Is that YOU?
MOST of your walking or running should be completed at a nice comfortable talking pace unless you are doing change-of-pace intervals requiring you to move briskly for various intervals. If you are huffin’ and puffin’ beyond being able to string a few sentences together, then be kind to yourself and SLOW DOWN. If your body is screaming at you to stop because something hurts or you feel terribly sluggish, then you too are likely moving too fast for yourself, and the impact is not agreeing with you. Make sure your shoes are still in good shape, and try a softer surface to relieve the legs. In either case you’re not likely to continue with this walking or running as a lifestyle activity. There’s nothing wrong with slowing down. When you are fitter and more efficient, you will begin to increase your pace when it is natural to do so, and it has to happen gradually. Struggling just doesn’t work. And believe me, it’s my experience MOST people tend to push too hard for themselves. Participants are often shocked at how slowly I like them to go.
Slowing down as a walker means simply that – slow down. Be less aggressive. Adjust your arm swing so that your pace relaxes. If you are a runner, then do slow down in the same way. Likely you should treat yourself and revert to “10-and-ones” or “5-and-ones” in which you alternate a nice shuffle with a one minute walk recovery. If this is still causing you to breathe too hard, then embrace a walking program. Walking is GREAT. Less impact, less chance of injury, fresh air and all the benefits of a running program. You could even consider Nordic Walking IE. walking with poles for the added benefit of a terrific upper body workout.
Stay with it! Just slow down OK?
Lynn Kanuka, SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach