Sunday, August 23, 2015

A long training walk

Today ordinarily would have been a long run day, but since I decided to walk the half instead, I made today a "long walk" day. When I trained to walk the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon in 2009 and 2010, I used Hal Higdon's half-marathon walking program. It consists of five days a week of walking, including one long walk on the weekends.

I didn't realize until just now that I actually miscalculated which week I would be on in the program. I was thinking I would be in week five, but it should actually have been week four. So, I thought the schedule was for a six-mile walk today, when in actuality, it was a five-miler. Oh, well! Might as well go that extra mile ;)

I'm not following the program really strictly, but I want to at least have some sort of guideline as to where I should be as far as training goes. Each night after dinner all week, Jerry and I (and the kids) have gone for a walk around the neighborhood. This morning, my plan was to walk six miles while the kids were at church.

Normally, when thinking about how much time I'd need to get it done, I just figure a rough 10:00/mile pace. So, 6 miles = 60 minutes (easy peasy). But I had no idea how much time to calculate for walking, and I just guessed it would take me about two hours (double the time to run it). I had the same trouble when riding my bike--I'm so used to running that I have no clue how to time things when doing other activities.

Even though Joey is a pain to walk on a leash (he pulls and zig-zags like crazy--typical dog behavior, I guess), I would have felt horribly guilty going for a walk without him, so I brought him along. I also don't normally use headphones when running, but while walking I do, so I listened to The Moth podcast while I walked.

First, we took the long way to get to the access road/marsh in front of our house, and once we got there, I was able to let Joey off his leash. He was so good! Normally, when I take him there, it's just for him to play and run around (which totally wears him out); today, I was on a mission to walk, and he ran around but still stayed pretty close to me.


That path you see behind me used to be as wide as a road (it actually IS a road, that is opened only for emergencies). I've watched it get narrower and narrower all summer as everything gets overgrown.



Joey had a blast. I continued to walk while he ran all around me, jumping into and out of the water. When we hit the end of the access road, he let me put his leash back on without any problem. Sometimes I'm just amazed at what a great dog he is!

I walked him back to the house, which was at mile 3.2, so that I could do the last three miles alone and try to keep a good pace. I wore my heart rate monitor, because I was curious how many calories I would burn walking versus running. The first three miles that I did with Joey, my heart rate was between 107 and 116 beats per minute--not very high at all (on a run, it's typically in the 150's). I burned 78, 90, and 87 calories.

Once I started walking by myself, it was much easier to pick up the pace. I did a loop past my parents' house along the lake, and even though the water was a little choppy, it was gorgeous.


My heart rate was a little higher for the last three miles, at 125, 128, and 132 bpm; and calories burned were 95, 93, and 100. I was walking pretty fast, as fast as I comfortably could, so I don't know how I would get my heart rate up higher than that while walking. Lately, when running, I've been burning about 110 calories per mile, so I was happy with the calories burned during walking. Granted, I was out walking much longer than I would have been if I had been running. But I really enjoyed it!



16 comments:

  1. What would the link be for your food log Instagram? Love your blog :)

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    1. Thank you! The only Instagram I have right now is my @runsforcookies one. I used to have a food log one, but I deleted it recently.

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  2. I know that you are now super familiar with different paths that you can take that are various miles, and it's probably pretty easy now for you to figure out where you're going to do you run (and now walk) each day. But when you first started running, how did you figure out what paths to use, and how far they were? I'm interested in possibly walking (and maybe later, running) a half marathon, and I'm not even sure where to go besides my neighborhood.

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    1. I started by venturing a little farther from home each time. I live on a peninsula, so I don't have a lot of options from home, but basically I would just run in one direction until I reach the halfway point and then turn around and run back (an out-and-back route). When I'm out driving somewhere, I tend to pay attention to whether there are sidewalks or bike paths around, and I make a mental note to look up a path when I get home. An awesome app called Footpath is great for mapping out routes (I use that when I travel and need a route). You should definitely walk a half! It's a great goal. Best wishes!

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    2. Try mapmywalkcom. You can planout a route and it will give you the distance. There are also public walks. You have to join to use it, but it's free.

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    3. Endomondo is another program that lets you plan a route using the GPS maps (basically Google maps). I have about 10 routes all over my neighborhood with varying lengths depending on how far I need to go. It's also free (upgrade available) and compatible with Fitbit and MyFitnessPal. Good luck!

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  3. Running all over and zig-zagging is not typical dog behavior for an on leash walk. You should verbally scold him for not behaving and restrict how much leash he has when he is misbehaving. When my dog pulls, I give a sharp tug back on the leash (she is on a harness, so it does not hurt her neck), and say 'NO' sternly. After that, I hold her leash about halfway down the leash, so she has less lead to use to explore. I keep her close to me for a while, and then she can try again to walk on the full length of her lead without pulling or getting in my way. She's a pro now and I run with her attached to my Fuelbelt. No more pulling or sharp jolts. It might be worth trying something like this with Joey or ask for advice at his training class. Don't tolerate pulling - you shouldn't have to!

    I apologize if this comes across as 'preachy'. I know having a dog is relatively new for you and I want to help. :) Walks on leash should be easy and enjoyable for both you and Joey.

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    1. I wish it was that simple with Joey! We did obedience classes, which were great, but he still didn't do well on a leash. We tried saying "no" and changing direction (a popular method I've read about online), but we just spend the whole walk saying "no" and pulling him back... Which isn't enjoyable for anyone. We had been using a no-pull harness, but recently, I noticed under his arms were red from the harness rubbing there, so we can't use that. I've also tried a "gentle leader" head collar, and he despises it. He'll just scratch at it until it comes off. He's an angel when he's off leash! I keep hoping as he gets older, it'll get easier to walk him on the leash. I haven't tried restricting how much leash he has for a while after he pulls, like you described, so I will give that a try today! Thanks :)

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  4. Congratulations on your weight loss. You are an inspiration.

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  5. Hey, I did 6 miles yesterday in 1:35 too :) Mine we on a treadmill while watching a terrible movie (Lovelace) - yours looked much more fun :) Love the pictures! joey is the cutest!

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  6. In regards to upping your heart-rate while walking, you could try ankle and wrist weights! I was honestly amazed at how much harder I had to work to maintain my pace with just a few pounds. Not to mention how amazing my legs looked after doing that for a while! :)

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    1. Be careful with ankle weights... http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/ankle-weights/faq-20058222

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  7. Could you find the occasional hill to get your HR up? Or stairs?
    Sounds like a great walk! I've been opting for walking a lot more than running this summer (kinda burnt out on the running), and it has definitely helped me lose weight because I can walk for 2 hours per day, most days of the week, while with running I'd only run for 30 min a couple times per week and then maybe one longer run, so I burn more calories each week by focusing on walking a ton.

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  8. I'm always amazed at how quickly you walk. Your "slow" miles with Joey are my fast walk pace, and your faster miles are just about my current running pace, lol! Sometimes when I'm running and see my pace on my Garmin, I actually think to myself, "Better pick it up--Katie could walk right by you!" A little friendly imaginary competition, if you will ;)

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  9. I have read what you seemed to experience - that you burn about the same amount of calories per mile no matter if you are walking or running... it's just that it takes you longer to burn them when you're walking! :)

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