The Effects of Speed in Walking Fast
For years I had simply been walking my own pace or the pace of my walking buddies. Often that was slow. Then when I went walking with a faster friend, I had no technique to speed myself up.
That changed when I went to a walking clinic held by Rhonda Gates at the Seaside Wellness Conference. Her tips had me walking faster in no time, trimming minutes from my miles. That helped me greatly in walking the Portland to Coast Relay Walk.How to Walk Faster
Walking faster FEELS better - it feels good to be going aerobic. I still walk the same 10K walking events, only faster. What are the real benefits, if any, if you still just walk the same distance? James Sundquist, Director of Medical & Sports Music Institute provides this answer:
Increased speed does the following:
1. Puts you in a higher Target Heart Rate
2. Shifts goal from weight loss to increased fitness and endurance
3. Increases flexibility of muscles and joints
4. Changes weight loss goal
5. Enables you to finish same distance in less time
6. Tones muscles
7. Increases impact (This is a two-edged sword. Can introduce or aggravate injuries. On the plus side, can build stronger bones, slow down osteoperosis.)
Calories burned per mile by walkingWalking Calorie Calculator: Use this calculator based on MET research measuring and comparing calories burned in hundreds of different activities.
The following chart was built with numbers for walking up to 5 mph comes from Gary Yankers in Complete Book of Exercise Walking. Numbers for walking over 5 mph come from Howard Jacobson in Racewalk to Fitness.The numbers given were for a 150 lb. person. To extrapolate to other weights, an increase/decrease of 10% for every 15 pounds was used.
What if I decide to start running instead? Maximum efficiency for walking is around 4 mph. Further speed leads to less efficiency and more calories burned. For runners, maximum efficiency is around 6 mph. At speeds less than 5 mph, runners burn more calories than walkers. At 5 mph, the caloric burn is nearly the same. At speeds greater than 5 mph, racewalkers burn 20% to 30% more calories.
f my main goal was to lose weight, I would be better off walking an easy pace, one where I would have no difficulty carrying on a conversation. An easy pace gives the body time to release and burn stored sugar and fat, rather than switching to anaerobic metabolism and burning only available sugars and muscle. Walking and Weight Control.
Personally, I'll keep with the walking and try to do it more frequently and further. See you on the trail!