In the great debate of running vs walking, is there one clear cut winner for which is the better activity?
As a fitness professional, I receive questions daily regarding this topic.
Here are just a few of the usuals:
Getting started on any new exercise program can be a daunting task.
It is okay to ask for help.
Actually, asking for help is a sign of strength and awareness.
Whether you are a beginning runner, starting for the very first time, or if you've had a bit of a hiatus, and are getting back into it, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing running vs walking.
One mistake that I see often is the tendency for new runners to feel the need to see marked improvement every single day.
Usually, this is seen in their feelings of disappointment when they check their watch, and they don't see a better time than the one they had for the run the day before.
It is easy to see how, if the focus here becomes too strong, that this type of discouragement can lead to a lack of enjoyment in pursuit of an activity that can be so rewarding.
Whether it is weight training, swimming, running, yoga, meditation, rucking, or any other activity, learn to celebrate the small wins.
Those small wins can, and often do, happen daily.
When they're happening daily, that's consistency.
And, consistency of good habits, leads to progress.
What happens when you miss a day, or if you break from routine?
Don't beat yourself up about it.
Just as one great workout doesn't carry you across the finish line of achievement of all of your goals, neither will one bad (or missed) workout prevent that from becoming a reality in the future.
Remind yourself of your "why" and the importance of your goals. Then, recommit to the good habits that are helping you to get there, no matter running vs walking.
There is no shame in walking.
Maybe it doesn't provide the pace that you have, or had, in mind. That can, and will, come later, as pace-specific training should eventually be part of your overall program design.
However, it is providing benefit. Do keep that in mind.
Your muscles, connective tissue, and cardiorespiratory system are all benefitting from what may seem like a basic activity.
That activity is helping to build a base from which you can progress.
And, the benefit you receive from walking far exceeds the lack of benefit you'd experience if you'd chosen to sit on the couch instead.
You've heard of steady-state training, where your goal might include running for a specific distance or time.
Imagine that time goal is 60 minutes, yet your current fitness level might not let you reach that goal comfortably.
And, let's say that you're able to tough it out, but your running form breaks down by the time you reach 30 minutes.
Is that second 30 minutes going to be beneficial for you? Or, is the lack of quality in your running form going to cause more harm than good?
Where that is the case, we've often designed programs that incorporate heart-rate intervals, where the periods in-between sets (of running) involve walking recovery, usually to a specific heart-rate.
In this sort of running program design, the time goal can be achieved, while improving the amount of time spent with good running form, rather than with dysfunctional movement patterns that often lead to injury.
No matter how much I've enjoyed running, there are some days when I just don't want to do it.
You may have experienced similar days.
Some days it is because of aches and pains. Other days, the weather isn't cooperating.
Could we say that that is all inconsequential? Sure.
Would giving in to those excuses, especially on a consistent basis, work against our ability to achieve our goals? Yes.
That's why it can be important to remind ourselves that we can remain committed to our goals, while being flexible in the path that we each take to get to them.
Rucking is, essentially, moving with weight.
A mainstay in military training, it can be of great use to civilian and athletic populations, too.
We especially enjoy, that when working out in groups, it can allow everyone to move together at similar, walking pace (though you can mix in some good running with them on, too!)
Where those new to rucking might normally begin with a suggested 20lbs. in their rucksack, those who are normally faster might choose to add weight.
What happens while rucking?
While moving with friends, you'll be able to enjoy great conversation and each other's company.
However, it provides so much more than just that, especially when done consistently.
Here's some of what you'll enjoy while rucking:
In the debate of running vs walking, we choose both. We do so while also choosing rucking.
While you can get started today with any old backpack, you'd be doing yourself a disservice in not exploring the selection of rucksacks that GORUCK has to offer.
Recommended Reading: Our best rucksack article is a great place to get started on choosing yours.
Test one versus the other, and you'll probably notice that the GORUCK option carries weight far more comfortably, the weight remains more stabile (with compartments suited well for GORUCK Ruck Plates; or for your laptop), and being military-grade, they'll last forever. They're that durable (and backed by the Scars Lifetime Guarantee).
"Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence." ~ Jay Bilas