The power of walking

Cross-training and recovery just became a walk in the park…

Never underestimate the power of a good walk – and not just as a mid-run break. ‘Going for a “pure walk” – no running at all – allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips,’ explains coach Jeff Galloway. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance and give your joints and muscles a break, which can eliminate the aches and pains caused by running. Here are Galloway’s tips on how to add walks to your routine.

Give thought to your form

Most people find an upright posture to be the most comfortable and natural way of walking. Take short steps to avoid overstriding, which can cause aches and pains in your legs, feet and hips. Keep your feet low to the ground and step lightly.

Speed things up

Walking on your non-run days is an efficient way of burning fat and increasing blood flow to aid recovery. On cross-training days, walk for 30-60 minutes continuously or do five- to 10-minute segments throughout the day. Keep the pace quick, but not so demanding you’d struggle to hold a conversation.

Walk on a run day

When you’re subsituting a walk for a run, take the number of minutes you would have run and double it. So, if you were going to do 30 minutes of running, walk for 60 minutes. You don’t have to complete the workout all at once – you can break it into two: going out in the morning, say, then again in the evening.

Take the scenic route

The more varied your route, the better workout you’ll get. If weather permits, walk a few hills or do several reps of stairs. When it’s too cold or wet outside, stairwells are great venues for exercise. Try to do a few flights a day, several times when possible, to build your leg strength.

If you're a women and you liked this article, why not check out our Women's Running channel

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Discuss this article

I hadn't contemplated putting walking into my week. I shall make some effort to.

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 15:07

the article could use a bit of spelling and grammar checking.

"if you're a women..."   


Posted: 04/09/2013 at 15:25

"Most people find an upright posture to be the most comfortable and natural way of walking."

No shit Sherlock

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 19:09

Two things -

  1. article seems to assume only women walk.
  2. why not point us to a schedule for power walking as there's nothing on the women's channel anyway?

As an injured runner, I can walk, but need a schedule to aim at please.

Posted: 09/09/2013 at 09:36

I have just startted running at the age of 69, taking the RW advice to walk/run initially.  I have taken a month to get up to 4 minutes in 20 minutes of walking.  Has anyone else any experience of running in later years?  I would be interested, good or bad.

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 10:48

Actually I'm a women, and we both enjoy a brisk walk.

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 11:47

Ive lost a lot of weight and my plan is described here.
works 100%. Im happy.

Posted: 05/04/2016 at 15:15

Never really considered walking as a good alternative to running. Thank you for this article. It will be really helpful in those days I will need to recover energy from an intense workout, without renouncing training.

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 12:54

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