Although some runners may hang their heads when they have to start walking, there is no need to do so. Normal walking speed for a fit individual is between 3 and 5Km/h while Fitness or Power Walkers can reach speeds between 5 and 9 Km/h at the upper range of the natural gait limits and is almost equally efficient as jogging and less impactful on the joints.
Over-striding and exaggerated arm movements are common among walkers who press for speed and if left unchecked may result in physical fatigue and or injury.
Walking poles will reduce the impact on the knees and maintain a good arm swing technique however they will also increase your total energy expenditure. So if your cardiovascular system is at its limits then poles might not be all that helpful.
10K Walking Tips
1. Stay hydrated – carry a water bottle in a fanny pack.
2. It’s OK to take a break – plan a couple of walk and bathroom breaks en route.
3. Avoid leaning – flatten your back and tilt your pelvis forward to avoid back pain.
4. To go faster – take smaller faster steps and push off with your toes.
5. Breathing – walk fast enough to increase your breathing without being out of breath.
6. Stretch – most walkers overlook stretching.
Tilman von der Linde, RMT.
Muscles in Motion – Vancouver