Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running vs. Walking

This morning I covered ~4 miles by feet, of which only 1.25 mile was running. In addition to being easier on my knee, the slower pace of walking allows me to enjoy the world around me in a new and different way, but it takes *forever* to cover the distance.

When I got home, I decided to do a little research about the benefits/disadvantages of running vs. walking. This is what I've discovered:

1) From a calories burned perspective, logging miles makes a lot of sense. It doesn't matter if you run a mile or walk a mile, it takes the same energy either way. But since running is faster, walking requires a larger time investment to burn an equivalent number of calories. It's doable, just takes longer.

2) Walking does help with cardio fitness, but not as much as running. That's because normal walking doesn't usually raise one's heart rate to the optimal training zone. Brisk walking and/or hilly terrain, however, may help.

3) Running has 3-4 times the impact on your bones and joints than walking. That means running has a higher risk of injury. It's also why it bothers my knee more. But on the flip side, the higher stress on the body from running has a bigger benefit toward building/maintaining bone density.

After digesting all that I've learned today, I'm beginning to think that a good compromise may be either a structured easy run/walk (Galloway-style) or race-walking (which I'm really not too interested in).

And with that, I'm off to learn more about the Galloway method...


  1. I use the Galloway method, not that I'm much of an ad for it! But i havn't been injured for over 2 years (crosses fingers, touches wood)

  2. I walk sometimes but find that it takes forever to finish the distance. I just get impatient.
    Thanks for the nuun suggestion. I will look into that.

  3. my mom has walked for years and years. I think it is a great exercise. I appllaud you for educating yourself so you make the choice that is right for you.

  4. I'm in agreement that I get frustrated with walking because it takes so long, but I also find the Galloway method difficult because I loose my running form when I walk, then I find it difficult to start running again (I'm not even that good at walking through water stops).

    Of course, that might be because I'm doing it wrong.

  5. I don't officially follow the Galloway method now, I just walk when I feel like it, but I still think that it is a great idea!

    Incidentally, there's some good articles over at Runner's World on the amount of calories spent walking versus running, if you are interested...

  6. I sort of follow Galloway. It has definitely has sped up my running.

    I don't mind walking if it isn't hot/humid.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    I take walk breaks on some of my training runs during the week if I need to. I think that it helps me to walk. Good for you for keeping active:) I think the Galloway method might just be the ticket for you! Stay positve:)

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  9. I've heard of the galloway method in a podcast recently and it sounds like a very good compromise to me. Keep on walking/running. :-)

  10. I actually used the Galloway style to learn how to run. I even have one of his books signed by him - he came to one of our running clinics.

  11. I have been doing a run/walk while in recovery and I am LOVING it!