One Foot In Front Of The Other – Now Faster
I had a conversation with a friend of mine about running and let him know that I don't run outside on the pavement anymore because I had my meniscus in my knee cleaned and I didn’t want to put too much pressure on it. I just run on the treadmill now and I haven’t had any issues. He said that the treadmill isn’t good for me because it also doesn’t have any give like the pavement, and that I should run on the track instead.
I don't have any tracks that are conveniently near me, so I would continue to run on the treadmill because I wasn't having any issues. He said I should try power walking on the treadmill instead of running. I get a good workout running on the treadmill so I was a bit skeptical. He explained to me what power walking was good for so I decided to give it a try. I also remembered a video of a reporter who raced Usain Bolt in a power walk, and the reporter won. It was hilarious. The reporter was like half the height of Bolt and he was moving quickly during the race, LOL. Usain looked like he thought he would “woop” the guy, and when he realized the reporter was out in front of him, Bolt tried to put on the gas and he still lost. It made me think that even though the reporter practiced power walking, Bolt legs were twice as long as the reporters and Bolt is the fastest man in the world. Shouldn’t that have been enough for Bolt to win? I know Bolt sure thought so.
Giving Power Walking A Try
I am a researcher at heart, so I felt the need to research how to power walk on a treadmill correctly. Basic instructions were to wear a good pair of sneakers, warm up first, and then increase the treadmill speed to 3.5 to 4 miles per hour. Align the posture by keeping the back straight and the shoulders rolled back and down. Bend the elbows and keep them close to the body, while pumping the arms up and down so that the hands come to shoulder height or higher. Push off the back leg and roll the feet from heel to toe. A power walk should last between 20-60 minutes, with a cool down period at a speed of 2 -2.5 miles an hour.
My Power Walk
My warm-up consisted of six rounds on the heavy bag. I usually do ten rounds on the heavy bag, but I was working out just two days after coming off a thirty day fast. My energy and stamina was a little low, but it should come back quickly. After this warm-up I hit the treadmill for some power-walking. I started off power-waling at 4 miles an hour but after thirty seconds I felt this speed was too slow for me and I increased it to 5 miles an hour. I ended up increasing the speed to 5.4 miles an hour. I pumped my arms hard up and down to give myself a complete workout. I remembered how funny the reporter looked racing Bolt and thought I must have looked to same way, LOL! Like a crazy chicken, flapping away.
I power walked for twenty five minutes and I could clearly feel my feet and my toes grabbing to keep my legs moving quickly. I could feel my calves pulling, and my hamstrings. I could actually feel my hamstrings working. I don't even feel my hamstrings working when I am running. I could feel my hamstrings working with my butt, my lower back, and my stomach. I could feel my stomach grabbing from side to side as I pumped my arms. I could feel my whole body having to work together to maintain my balance and center at this high speed. I don't feel the same way with running. With running | jogging I feel as though my legs are doing most of the work, while my torso is just mostly along for the ride.
At the end of the work-out I was clearly sweating a lot more from power walking, and from the calories I was burning. The way my body was aligning itself, my legs felt really active, and I felt like I could really kick the crap out of someone. (smile) All of the muscles in my legs really did feel completely exercised, as did my stomach and lats. I need to power walk a couple of more times, increasing my speed and controlling my balance more effortlessly before I can really get a feel for its benefits to my physical and mental fitness, but it does look like it will positively affect my balance and center. I will keep you informed.