Does it matter "how" we run???

Does it matter "how" we run???

Last weekend I "ran" a HM in 2 hour 28 mins - that is roughly a 7:00 minute pace for 21.1K. I have previously run at this pace many times for a 5K parkrun and recently even 10K (only once) - but these were "non-stop" running . In the case of the HM, I run/walked (or actually, fartlekked) for those 21.1K. I was quite convinced before the HM that I could not do it at that pace (but I did!) and I am now equally convinced that I could not do that pace over the HM distance running non-stop. Does it matter? Obviously not - to the Universe - and I am fairly sure probably not to another living soul :)

I had my first post-HM run today - 20 minutes at an easy pace (easy pace as confirmed by my HRM Zone 2) and by Mr Jack Daniels pacing calculator based on my 30 minute 5K PB.) I felt reasonable - bit of soreness in my ankles and Achilles tendon - but no real problem.

I was once able to run for 60 minutes non-stop at a slow easy pace. I found it to be not so "easy" - and also found that run/walking was both easier on the body and faster. That is why I have chosen to run/walk for a 14K race and 2xHM's.

But I am now thinking that it is time for me to go make to the later weeks of C25K - 30 minute easy runs , 4 times per week and increasing to 1 hour each day as per B210K. It is going to be painful - but I feel that I "need" to do it -- or do I ??? :)

10 Replies

  • BTW - the pic is at 5AM on a freezing Queensland winter morning - about 6C - prior to the HM race start. By 8:30 AM it was around 20C

  • Great photo, I think I'm hard done by if I have to get up at 6am for a run 😃. It's a good question and I think there are a few of us who often ask ourselves the very same question. I did the winter run and met a few people from here and the Facebook page and like me there are some who wouldn't be able to do distances without run/walk and it's changed their lives being able to go out for an hour or so just to exercise rather than struggling for 20-30 mins.

    Then There are people like you who are more than capable of doing both so it's a personal choice. I really am a firm believer in whatever takes your fancy on the day. Now that I haven't got a big event that I'm training for I am a little more relaxed to which type of run I do. Before it was all about being trained up for a distance now I can relax a bit I'm finding going to the gym and continuous running on the treadmill is something I am enjoying. My pace is slower hence the fact I am more in control and I'm slowly building up. I still go for my outdoor runs. There have been times recently where I have broken a 5km run into sections and done Stregnth training in between. I had to convince myself it's still a -----km run even if it's broken up. We have preconceptions about what we should be doing and feel that a run is a run is a run.

    Personally I am growing to disagree with this. Exercise is exercise, endorphins are released whatever you are doing providing your intensity is right. For most of us we are doing this to be healthy, feel better, longevity and a whole host of other reasons. If what you do works for you then it works for you, but saying that I am really beginning to feel we should go further than that it should be what works for me TODAY works for me and be changeable to our approach, I think injury and exhaustion would be less likely if we started out runs by saying how do I really feel today what am I capable of.

    You will always have the issue of making sure you progress which is why I think speed work, hills and the like are good. If your like me it's easy to put those to one side when I'm distance training but now I'm being more flexible I find them easier to do. I think my running will benefit from all this shaking thing up in the long run (pun intended)

    Hehe quite a long answer but maybe you can tell like you I have been pondering on this as well.

  • I know exactly what you mean! I have found that run/walk has also made me faster on longer runs. But it becomes a habit and I find myself having difficulty with continuous running on shorter runs aswell. And I don't want that - there is still an element of cheating if you can't run 30 mins/5k/6k or whatever without stopping. So I try to do the bog standard 5ks non-stop, but the longer ones with run/walk. I will shake it up a bit in the next few weeks, but I won't allow myself to get into the habit of walking too much. Running is too precious to give it up - I've always walked a lot, I know I can do that, but running is new and it would be too easy to let it slip away by being lazy!

  • Actually, most more advanced training plans have hard workout days which look like run/walking :) They are either longer ones in the form of tempo paced 1k or 1 mile repeats or shorter sprint intervals of 3-5 minutes. So, even if we do all of our easy and long runs ( which should make up around 80% or our weekly mileage, we will still be doing "run/walk" style interval training :)

  • Yes, I console myself with the thought I'm doing sprint training or fartleks to make myself stronger.

  • An interesting discussion.... I have not tried run/walk since the first few weeks of couch to 5k and like JaySeeSkinny I feel that if I don't run the whole distance (max 10k at the moment) then it isn't a 'run'. Similarly I have always walked a lot including hills/mountains, which we have a lot of around here (Scottish Highlands), so the challenge for me is to run continuously. Of course at some stage I may need to decide whether running continuously or increasing distance is more important because I am very aware of my ageing bones (I know I am only 54 but a recent tendon strain brings injury into focus), so perhaps walk/run would be better for the body and mind (?). Food for thought, thanks Bazza!

  • Always try to run continuously for 5k and 10k (but sometimes don't!!) especially in a run/race even a virtual one. Looking on towards longer distances I couldn't imagine running the whole distance - mainly as I don't seem to have a speed control. Don't see myself doing many long distances, not really my goal, but need to be prepared just in case by any miracle I do get a VMLM place. Will be walking a fair bit of that 👍

  • Run/walking is a really good way to train for and run long distances. I will continue to do it -- however it is a bit of a "drug" which eases the pain and it can become addictive. :) Who knows - one day I may be able to run a HM continuously. At this time, I doubt it - but I ran my last 10K "race" that way and had previously thought that I would need to do it using run/walk

  • I agree that whatever works for you is fine! I aim to run most of my runs/events, however, as I do a lot of hilly trail 10ks there's always some walking uphill involved and if i go longer than 5k I also walk when I drink/eat. For my half marathon training I was aiming for a walk break every 5k (plus on the hills). Personally I don't fancy proper Galloway style because I want to run and thankfully am in a position where I can run 10k non stop. However it works for others who are faster than some of us more or less non stop runners, so horses for courses. Having been running for 15 months now i am much more relaxed about taking a walking break as and when I need it - after all it's about being fit and healthy and enjoying it, not about winning prizes. I think the important thing is not to be judgmental either way about the issue. Great HM by the way - well done :-)

  • I think you just have to decide what does it for you Bazza. I'm in France for the summer again, and just like last year it's scorching hot. I find I run from patch of shade to patch of shade, where I stop and get my heart rate under control...and of course I can't manage much in the way of distance. I'm happy enough that I'm out there, but it does reduce my ability to do the longer runs, which is what I love more than anything else. Still, we do what we can according to what we have to deal with. I know you live where there are extremes of temperature too. I also think it's good to mix things up, stops the boredom... so - yes if you want to do 3 or 4 30 min runs per week, go for it. If not stick with your walk/runs.... not much help am I? Xx

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