Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Why Runners Should Walk

Yesterday I had an interval run with full recovery breaks in between.  A full recovery break means that instead of jogging in between intervals, like an active recovery, you're walking in between your intervals to bring your heart rate back down and make sure you're recovered enough to do your next interval.

Taking short breaks or active recovery helps us help teach our nervous systems to adjust to running faster, and help us learn to maintain good form even when we are tired. They are fantastic to do as you get a little closer to a 5k race.  I'll be doing more of those soon.

But for now, I'm taking things a little easier with the full recovery breaks. Walking in between my intervals helps my body rest well for the next interval. While I'm giving my body that kind of recovery, it means intervals are faster and more intense. That doesn't always mean that these are sprints. These intervals could be tempo pace but longer, or short sprints at full speed.

Whenever I have a run/walk on my running schedule I have to remind myself not to run during the walk parts.  My mind automatically thinks that when I'm walking it means I'm not working hard unless I'm injured. But when these kinds of workouts come up, walking and giving myself the full recovery is necessary.

On top of all of that, walking whether it is in between intervals or going for a walk instead of a run is good for us.  Walking helps our bodies relax and flush out the lactic acid. It can loosen your tight muscles up. And while it might not seem like it, walking can help boost our endurance and strengthen our muscles because we are using them in a slightly different way than we usually do.

Walking also helps us notice things like our stride and our form. 

And with everything else, going on a nice walk helps lift our mood and open our minds, much like running does. Walking can boost our cognitive function and boost creativity. It also gives us a boost of energy and helps with all the running things I've already talked about. So why not go for a walk every now and then?

When was the last time you took a good walk?

Do you do more active recovery or more full recovery?

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