Until recently, my answer would have (obviously) been to run. No second thoughts, no debate.
Although walking and running share a lot of the same traits and features ( more walking benefits HERE), I have noticed a few differences that are often over-looked. It wasn't until I was forced to substitute walking for running that I (finally) got it. I not only recognized these differences, but also learned to respect them.
As a result, I have an overwhelming desire to share what I have learned. Care to hear about it?
First of all, there's the weather. Most of us know to dress like it's 10-15 degrees warmer before heading out for a run, right? Well, that rule is for runners, NOT walkers. Sure, walking will heat up your body, but not to the same degree (see that play on words?) that running will.
|Can you say, "thumb holes...in August???"|
Let's not forget about shoes. Did you know you probably have a different foot strike and stride length when you walk? I had read it, heard about it from experts, and even been advised against it from sales clerks in shoe stores....but never really grasped the concept until recently. I typically don't wear my running shoes unless I'm actually running (so you will not see me wearing them with jeans or casual shorts), so this never really was an issue.
|These Mizuno Wave Inspire 13's got me through my marathon and have since been on vacation in my closet|
How about mileage? This is the one area where I have gotten the most feedback. When runners train for long-distance events, they have to put in a lot of miles. Although walking and running use many of the same muscles, running is harder on your body due to the faster speed and increased impact from all of that pavement pounding. Walking, because it's quite a bit slower, is not as hard on your joints. Essentially, you can walk greater distances (and reap the cardio benefits) without as much stress on your body because you're not demanding as much from it. I have walked a lot of miles in the past two months.... more than double the miles I would have run (had I had a "normal" routine of running 3-4 days per week).
|A few extra walking miles are safer than a few too many running miles|
That said, I can't just head out for a "quick" 5-miles (like I can when I'm running). I can run five miles (usually) in less than 45 minutes...but walking? I have to plan for at least a good 30 minutes longer (because there will likely be a potty stop in that span of time). Kind of a time-suck, huh!
So, that's my take on walking, and how it differs from running. It certainly isn't my first choice of exercise, but it has filled a huge void in my life these past few months. I have a lot of my mobility back and my range of motion is returning, but early on, I was limited to what I could do with my healing knee. Walking was the one thing I was allowed to do. I could do it as slow as I needed to (when the 6-inch suture seam was at its most vulnerable), and it was readily available anywhere and everywhere, anytime of the day.
Talk to me....how do you feel about walking vs. running? Do you ever treat them as equals in terms of effort or legitimacy? Have you ever had to substitute walking for running as you waited out an injury's recovery?
I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Please join us!!
Whenever I walk I feel like Im going so slow and it seems like it takes so long! I don't really measure walks by distance but instead just pay attention to the time I've been out. I also don't like how much cooler it feels when you're walking vs running- thats why I rarely walk in the winter!ReplyDelete
Yes to everything you just mentioned!Delete
I've walked instead of run as recovery from injuries and surgery. It's always been my favorite backup plan. Now that I'm doing the run/walk intervals, I've embraced the recovery I get from walking.ReplyDelete
I'm hoping when I start working with the intervals, all of my walking "experience" serves me wellDelete
I would think you would need different shoes for a long term walking routine. I went out last night with our walking group and let me tell you those ladies were booking it. I had a hard time keeping up!ReplyDelete
I agree, specific walking shoes may be beneficial if you're doing competitive walking or walking long term...hoping neither of those are in my future LOLDelete
I do take walk break every now and then when I am doing a long run because I feel like it helps me "reset". I did a lot of walking when I was coming back from an injury last year.ReplyDelete
I think that walking has a ton of benefits. i'm always amazed at speedwalkers, especially in the Olympics because they walk way faster than I run!
