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Keeping Pace, Issue #014 -- Walking Power and Salty Sweet Runner's Treat
October 25, 2013
For newer runners, taking regular walk breaks is a really smart way to gradually integrate and introduce your body to running. Walk breaks though, are definitely not exclusively beneficial for beginners.
A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of crewing and pacing for my brother during his successful attempt at the 'Heartland 100' miler in Cassoday, Kansas (Prairie Chicken capital of the world). Anyone remotely familiar with the dynamics and demands of ultra-running will know how important it is to become really good at walking as most runners sure end up doing a lot of it!
My part, when compared to what the competing athlete had to go through, was relatively easy. I joined him at the 57 mile mark, which happened to occur at 7:00 PM, and was tasked with accompanying him to the 83 mile mark which we hit at approximately 3:00 AM. At least 95% of this distance was covered via very brisk walking through the gently rolling dirt roads of the prairies. With his tired legs that had already logged 60 plus miles, I was really quite amazed at just how brisk he was walking between short bouts of running.
His ability to keep such a great walking pace on haggard legs was no accident. His ultra-running coach Paul DeWitt, who was also part of our crew, is a huge believer of having dedicated walking workouts in all of his athlete’s training programs.
“Some runners may need to take walk breaks during a Half Marathon, while others might not need to unless the distance is much greater but in either case, you want to walk before you have to! I've found that 1 - 2 minutes is ideal; this allows your heart rate and breathing to recover a bit, makes it easier to drink or eat a gel but isn't so long that you have a hard time resuming your previous running pace.”
“While I was running in the lead pack, many of them looked back at me in shock as I took my scheduled walk break. They also looked shocked as I passed them much later on in the race“. www.dewittcoaching.com
Other running training gurus like Jeff Galloway have promoted and included regular walk breaks in his marathon training programs for decades integrating walks into programs for time goals ranging from 5 to under 3 hours!
What a lot of runners may not realize, is that walking gives many of the muscles you recruit for running a brief break and brings your heart rate down while you are still moving forward and covering ground so you're really not sacrificing as much time as you think for the return benefit.
Like all aspects of racing and training, you should experiment with different run/walk mixes in your longer training runs leading up to a race. A great way to get a walk workout in without sacrificing other aspects of your training development is to brisk walk hill repeats or walk on the treadmill at a challenging incline( 4% or higher).
Be sure to warm up including some
to help prevent injury from the stresses of running on inclines. Good form with upright posture and minimal ground contact is also really important to avoid overextending your achilles tendons.
Salty Sweet Runner's TreatOK - so with Halloween junk everywhere you turn, here's an alternate treat that will provide some kick ass glycogen loading. And the best part is, even if you are not crazy about the taste of sweet potatoes, they are wrapped in bacon so....who cares???
Another win from the folks at www.swisspaleo.ch
Bacon Sweet Potato Bites
- See more at: http://swisspaleo.ch/recipes/appetizers/#sthash.3dmIbB7y.dpuf
MYRG Quote of the Month
"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all of our lives."
HERE'S TO KEEPING PACE WITH YOUR RUNNING GOALS!
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