Week 8: Running v walking

Why is running is so much harder than walking?

My brisk walking speed is probably only marginally slower than my current running speed but a walk just feels so much easier.

Now that my cardiovascular fitness is improving I am starting to notice occasional moments of pleasantness during the longer runs but no where near as much pleasantness as a walk.

Am I destined to be a walker rather than a runner or are they any converts who can offer advice?

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9 Replies

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  • A really good write up.i think everyone can relate to walk v running ūüŹÉ,I'm in the early stages so it's my breathing that I have to master at mo x but we will get there with an extra push

    This site is brill for motivationūüėÄ

  • Are you holding yourself too stiffly? I find that I start getting stiff shoulders so occasionally run along shaking my arms out just to relax again - probably look a fool doing it!

    Just a suggestion - and I am sure there will be plenty of more experienced advice out there.

  • I too am a walker rather than a runner. But I'm discovering the advantages of running - you can get further running (if not by much). And then I think, well I could walk that distance, so if I really get stuck I can always walk. That idea got me my first HM last week (and I really did run it - with planned 1 min walking breaks every 3 km). So stick with it, it's worth it!

  • s our wonderful JaySeeSkinny says... it is the best of both... :)

    I walk... a lot, a heck of a lot...but I run also... and having the choice to be able to run is fantastic...:)

    If you carry on running after Graduation, you will find you speed up.. it sort of just happens...I am always amazed how much quicker I am now than two an a half years ago...:)

    Have you had a peek at the Walking for Health programme linked on here.. a few of us are on that forum too .. lots going on there :)

  • I would agree with the points made on here especially by JayseeSkinny. I am not a convert as such but I'm getting into the plan. I have always preferred walking to running. I found it pointless. So it depends on your reasons for doing it and your motivations. My reasons for doing it are several , and outweigh the 'pointlessness' of it .

    So, you have to look at what you get out of it, and if you run the same course it' s very satisfying to know that if you walked a stretch of track it would take you 10 minutes but when you get faster you can save a whole lot of time by running it, AND you won't be out of breath or beat up when you run it, like you might be in earlier stages of the course.

    Another thing is , when you get to a certain stage you may look back and think you were quite unfit really even if you thought you were 'reasonably fit'. It doesn't take much of this course to make you reassess what fitness actually means. This is enough to make you want to keep up with running. I know they say jogging uses the same calories as walking and it just takes less time but I don't always (despite enjoying walking) now want to walk 10k to get the same benefit as running as say for example running 3 or 4 km

    I'm not getting much enjoyment out of the times I run as they are pretty consistently slow, where I had wrongly assumed I would progress in speed rapidly, but now I'm looking at picking up my stride and actually running (for short periods) rather than shuffling/jogging. That feels more enjoyable too. Its less grim pounding the pavement and more gliding along. That is as enjoyable as walking.

    This may not be motivating but I am asking myself the same questions as you.

  • Sorry you're not enjoying it. Try going slower (I know, I know - but it does make it more enjoyable!). And try trail runs. Or intervals. Short bursts of speed with slower bits in between. If you're finding everything a slog, you won't stick with it, so shake it up a bit (although I see you haven't graduated yet - in which case you're a bit tied to the programme).

  • Hi JaySee, wasn't meaning to hog the thread, but I don't find it that much of a slog, at least, compared to when I started I am definitely enjoying it more. I like changing pace so I think I'll do more of that(intervals) if I continue after the 9 weeks or so. I think every exercise (running/swimming/cycling) has its up and down sides, I don't like being at the nursery stage for so long, and you know where you are with walking! I just have less patience, and patience is everything with this course and I would say with running up to long distance. Although I have to say even the time doing this course has taught me and others I am sure, how to set goals, how to discipline yourself, sometimes you can unlearn the stuff like that. I'm just getting the most out of setting a target and trying to reach it.

  • I have always been a keen walker, but I do not agree with your statement. My brisk walk warm up is something I long to finish, simply because running is more fluid and much, much easier......we are all different.

  • I've recently stared walking again, as I've had plantar fasciitis, and I'm very surprised to find running has made my walking much faster! Like you, there isn't actually much difference in my speed. I look at it as another string to my bow, I do both, sometimes I just run, sometimes I just walk, sometimes I run/walk in structured (Galloway) intervals...Since my injury I've stopped worrying about speed, I'll never be fast, but I CAN still run and enjoy it. Why does it have to be either/or? Just get outside and enjoy your journey...

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