I have a pretty fast walking pace, but I think it's due more to my height, long legs and big feet LOLDelete
I pretty much never walk for exercise. I'm just a super slow walker and have a hard time even getting my heart rate up. Thankfully, the few times I've had an injury, I've been able to use the elliptical or the bike and I prefer those to walking.ReplyDelete
I actually have grown to like walking more than I thought I would, but I didn't really have anything else to compare it to (other than running)Delete
Walking is a great low impact activity, but I always choose running because I can go twice as far in half the time.ReplyDelete
Ha! Mythoughts exactly!Delete
I always notice how bundled up the walkers are when I'm out running in a tank/shorts. Remember when walking shoes were all the rage? Do they still make them??ReplyDelete
I don't know if the walking shoes are still main stream...I haven't really looked for them. I have been surprised how much colder I feel when I'm walking in "perfect running conditions." My heart rate is up, so it's weird my body just doesn't heat up like it would if I was running.Delete
I heat up a bit when I walk, as well as run, but it is difficult to gauge by how much when I'm walking. I sometimes overdress, sometimes underdress.ReplyDelete
The layering is definitely trickier for walking...sometimes I nail it, and other times I'm at a loss. (not unlike running LOL)Delete
I love taking long walks. I can't take more in and it's easier to talk to the person I'm with ;)ReplyDelete
It really is nice being able to take in the surroundings in greater detailDelete
Great observations on walking! I enjoy walking a lot, but you are right, a quick 5 mile walk is not realistic.... that takes me at least 1.5 hours!ReplyDelete
A couple weeks ago, I did a 6-mile walk...and I seriously felt like I had run 10 miles when I finished...because it took just about the same amount of time. Crazy!Delete
I totally fell in love with walking when I had to stop running. And yeah, I totally noticed way more than I would if I were running. I actually miss it a little now that I'm back to running.....ReplyDelete
I think I'll try to keep up with some walking after I get back to a running routine. It's a great mindless cardio session that can be done anywhereDelete
My only complaint about walking is that I suck at it. Ha! When we take walk breaks during long runs, my friends "walk with purpose." Their walk with purpose is much, much faster than mine. If I try to power walk, my joints and hips end up hurting.ReplyDelete
You are also probably not as tall as your friends (?). My legs are long (as you probably noticed), so I can walk fast with long strides without much effort....anyone with shorter legs would have to huff & puff to keep up LOLDelete
I have always found myself more tired when going for a walk rather than a run. I count it as legitimate exercise! Especially if we are hiking.ReplyDelete
I have returned home sometimes actually more tired than if I would have run the distance, and a lot more muscles (from the waist-down) hurt.Delete
I enjoy taking walks with a friend or my dog and definitely think walking is a good form of exercise. That said, I'd still rather run :)ReplyDelete
I'm with ya...I'd rather run, too!Delete
This is such a great post! I'm so glad you've been loving walking and making the most of the time you can't run. Who knew you had a different foot strike?!ReplyDelete
I know, crazy! I bet a lot of people have different foot strikes, though, because walking and running essentially involve different mechanics ;-)Delete
I'm a huge fan of "power walking"...it's how I lost 60 lbs and what got me to where I am today! <3ReplyDelete
You're going to Vegas, yes? Well, my second time "running" it ended up being walking it with an injured friend. Yes, I was actually sore the next day -- I'd trained to run, not walk, and yes, it's a little bit different.ReplyDelete
I consider walking the dogs part of my fitness, but it's also very, very sloooooow. Imagine 2 dogs having to stop and snif and do their business and you get the idea!
I think just about anything can fit into a fitness routine. They all have their places.
A lot of what you said about walking applies to easy running for me. I can get in a lot more mileage without beating up my body by doing most of my runs at a very easy pace. And because I'm a slower runner, going really easy takes forever. A 5 mile easy run is about 55 minutes for me! But I don't mind putting the time in.ReplyDelete
The weather has a huge impact! This post was an awesome read, Kimberly!ReplyDelete
I still love running more although I love a good hike. I also know how much ultra runners should incorporate powerwalking and hiking into their racing.ReplyDelete
I love that there are benefits to both running and walking. I try to incorporate a lot of walking into my training, especially lengthier walks that can serve as a great cross training workout.ReplyDelete
There are benefits to both and I am glad you have enjoyed it while you were on our running hiatus. I enjoy walking with my non running friends, it is much more for mental health for me being able to move and talk. Otherwise I prefer to run.ReplyDelete
I like to do both... but I don't feel as I get much of a workout when I walk, but just being outside and moving is a great feelign.ReplyDelete