Walk This Way

Thursday, November 25, 2004



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.

4 comments:

DancingJohn said...

Wouldn't have taken you as a Red Snapper fan. Cool Jazzfunkbiscuits - montagetastic!

Other motivational running tracks that you should rip onto the minidisc:

1. Keep on Running - Steve Winwood
2. Run Run Run - Velvet Underground
3. Running Free - Iron Maiden
4. Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden
5. Run Rabbit Run - Unknown
6. Anything by Run DMC
7. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
8. Band on the Run - Wings, and of course

9. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor

SwissToni said...

good iron maiden call, dancing john...

I usually find hard rock makes me run faster. I'd recommend the Queens of the Stoneage or the Foo Fighters particularly....

Mind you, anything to take your mind off the tedium is good, and I have even run (possibly in a rather fey way) to Belle & Sebastian. I do a sort of "next song" thing, where you grit your teeth, focus on the song playing, and reckon that by the end of it, you will be another 3 or 4 minutes closer to finishing.

Exercise is such fun, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

What about good old Del (boy) Shannon's hit in 1961??---

"I'm a-walkin' in the rain
Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain,
Wishin' you were here by me,
To end this misery
And I wonder--
I wah-wah-wah-wah-wonder,
Why,
Why, why, why, why, why"-----

bla bla bla

My Little Runaway--a run, run, run, run runaway!!wowo

John said...

Can we organise to have a lock put on the sherry cabinet?