Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Walking Vs Running

Speeding to Injury 

In the late seventies, I read a book about running: “The Complete Book of Running” by James Fixx. He instantly became my Idol.

After finishing the book, I went to a store and bought an $80 pair of Adidas running shoes. At the time, that was a lot of money, but it was worth it.

I started running 1 mile, then 2 then 3. I slowly increased my speed to where I could run a mile in less than 6 minutes (if the wind was at my back :) )

My goal was to run a marathon. I increased the distance to where I ran 6 miles which I did a few times but my knees would get so sore I would have to stop running for a while. Then I would start over and the same cycle repeated itself and I would end up having to stop running again.

And every time I had to stop for a while it would be a mental battle to start running again; but I would do it until I reached a decent distance and then I would need to stop to recuperate from injuries.

In 1984 my idol died while running… this was a real shock. James was only 52 years old.

Burning Calories

Running versus walking: If only for the risk of injury, walking wins by a land slide. However, if you do some research on this debate you’ll read that the best of the two options to lose weight is running. I disagree…

In one of the research I read, and this is common, it refers to a simple calorie burning count for each exercise.

For example, at my weight, running at 5 mph I would burn about 750 calories an hour. While walking at a 3.5 mph pace I would burn 390 calories an hour.

This comparison only takes in consideration the time spent doing the activity. So it would be true if my choice was to run for one hour vs walk for one hour.

In my case if I were to run or walk 2.5 miles, walking would win. If I ran, I would run about 5 times a week because I need time to recuperate. And let’s say I can run 2.5 Miles at 5 mph. Per week, I would have burned 750 calories divide by 2 (5 mph / 2.5 Miles) multiply by 5. Total calories burned for the week: 1875

When walking, I walk 7 times a week. So for the same distance, now the formula would be 390 calories divided by 1.43 (3.5 mph / 2.5 MIles) multiply by 7. Total calories burned for the week: 1909

Walking wins again!

Mentally insane

From personal experience, starting to train for running is a constant battle. While running I’m always questioning myself, am I running too fast? Am I out of breath? Should I walk for a while? Can I reach the next mail box?

I don’t enjoy my surrounding; I don’t wave, talk or acknowledge anyone that I might come across. This is rough and that stage lasts about 4 weeks. It’s like hitting a wall.

After 4 weeks, you know yourself well enough to run at your most efficient pace but then you shift your focus to: should I take a break tomorrow? Can I increase my pace or the distance and by how much?

After 6 months of running and having to stop because you are hurt and can’t go on a run, you are frustrated and promise yourself that next time you’ll do better. Sure!

This week during my walk I came across a group of people and I stopped and talked with them. Since I started my daily walk, I have been waving to neighbours and pet a dog or two.

I also look at my surrounding, there are so many things to see when you are not in a rush and constantly looking at your stop watch, aren’t there?

I even take time to think while I walk… the mentally insane section of this post comes directly from my last walk.

If you didn’t keep score: Walking 3 - Running 0

Choice will vary from person to person but the main thing is: Let’s get out and move.


  1. I love walking so much! I'll listen to music and just walk and walk and walk with the beat until I'm in the middle of nowhere and it's time to turn back if I want to avoid a heat stroke. :)

    - WWE

  2. Dear WWE, keep it up, but be careful around the snow banks!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing this post. I doubt I'll ultimately choose running over walking - I love to walk way too much!