When I first began running I followed a run/walk plan. At the beginning it was basically run until I felt like I couldn’t anymore, and then walk for a few minutes. Repeat until I was done. As my running progressed, I saw myself walking less and less … however when I trained for my very first marathon I always integrated walking into my long training runs. I would run 20 mins, walk for 2 or run 10 mins and walk for 1 for the duration of my long run.
As I approached the day of my first marathon I was really nervous, and decided that I would set my watch to beep every 10 minutes so that I knew I could take a 1 min walk break. The relief of that conceptual walk break calmed my nerves and made the marathon seem much more approachable. I never ended up taking those 1 minute breaks, but every 10 minutes I would have a little party in my head knowing that I could walk if I wanted.
As a coach, I always progress new runners into distance running with run/walk plans.
So when New Balance asked me to join them at the Bronx Botanical Gardens for an evening highlighting Good Form Walking … I was excited! I am pretty knowledgeable about running form, but walking form as it turns out is a whole other beast.
- Find you stride length by noticing when your posture changes. A long stride will cause you to lean back and a short stride will cause you to lean forward. Stay neutral.
- Maintain bent knees. Never kick your legs out to take a big step.
- Softly, lightly land on your heel and rock forward to the toes.
- Complete opposite of running, where you want to focus on landing on your mid foot.
- Keep your biceps soft and arms gently bent
- Reach deep into your core muscles to help you maintain the upright posture. Don’t allow your stomach to soften as you walk.
- When you need a reset, reach to sky. Putting your hand straight up in the air will bring your posture to the correct place that you should maintain when you bring your arms back down
Once we learned the principals of Good Form Walking we went on a most beautiful stroll around the Botanical Gardens
I noticed how walking with the different strike method allowed me to focus on firing my glutes. If you were to use walk breaks in your running, making sure that you are walking correctly (with the 3 principals above) will give your running muscles the much needed break. Running tends to be a quad dominant sport … doses of Gluteus Maximus usage is great for balancing yourself out and taking a break on the tired fatigued quads.
Thank you to New Balance for the AMAZING evening, the shoes and the adorable clothing. Love it when I match the flowers