Running Versus Walking

When people start out on their journey to 500 miles a year, they often think that they have to be running their miles. While running is a great form of exercise, it certainly is not for everyone.Some peoples body types are just not well suited for running and for others, they are just not in that kind of shape yet

So what form of exercise is right for you? Are you going to run or walk those miles? Here is a little guidance to help you choose.


A runner on the road.

You see runners all of the time and you might even envy them. They look so fit and conditioned as they effortlessly rack up the miles. While running might be for some, it is not for everyone though.

Pros To Running

The great thing about running is that you can rack up those miles pretty quickly. Running along at a modest pace you can get in 3 miles in well under 30 minutes. This certainly will let you power through your 500 mile a year goal.

Another great thing about running is that it gets your heart rate up higher. You burn more calories during the time that you are doing it and the burn continues well after your workout. Your body will continue burning calories at an accelerated rate for hour after a run.

Lastly, although there is much more, you have the runners high. It is a real thing. That rush of endorphins can keep you feeling good for hours after you run. Having a bad day, just go for a run and your outlook on life can change quickly.

Cons To Running

On the flip side, there are some major cons to running as well.

One of the biggest is the impact on your joints, particularly your knees. Some peoples bodies will just not respond well to running. There is a reason that most of the runners that you see are rail skinny. That is the body type that excels at running.

If you are overweight, have a bodybuilders physique or are just big boned, running can be a problem. It could eventually lead to some major joint pain, so use caution.

In addition, running, because of the increased heart rate, should be taken on cautiously. It is easy to overdo things if you are not cardiovascular conditioned. If you decide to take on running, you should see a doctor first and start off slowly.


A walker on the road.

Most people who take on the 500 mile challenge will do so with walking and that is just fine. You can get a terrific workout walking and it is much easier and less intimidating.

Pros To Walking

The biggest advantage to walking is that it is much easier on the body. You do not have the same impact on the joints that you can get with running which means that just about anybody can start walking right away. If you are extremely overweight or have another health condition however, you should do so under doctor’s supervision and you should take it slow.
Another advantage to simply walking is that it is easier to fit into a day. A run, because of the additional sweating, can be a burden. It must often be followed by an extended cool down period and a shower. That makes it much harder to fit an afternoon run in than it is to fit an afternoon walk in.

Cons To Walking

There really are not too many cons to walking. If I could say anything it would be that it takes just a bit longer to do. It might take you 45 minutes to an hour to walk 3 miles when you could have run it in under 30.

In Conclusion

Whether you decide to walk or run your 500 miles is up to you. Just be sure to take a reasonable look at your situation and conditioning to pick the right choice. It would be much better to choose the walking path and be able to carry on versus taking hte running path only to be discouraged or even become injured.

If you must run and have not done so in some time, take it slow. Use the run-walk method to gradually build up your conditioning. Remember, it is not only your heart that needs to be build strength. All of those little helper muscles, joints and tendons need to get conditioned as well. Going in too fast can have some very big negatives.

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