If you're training for a marathon and logging 40-plus miles a week, there is one physical activity you still do much, much more than running: walking. With every step you take, you can better prepare your body for running. Here's how to cross train with every step:
- Posture: The alignment of your spine, pelvis, and ribcage is an important element of being an efficient runner. While posture can be the last thing on your mind as you're running sprint intervals, you can pay attention to your torso alignment while moving at the leisurely pace of walking.
- Abs: When walking, just like when running, work on engaging your low and deep abs. Your low belly, about two inches below your belly button should be taut. This helps to keep your pelvis stable so your momentum keep you moving forward rather than wasting energy with side-to-side movement of your pelvis.
Learn two more tips.
- Leg alignment: When you're walking check out your toes. They should be pointed straight ahead, since the is the direction in which you're moving. If your toes splay outward, chances are high you're putting too much pressure on your inner ankle and inner knee. Try pointing your toes forward; this alignment change might come from your hip joint or the the ankle joint. Simply pay attention to how your legs work as you walk.
- Lighten your tread: If you're hitting the ground heavy with your heel on every step when you walk, chances are you're doing so when you run and this can also be a sign of over striding. Taking long step both when you walk and run, can also mis-align your pelvis and also force the joints of your legs to work overtime absorbing the shock of each step. Aim to make your step more under your pelvis.
Stand tall. Walk quietly. Run better.