First off, If you love to run long distance and/or go for long walks, I believe you should continue to do so. If something makes you feel good, and you truly enjoy the process, I would never recommend to stop; I would only recommend that you supplement that activity with some strength training, foam rolling, and stretching in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself, which is highly likely with that type of training. However, thinking that long distance running and walking is going to lead you to the body of your dreams is wishful thinking. It is quite rare to hear of someone looking for the emaciated marathon runner look, so why would you train like one? Sure you can burn a boat-load of calories by running for an hour straight, but the training stimulus to your body will eat up your precious muscle; muscle that keeps your metabolism kicking and your body looking firm and strong. This is the reason why you will find many distance runners still appear to hold onto body fat and lack muscular tone. Furthermore, logging lots of miles will likely lead to overuse injuries, hence the term “Speed Limpers” (A Coach Boyle term)in the title. Go ahead and talk to someone who is a distance runner, and you will likely hear about various injuries they have endured over the years.
When it comes to walking, you are looking at an even slower rate of achieve the body of your dreams. Again, I am not saying that walking with a loved one or walking the dog is a bad idea; I am simply saying that walking is not the means to the end. When I ask someone if they exercise, and they say, “Yeah I walk three miles every morning, but I am not losing weight anymore” I see the potential for so much more change in that person, hence the term “Wishful Walkers.” In the amount of time it takes to walk three miles everyday, you could triple your output by using that time much more effectively. Let us say you are walking at 3.0 mph (easy math), that means you spend an hour of your day walking. Wouldn’t you agree that this hour including 5 minutes of foam rolling, 10 minutes of a dynamic warming up, 30 minutes of strength training, and 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training would likely triple your results? Even if you do not understand completely what that all entails, you probably agreed, and I guarantee it would triple your results!
Do me a favor and think about the amount of time you spend working out every week and think to yourself, “could I be using my time more wisely?” I encourage you to ask questions if you have some regarding your training program, or lack therof, as I would be more than happy to lend a helping hand.
– Coach Street