Walking on…

May 17, 2008

Bet y’all thought I’d have nothing to say about walking? Well, there is plenty to say, but I’ve been a bit busy.

I’ve headed out a few times during lunch this week and managed some miles walking. It’s definitely a different pace than I’ve been doing. I’m doing 13-14 minute miles, in sort of a not-quite-trot/not-quite-walk gait.

I forgot that this uses a completely different set of muscles. The first day out, my shins hurt a bit, which is pretty common for walking. Its from stretching the shins a bit and foot flex, and will go away in a while. The second day, I mainly worked on using my abs. Oh, I felt like I got a bit more of a workout there than I have in a while! I’m guessing that if I keep this up, I’ll be looking good by next summer.

As I mentioned in my last post, a few years ago, I walked the NYC marathon. As I was preparing for that, some people online mentioned I should go to the NW Annual Race Walking Clinic, put on by Erofit, in Portland Oregon. It was a 2.5 day event, where Phillip Dunn, a member of the 2004 Olympic team, was a guest coach along with a few other very talented walking coaches (Kelly and John). (If anyone is interesting, I have a recap of the retreat somewhere.)

One interesting side note is that although the marathon gets most the attention, the 50K race walk is the longest distance event in the Olympics. And unlike running, the participates are scrutinized by judges almost every step of the way. (Well, maybe the runners are scrutinized too, but there are no rules like the race walkers get.) And, as you can see from reading Phillip’s journal, all this walking really is good cross training for running.

So, although I’ve never become an expert at this, at least I have some knowledge of the sport and what I’m doing. After this first week, I’m still excited by changing to walking. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I try to get some distance work in. (After all, I am still planning to do a marathon in a week.)

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