T Nation

How Fast Can You Walk?


#1

I like to use long distance + moderate-to-high intensity walking for fat loss, recovery, conditioning, and even as a tool for strength gain (legs/hips/postural strength gains).

As for myself, I walk outside using “normal form”; no special speed walking form. I like to get in sessions around 2-3 hours or so. I try to push the pace harder when I can, and maintain a decent pace throughout. When i’m feeling good, I can stay under 14 min/mi. When i’m very sore, I can barely get under 18 min/mi. When i’m just drained or my CNS is jacked, staying under 16 min/mi is difficult. So, I can also use these numbers to judge where i’m at from an autoregulatory perspective - insight into the state of my system.

One of my goals is to get my avg walking pace to around 5 mph when i’m feeling good. This would indicate some significant performance gains IMHO. For example, when i’m just getting back into walking, my paces really suffer. As I improve, I definitely feel improvements in my stride frequency, hip extension, toe off, posture, etc. FWIW, I feel like there’s definitely some transfer to running and sprinting.

My best walking mile is 12:11, still haven’t cracked sub 12. Here’s an example session where I hit 12:26 (4.86 mph). Sustained 5mph seems like a pretty lofty goal TBH, that’s really moving with normal walking form (no fancy hip stuff etc). But i’d like to get there & see how I feel with that “extra power” and/or sustained frequency.

So for me:

Height: 6’1
Weight: ~155 lb.
Fastest walking mile: 12:11

I’m actually going to put on my foot pod & chest strap to see my stride freq / HR. Need more data to take this more seriously & achieve an average of 5 mph.

So, anyone else know how fast they walk?

Feel free to include treadmill and/or speed walking numbers as well. For some reason I doubt there are speed walkers on T-Nation, but who knows. :slight_smile:

peace


#2

You are really into your walking!


#3

Anything above 3.8 mph (6.1km/h) suddenly turns into a trot for my stubby legs


#4

“I pick weights up, and put them down.”


#5

Just a few screenshots of my Garmin data that I said i’d record in the OP. I walked the first 4 miles hard, then backed off progressively, each subsequent mile.

You can see intense walking can really get your heart pumping. Stride frequency & stride length are also pretty substantial when really pushing it. Also ~1,300 kcal burned in ~2 hours while not draining myself. At that rate, ~10 lb. of pure fat in a month, from ribeye to top sirloin.

The biggest issues i’ve run into with long duration walking is a few of my toenails end up hurting, but those were already damaged from long distance running. So they are always jacked up. Intense walking sometimes jacks them up regardless. Also if you have hip pain from deep squatting and such, might want to switch to half squats AND be careful with intense walking - it can be hard on the hips.

As for soreness; initially you can get some intense calf/hamstring/adductor/abductor/erector soreness believe it or not. But you adapt quickly.

Also one thing i’ve noticed, when you can literally walk as fast as some random hot girl runs, it really freaks them out. Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but I imagine an intense walk looks kind of menacing. Regardless, once they realize you aren’t a threat, and they notice the trap + glute + quads musculature (short shorts to show off the VMO), you can tell they are impressed. Walking passed them as they are running is a weird feeling. Well, walking past anyone who is running is a weird feeling. Running by someone dressed like Lance Armstrong on a bicycle feels weird too.

FWIW, I actually enjoy walking hard for 2 hours more than running (slow or fast) for 2 hours. I can walk for a few hours on day 1, then feel great sprinting/jumping on day 2… ie, it’s more refreshing than draining, that’s for sure.

peace


#6

Oh man…

I swear if you didn’t have all this data stuff to back up what your saying, I’d think that you are just take the piss. Lmao


#7

Bump because I finally hit a mark i’ve wanted to hit for a long time: >= 9 miles in 2 hours.

So after never having hit 9 miles in 2 hours (previous best was ~8.8), I got 9.1 miles. It was pretty brutal tbh. Fatigue-wise it wrecked me, pretty tired today.

I’ll bump if I ever hit 5 mph for one mile.

peace


#8

Honestly, I’m somewhat intrigued… You ever thought bout rucking instead?


#9

but after that you should walk…and walk again ! alot of benefits


#10

Sup.

Instead? Nope. I’ve heard of it but i’ve never really seen the allure. Growing up in South Florida might also have something to do with it, there aren’t many trails nearby & not many communities that gravitate towards that stuff, AFAIK. I’ve done some ruck-like things, like occasionally walk 3 miles or so to go get groceries & then walk 3 miles back. The most i’ve held is approximately 50 lb total for 3 miles. I’ve also done things like 100 walking lunges with 30 lb db’s in each hand, so I personally seem to have this weird affinity for long duration weirdness. I have a weighted vest somewhere, but I don’t use it much, more so because of a fear of overdoing it and causing overuse injuries like shin splints, tendonitis and such. Toying around with thousands of submax reps can be pretty risky, from my experience. I’m also a big proponent of heavy high rep lifting for performance gain - high rep squatting and such.

I definitely enjoy walking, just to walk. People often like to talk about things making them feel “fundamentally human”, i’d say walking, sprinting, jumping, and running do that for me - in that order. Beyond that, I use walking to improve my general fitness & strength, burn some fat calories, and clear my head. I don’t like to run slow anymore, so i’ve replaced it with walking fast. When i’m running, I pretty much only run fast: this is mostly aimed at how I want to tune my “CNS”. So this is somewhat of a problem because long slow distance does provide several benefits that are harder to obtain if one only utilizes short interval sessions etc. So, i’ve replaced long slow distance running with hard/fast long distance walking - even though i’m going “slow” when walking, i’m trying to go fast, so it’s both a mental and physical effort that I feel is a decent replacement for long slow distance running. I mean it helps get my resting heart rate down by presumably increasing stroke volume and such, makes me lighter, helps me feel stronger (posture-wise, running/sprinting prime movers-wise). I didn’t wear my chest strap for that 2 hour PR, but I imagine my HR was on average in the 150-160’s, which for 2 hours is a pretty significant cardiovascular effect.

peace!


