For a while, as a runner, I kind of shunned walkers. Walking wasn’t a workout. Maybe it was for others but definitely not for me. I was a runner.
I associated mall walking with old people and frumpiness. But here’s the thing that I’ve learned over the past few weeks….it’s actually a lot of fun.
It started on a nicer day when a friend of mine and I put in a good four miles on the B&A Trail – it was warmish, and we were both struggling with a lot of feels so we got out to have a chat. Neither of us really have family around, and sometimes you just need to vent and have someone to listen. We’ve been great at that for one another lately – and I hope that continues even after I go to work.
So for me, walking has been entirely social but then, we put in two hours, cover about 5-7 miles depending on length of walk and suddenly whoa legs!
Make it social. For me, while I don’t mind running with friends once in a while, running is more a solo thing. Walking though, is entirely social for me. It’s for catching up, and fitting in a workout when you think you don’t have time for one.
Bring weights. Seriously, you can have a workout with 2-5 lb weights walking 4 mph (15:00/mile) that is similar in intensity to someone running 5. mph (12:00/mi) (source). Granted intensity, weight, metabolism and all that jazz plays in but still, weights add a nice resistance if you’re looking to add a little umph. Me? I push a stroller with 17 lb little boy in it.
Go for time not distance. Usually when we stroll about in the mall, we meet early before the crowds, and go for 1-2 hours and can usually cover a surprising amount of distance – our record is 7 miles and yesterday was our shortest walk in a while capping out at 4.25 miles.
Use it as a backup. Bummed that the sidewalks aren’t plowed? Don’t have cold weather running gear? Go inside. Bring your GPS and walk through the mall for an hour or more and you’d be surprised how quickly the distance adds up.
Change it up. Hate running on the treadmill? So do I! But you can walk at a brisk pace and add some hill work in there and that’ll get your quads and glutes begging for forgiveness in no time. Check out pinterest for some good walking treadmill
Don’t think you’re being a slacker when you just want to walk with some friends and have a long chat. I for one am going to miss my walking workouts once I’m back to the 9-5 grind, but thats what the weekends are for. Running is running, and I’m all about running and training and racing but sometimes your joints need a break and if you’re just getting on to the fitness scene, then walking a great way to ease into things.
Don’t know the walking workout ’till you’ve tried it.