Sometimes people think walking during a race is an admission of defeat. It means you failed. It means you did not give it your best. Walking is a sign of weakness. You look around you, no-one is walking, how dare you be the first to show weakness. Well, it may seem counterintuitive but it seems to be the opinion of some coaches that taking a walking break can in fact give you a faster time. Here’s a couple of situations you may want to consider taking a brisk walk.
#1 You Struggle With Eating And Drinking
Fuelling yourself whilst running is an art. Sometimes we spill over too much fluid. Sometimes we drop a gel or two. As you fumble around with cups and what not, this may cause a hike in your heart rate. Instead, stop and brisk walk at a water station. Wait till you’ve down all your fluids and chews and gels before getting back into your running rhythm.
#2 The Course Has Steep Climbs
It may be a better idea to hike up steep climbs. Tackling the steep sections at the same effort and rate will cause your heart to spike and will cause exhaustion. It will push you over your lactate threshold. So, hike up the steep sections as to maintain your heart rate the same.
#3 It’s A Hot Day
If the weather is sweltering, the heat can cause exhaustion – faster and easier. To prevent this, walking and running in intervals can help regulate core temperature. This gives your body an opportunity to cool down. Take this cache to grab a wet sponge and cool yourself down! Remember, overheating can be cost you your race!
#4 Your Training Hasn’t Been Well
So your training has been subpar? Sometimes life gets in the way and we missed a couple of training sessions. You can walk end to end of the fuel stations to make sure you get your breath in and ensure your breathing doesn’t go out of control. It can help you cover the distance more comfortably and also help prevent injury. Another option is to run 9 minutes and walk 1 minutes to cover the distance.