RUN? OR WALK??
A casual text from a remote client spurred this short post.
"anything for Sunday?" it read.
When I program for people who want to train as often as possible, they will only get 5 days of what would be considered proper gym workouts. The other 2 days are completely blank, or contain some sort of light aerobic movement, mobility flows, or a reminder to get a massage.
I've also programmed 2 hours of walking. Which is almost never done.
It's funny, because every morning when I drive to the gym, I see maybe 20 people out walking, and I can't help thinking that they are wasting time which could be better spent performing resistance training, and higher intensity intervals.
But with 99% of the people who actually know that resistance training and high intensity effort is the key to excellent fitness, I can't seem to convince them that long, easy aerobic activity is the key to excellent recovery......
Here's the thing, everything we do in the gym is ultimately powered by the aerobic energy system. And while we can develop it with shorter, harder pieces of work, there is an element of that system that responds really well to long and slow.
Then there is the recovery aspect. And forget about the physiological side of it, it's just plain NICE to go for a long walk, especially if you pick somewhere scenic. Google 'forest bathing' and then go and do it. Or it's hard to beat our waterfront on a good day, heck even a bad day is pretty awesome...
I'm starting to think it takes more discipline to walk for 2 hours than to run 20 min hard. But the payoff, while subtle, is certainly worth it.
If you are having a tough week at work, or a particular training session has got you feeling a little sore or tired, another workout MIGHT be the answer.... but going for a long walk, or a mountain bike, or coming into the gym, but just commandeering a couple of rowers with a mate for a cruisy row and a chat about life is probably a much better option.