The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Walking an ultramarathon

I'm still taking it slow as my knee recovers and I wait for my doctors appointment. Here's my revelation though. Last weekend, I was taking a walk with my wife, who walks much faster than I do. Being the geek that I am, I had my GPS with me and started timing how fast she walked. Without me slowing her down, she was moving at 14 minute miles--not bad for a stroll!

So, I looked up some information on powerwalking (aka fitness walking or race walking) and took a shot at walking 5 miles today. Here was the cool part--no ITB pain. Not only that, but be modifying my form, I was able to move pretty regularly at 12 to 13 minute miles and elevate my heart rate to 70%-75% of max (yes, I really am that much of a geek). This is important because maintaining a heart rate of 70%-80% will yield some aerobic benefits (i.e. keep me from getting out of shape) and even 13 minute miles are plenty fast enough to finish a 50 mile run under the cut off. In fact, to make the cut off I only need to do 15 minute miles.

Don't get me wrong. I like to run and would like to finish the race well under the cut off, but I would rather go slow than injure myself. I think it also highlights the important point that walking is an important part of completing an ultramarathon and warrants, perhaps, practice in itself. I think walking gets a bad wrap despite its usefulness in terms of recovery, pacing, injury prevention, and just getting across the finish line. For more information about walking check the links below:

Walk the Walk from Trailrunner Magazine

Walk Breaks? from Jeff Galloway, the guru of walking/running

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