A lot of people discount the amazing benefits that can be gained from a focused, purposeful walk. While all of us here at Charge love running, we want everyone, regardless of level, to get out there and MOVE. As professional running coaches we know A LOT about running, but we also know that walking counts as great aerobic exercise and that movement is what matters most, not the speed and intensity of that movement!
Charge Running has taken this belief in the power of walking to the next level by offering 7+ live, absolutely FREE, walking classes throughout the week. Our Charge MOVE program features our best running coaches guiding athletes through a structured 20-35 minute walking program to build aerobic fitness safely and effectively.
If you are looking to just get started on your own however, here are simple ways to take any of Charge's live running classes and customize them into an effective walking workout.
1. WARM UP:
Make sure to stretch it out just like you would for any other form of workout. It doesn’t have to be long to pack an injury-prevention punch. Just 2 minutes of dynamic stretches, jumping jacks, toe touches, arm circle, etc., can warm up your major and minor muscle groups quickly and easily. Any sustained movement that produces muscular fatigue should be started with a warm up.
2. START OUT SLOW:
The same basic principles relate to both walking and running, you can’t and shouldn't go from 0-60 in the blink of an eye. Start with a regular, everyday walking effort for the first 2 minutes. Gradually build the intensity and speed of your walk. Introduce "power walking" segments and increase each segment by 1 minute until you feel comfortable at the higher intensity walk. Before you know it your stamina will grow and what once was difficult will be a literal walk in the park!
3. PUT SOME EFFORT INTO IT:
Set your watch timer (or listen into a Charge class) to be cued to walk faster bit by bit. Mechanical cues from yourself or a coach will help you use your arm-swing to pump up the pace, help increase your stride frequency and length, etc. as you improve pace and intensity. You'll never feel like you not going "fast enough" as all of our classes are based on an individual effort scale versus dictating pace per mile. Our effort scale can be understood as a sliding scale of 1 - 10 or based on a percentage of your maximum best effort on that given day/time (that means ALL OUT).
Level 1 = 30-40% of your maximum best effort
Level 2 = 50-60% of your maximum best effort
Level 3 = 70-80% of your maximum best effort
You can scale your walk efforts based on the same effort scale and work up a great sweat without the impact that running places on muscles, joints and bodies generally.
4. COOL DOWN:
Even thought people will say "it’s just walking" and there's no need for a cool down, that's simply not accurate. After you're done with an effort-based walk you need to gradually bring the heart rate down and give yourself some downtime to return to more of a normal rest state. Pulling back the effort bit by bit and mimicking the pacing you did in the warm up will insure that your muscles don’t stop cold turkey and will also reduce the chance for soreness long after you've hit that stop button.
If you're looking for some additional guidance, consistency, and accountability for your walking plan? You can view and utilize the Charge 6-Week MOVE Plan below:
Still need more guidance, motivation, and some extra help to reach your goals? Consider our Private Coaching program. We'll gladly help reach any of your fitness, health, and wellness goals!