Following the success of rocksercise with the Kings of Leon on Monday night, I’ve started taking my mini disc player out on my morning run. I find the running pretty boring (even though it lasts less than 8 minutes), so having some music along really helps – plus you get to feel like you’re part of a BBC Sport montage.
As for the progress of the overall challenge - plans are afoot to get the 20km walk out of the way before Christmas. A colleague from work told me he had heard speed walking described at the Sydney Olympics as being like “a contest to see who could whisper the loudest”, which seems about right to me. A great debate is raging at the moment about just how much actual speed walking needs to be done in the course of the 20km walk – I’m all for trying it out, but the truth is that it hurts like hell.
Several nights ago, on my way home from work, I found myself walking down a badly lit side street and decided my chance had come; I tried to break into a speed walk. Firstly, it’s an incredibly unnatural action, and it took some powerful concentration to get my body to do it at all. Secondly, once I did convince my brain that no one was looking and that it really was OK to just speed walk, I made it about 20 yards before my body itself registered a complaint.
My shins began screaming at me – presumably trying to remind me that I have some comparatively enormous muscles in my thighs that are much better suited to propulsion. They really didn’t like it one little bit. I had to stop.
I walked on (at my normal pace) and realised there was a third issue; I was moving faster when walking normally than I had been when speed walking.
I’ve checked the rules, and all they say is that some part of your body must remain in contact with the ground at all times. Your leading foot must hit the ground before your trailing foot lifts off. In the words of countless schoolteachers down the ages therefore, “Walk! Don’t Run!”
I know there’s an issue here of entering into the spirit of things, and I do intend to give speed walking as much of a go as my startlingly ill-adapted calf muscles will allow, but I’m not going to feel too guilty if I have to crank it down to a brisk stroll in order to complete the distance. In accordance with the rules, I will walk – but there’s nothing in there to say that I have to look like a panicked duck in the process.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Posted by John McClure at 9:57 am