Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Am I Still a Runner If I Have to Walk?

Good afternoon friends! How's the weather in your neck of the woods? We're getting lots of rain here in Central California, which we desperately need! 

Today I'd like to talk about something that has been on my mind for some time now: walking while out on a run or during a race.

When I first started running I couldn't even imagine running a whole mile without a walk break. Once I finally pushed myself (thanks to my husband) to run an entire mile without walking, I felt like I had finally become a runner. As time went on I pushed myself and was able to run 5 miles without stopping. I had this weird way of thinking that if I stopped and walked, I couldn't say I ran such & such miles. I had to say I ran 2 miles, walked a quarter mile then ran the rest. Why did I think this way? I'm not exactly sure, but I felt this way up until recently.

Training for my first half has been tough! I'm not going to lie. With a year full of running related injuries caused by my stubbornness, it's been difficult getting my miles back up. Thankfully I'm going about it a lot smarter this time with a personal trainer helping me to strength train and me spending time foam rolling through out the week and most importantly, listening to my body! I have finally broken the 5 mile point and ran 6 miles on Monday! I went in not sure if I'd even do 3 miles but at about 4 miles I decided to take a break and walk for about a quarter of a mile and see how I felt afterwards.

That walk break changed the way I view walking while out on a run or during a race. Giving my body a small break helped give me a boost to finish 6 miles. I didn't stop moving, I didn't go home then run 2 miles later in the day. I ran 6 miles with a quarter mile walk break that didn't hurt my training one bit. It actually helped!

I want to be able to run 13.1 miles nonstop, and I know I am capable, but if I have to walk at some point to retain some energy in order to finish strong, I'll do so without feeling like a failure or "not a runner".

So what makes me a runner?

*The moment I decided to lace up my shoes and head out the door*
*The drive I have inside of me to finish what I started*
*The desire to push myself beyond my limits*
*The wisdom to listen to my body and allow it rest when needed in order to press on*
*The LOVE of the sport*

Side note: I never saw other runners as "non runners" if they chose to do walk/run intervals or have to walk while out running. This was just a weird way of thinking I had set up in my own mind for myself. What matters is that you keep moving forward. :-) 


  1. Great post! Walking is an important part of my running and I still use intervals on long runs. I feel like it's helpful to me to be able to go the distance and also to stay healthy. Walking is still moving forward :)

    1. Exactly! Walking is still moving forward!
      I never thought of anyone else as "not a runner" if they walk during a run. It was something I set in my mind as a personal "bar of achievement" so to speak. And if I walked, I felt like it interrupted the total miles. Silly, I know. ;-)

  2. I know I'm going to have to walk when I first start back up.

    1. There's nothing wrong with needing to walk. :-) I just had it set in my mind that if I walked, I wasn't actually running the finished miles.. Weird, I know. But I'm so glad I have changed my mind about walking because it definitely helps retain energy to keep moving forward!


I enjoy hearing from everyone so please, leave a comment!