Last weekend, a Team In Training coach posed this question: “What is your running strategy?”

Ummmm…strategy?  Run as far and as long as I can.

She quickly gave me a rundown of why that is a bad idea.  She shared the story about her & her husband’s first marathon together: he ran the whole thing & she ran five minutes, walked one minute intervals.  She beat his time by 16 minutes.  And then went dancing later that night while he was immobile in bed.  Then the physical benefits of having less tired muscles and being able to finish strong.  Followed by:

“its the dirty little secret of all runners – they walk during a race to conserve energy & maintain pace over long distances.”

This secret is hard to stomach because walking to me is on the level of not being good enough.  Walking is not running.  To think I am encouraged to walk when all I want to do is run the whole race, is unfathomable.

I told her I would try.

A few miles later, I ran into my training group and buttahcup.  buttahcup is running intervals (5:1) and while running with her, I was automatically forced to walk.  It was also needed because buttahcup is faster than I am and to keep her pace for five minutes requires a walk break.

Did I feel more energetic with walk breaks?  Jury is still out.  But I’m willing to give it another try.  I’m already worried about not finishing in time.  Add walking seems to make that a reality.