Think I'm Running, but Guess I'm Walking - What Do I Do?

by Margaret
(Yorba Linda, CA)

I am a 60 yr old female who has been running for about 20 years. I was never extremely fast but did a 9-10 minute mile for about 5 to 6 miles. This past year, I seem to be walking instead of running even though I don't think I'm doing anything differently.

I try to concentrate on actually running but I can't seem to get the motion.

Any suggestions?

I really do "walk" fast (about 12-13 min mile for 6 miles), but I'm not ready to walk, I still want to RUN, help!!!!

running tips
Answer by Dominique:
Hi Margaret,
Thanks for your question.

An interesting situation we have got on our hands here....!

My first thought is that we need to see if we can fix up your running cadence.

The big difference between a walk and a run is that your legs move faster and you lift them higher.

So, why don't you start working on that?

You can try to influence your stride rate (how fast your legs move) by doing certain exercises, like baby steps, high knee pulls and butt kicks.


A really handy tool to have is a metronome.

First, try to work out what your current stride rate is.

For elite runners it is about 180.

For most runners it is about 163-165.

And you may have a somewhat slower stride rate.

So, work out what your current stride rate is, then set the metronome to 5 or 10 higher and simply "run to the beat".

Practice this initially for just short parts of your run. It can be a bit frustrating to do this at first. So, just do it 5-10 minutes of every run and keep it going for a few months.

It takes a long time to change behaviors!

I hope it will make a difference to your running.

Keep it up, you are way, way to young to start walking... :)
Kind regards,

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