Runners set off on a mountain marathon.By the time it's over, walkers would have lost more calories and accrued more health benefits over the same period.
Interesting to read this morning that scientists in the US have found that walking has greater health benefits for the participant than running. As an ex runner who does a lot of walking, that's good to hear. Time was when the daily run became an almost obsessive ritual in my life. I would enter half marathons and pound those hard highways with a zealous determination, even after a hard day's work. Then I saw the light. Well...actually, my knees started to suffer from the pounding.
Having a pretty awful natural gait, a sort of Donald Duck waddle, it naturally imposed stress on my joints. I've always walked and mountain bike occasionally so it was no big deal to just switch off the walking a concentrate on climbing, walking and M Biking. I must admit I don't miss running at all.
One of the things I've noticed in running is that it does attract a certain type fanatical devotee. Like a devout Catholic who comes to stay and asks where is the nearest Catholic Church as they have to attend Mass or face confession when they get home. The more fanatical of the running tribe will often inform you as soon as they arrive, that they will have to take their leave of your company for a few hours while they do their daily penance..sorry run.
It's an interesting phenomena though with the real hard case runners; and that's just how unhealthy they often look. Gaunt, wiry and with faces like tanned cow hide. I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder and some might see this indicating a robust vigor and healthy constitution. For me, well.. they just look like they would succumb to the first virus that blows their way. It's a well documented fact in mountain rescue that those who survive prolonged periods of exposure, are more likely to be carrying some excess weight. The first people to 'buy the farm' as they say in the States are those individuals who share the emaciated running zealots' physique.
According to the research by Dr Paul Wiilliams at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California and published in the journal of the American Heart Association, walkers were twice as likely to reduce the risk of heart disease as runners and would lose more calories than their speeding brethren. Walkers were also nearly 50% less likely to suffer first time blood pressure than runners.
So...there you go. You can bin those overpriced New Balance trainers, ditch the nipple tape, put your lycra running top in the charity shop bag and dig your walking boots out of the garage. You know it will be good for you in the long run!