVE to walk in training
  • So what
    You went out and thats great
  • Ahem

    I thought the whole thing about run/walk was that it actually increases your times overall? If you can run at a sustained, decent speed - great. But if you're dragging yourself round parts of a run, "pretend running" (you KNOW what I mean) then you will be quicker overall if you break, have a short walk and recommence running with renewed vigour. That's certainly what I do. If run/walk is slowing your times down (and check this carefully, don't just assume it must be) then maybe you need to think again. I doubt the guy who ran/walked the half in around 1.30 (daren't go and check cos I'll lose this post and have to start again!) would have done it quicker if he'd run the whole way but had some really slow,poor patches of running.

    Anyway, let's all be friendly out there - why decry someone's effort, walking or running - I just don't get it.
  • Daisy are a treat. !!!!!
    Just good commonsense. We all enjoy our pastime...I was only trying to put into words how I PERSONALLY had found run / walk seems to have affected my sessions.
  • Well, I did run/walk with the runners world pacers at the Great North Run. We were running at 10 minute miles. We passed loads of people at the end and it was great. My minutes break for walking probably contributed to an overall better time for me on the whole 13.1 mile course. Having completed it, I know I can run faster and am out there trying....with a bit of walking in between!!
  • Caroline,

    What time did the RW get-you-round group finish in? I thought of joining it at the beginning but I didn't want to walk at all so I didn't - I finished in 2:30 (clock), 2:13 actual. Would I have been quicker if I'd stuck with the group?

  • I have run one marathon, it was the Goyt Valley Challenge in the peak district, 26.2 miles over the moors !! I used a run 27 mins, walk 3 minutes routine and made it round ok despite it snowing/raining all day. I never hit 'the wall' and actually quite enjoyed it.
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