Monday, March 31, 2014

Time on Your Feet

There are days when you might just not have a run in you -- perhaps you are just not feeling 100 percent physically, you had an exhausting day at work, or you are emotionally zapped.  Whatever the reason, it is really okay to take a day off from running.  When you experience one of these "I just don't have the energy to run" days, try taking a 45 to 60 minute brisk walk instead.

You see, one of the major factors in running a marathon is what I call "time on your feet."  If your goal is simply to finish a marathon (without a specific time goal), time on your feet, not total miles covered, is of paramount importance.  Sometimes, I give my newbies a training schedule with daily and weekly time goals instead of mileage goals.

Although I have completed 29 marathons, I must admit that I have not trained properly for at least a handful of them.  However, as an exercise physiologist and personal trainer,  I am on my feet six to ten hours each day.  My Garmin Vivofit Activity Tracker shows that I cover at least three miles per day in the gym while training my clients -- clearly, this almost daily time on my feet has contributed to my sustained muscle endurance during my under trained marathons. 

The primary muscle groups are the same for both walking and running.  So, even though you are not working as intensely when walking versus running, you are clearly deriving some benefits.  So, just remember, if you are feeling a bit "off," your high tech running shoes will serve you just fine on that long, brisk walk -- just keep on moving!