Walking is hard. Really. I'm not referring to a casual stroll around the mall, or walking through the city. I'm talking about walking with a purpose. Whether powering up a hill or taking a walk break during an ultra event, the demands that walking puts on your body are drastically different than what a runner is accustomed to.
I, for one, SUCK at walking for exercise. Just last night, I was doing quarter mile hill repeats on my treadmill. I was OK at 5 and 10% inclines, but once I upped it to 15% I had to revert to a slow jogging shuffle. I even found myself slouching. Urgh. I'd like to be able to say that my walking deficiencies are due to my itty-bitty legs, but chances are it's really just a matter of technique.
So today finds me trolling the internet, running Google searches on Powerwalking, Speedwalking and Racewalking. And since I know that I've been beaten at races by people proficient in Racewalking, I've decided to concentrate my efforts on that skill set.
While I don't intend to compete, or to become proficient enough that my technique will pass muster with judges - it is my hope to learn how to more efficiently cover ultra distances without beating my body to death :)
So if you pass me on the trails or in the park and I'm walking, don't worry! There is no need to offer encouragement or to nudge me on my way. I'm not walking because I can't run. I'm walking so that I can run further. Longer. Stronger.
The Walking Site