Walking While Running

2 Aug

When running alone, it is easy– you just start to walk. No one cares. No one notices. And, you aren’t embarrassed. That, my friend, is why I like running alone. When I run alone, I can walk anytime I want. My mind masterfully talks me into all the reasons why I should walk. I think that I may even have my most creative moments when running alone. Anything from loose gravel to humidity can give reason to slow my strides.


The problems begin when I run with people. But, since I do like to occasionally take a stroll, I have developed several strategies for including walking on a group run.


1. Ask Short Questions- Early in the run, ask a decent runner with you questions like “What’s new in life?” Or, “Tell me about the Presidential Race.” Or, “What’s on your weekly grocery list?” Something short for you, but long for them. If they answer the question, it will surely cause a cramp and then they will suggest walking.


2. Get Lost- Ask to be the lead runner and then take people on a new path, that no one knows. Get lost. Get so lost that you have to stop and check the maps on your iPhone. This will even go beyond a walk and into a full out stop.


3. Fake an Injury- This can be as simple as a leg cramp to a full on fall into someone’s hedges.


4. Listen- Someone in your group wants to walk too. Listen closely to people breathing. When you find the weak link, run close to them, loudly proclaim your pity for the struggling athlete, and plead with the group to slow down for this poor runner. Then, you can be the servant hero that is willing to walk with them while the other continue.


5. Make it a Game- Call it sprint/walk. Light poles are excellent for this. Find a light pole and ask people to pick it up a little until the next pole, then you will walk the next three. The key to this is to not sprint but maintain your speed. Everyone else will run hard and you can affirm them for their speed as a sprinter while you explain to them that you are “more of a distance guy.”



What are your creative walking ideas?


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