#11

Bump.

Finally hit >= 5mph, at 5.14 mph (11:39/11:40) for 1 mile. 30 second PR, kinda nuts.

Still can’t believe people can walk 8+ mph etc. lmao.

peace!


#12

This is a very insightful log. Keeping tabs. For me, I think it’ll be 5-5.5KM/h.


#13

You make me feel like walking! I’ve walked close to 3h today already.


#14

Cool!

That’s alot of walking… commuting / job on your feet? It’s definitely harder when you’re on your feet all day, but so is running & jumping etc.

The first question would be, why do you want to walk? For me, I actually just enjoy it. It’s odd but I can zone out for literally 2-3 hours walking, and it feels great. It also makes me feel stronger, helps me recover, helps me burn a few calories etc. So there’s lots of benefits for me. Occasionally testing for speed PR’s, to just test my “system” & see how it’s firing, is also pretty fun. When i’m walking alot, it gives me great feedback as to how my nervous system is functioning. If I do some crazy intense stuff, the next day my walking is wrecked - can barely hit 4 mph. That’s often the case when my body & CNS are fatigued. When i’m recovered, I can easily hit 4.5 mph and such. So it’s a nice tool for measuring the overall state of the system (especially for people who are into AREG), without it being taxing, IMHO.

Not sure how many people are into “walking” for recovery, fat loss, general health, and believe it or not - strength: that’s kind of why I created this topic. I know @IronOne mentioned he gets in his walks, not sure his pace or overall goal with it. It seems like he did longer walks earlier on in his log. Might be another “walker in disguise” 8|

Walking is absolutely great for speed/power from my experience. I used to walk 6-8 miles the night before dunking. I often feel very powerful the day after walking, or in the evening if I walk in the morning. Just alot of light impacts with some good posture, hip extension, force absorption etc, but not at a high enough intensity to cause a dip in performance, seems like more of a potentiation tool.

peace!


#15

Closet walker here. I’m lucky though, my wife is too haha. Incredible for so many things, but at the top of my list is recovery and fat gain prevention. I try to keep my pace up to a point that my heart rate and breathing is clearly elevated, then keep it there for the duration. I do not track my walks whatsoever, I keep it as a bonus item for my recovery and to keep fat gain at bay especially now that I’m trying to put on a good 10-15lbs. Mental gains too. Focus on breathing in deep and exhaling fully. Regulated breathing. Not choppy.

Walking is severely underrated!


#16

“The first question would be, why do you want to walk? For me, I actually just enjoy it. It’s odd but I can zone out for literally 2-3 hours walking, and it feels great. It also makes me feel stronger, helps me recover, helps me burn a few calories etc.”

From my research, walking for 4h only uses up 300g of bdwt. It could be that my pace is sub-optimal but I doubt a faster pace would enhance the fat-burning process.

I walk because there are phases in one’s mood. When I’m pensive, pacing may help soothe the nerves. On the same hand, when one is contemplating about something, walking diminishes the need to stare at the computer screen and is more productive than lying on your bed or eating.

When one is feeling motivated and aroused, walking speeds up the speed at which thoughts and ideas connect, partially because of the changing environment and also because it is not ideal to coop yourself up in a flat while embracing the influx of good energy. The key is to ensnare yourself in a new supportive environment.

"So there’s lots of benefits for me. Occasionally testing for speed PR’s, to just test my “system” & see how it’s firing, is also pretty fun. When i’m walking alot, it gives me great feedback as to how my nervous system is functioning. If I do some crazy intense stuff, the next day my walking is wrecked - can barely hit 4 mph.

That’s often the case when my body & CNS are fatigued. When i’m recovered, I can easily hit 4.5 mph and such. So it’s a nice tool for measuring the overall state of the system (especially for people who are into AREG), without it being taxing, IMHO."

This is a very good idea. Sometimes, I already feel like sleeping while walking back home after training and the toil by itself feels like a difficult 30KM walk home.

Also, because I olympic lift, my plantar fascia may hurt once it reaches 13KM mark and it becomes numb.

“Not sure how many people are into “walking” for recovery, fat loss, general health, and believe it or not - strength: that’s kind of why I created this topic. I know @IronOne mentioned he gets in his walks, not sure his pace or overall goal with it. It seems like he did longer walks earlier on in his log. Might be another “walker in disguise” 8|”

Thank you for creating this thread. I would be delighted to meet new walkers too. I know we got a bit of a bad rep from the AMC’sminiseries ‘The Walking Dead’ but actually, people who walk are very much involved with what’s happening and just need an outlet for their cognitive muscles.

This confirms that you’re not lying indeed. Rarely do people feel tired if they oblige to a long walk barring the fact it does not exceed their plantar fascia’s capability to deal with the tremendous stress and impact. It does help.

The key here is not to overwalk. 2h - 3h is the norm average for me actually.

I do olympic lifting after walking 60km and everything still seems fine and dandy on the surface at least.


#17

Depends how heavy you are, I think.

Walking at 160lbs is a lot different to 225lbs.


#18

I’m glad I noticed this thread; I’ve been a walker for years and am always drawn back to it instead of machine cardio. Don’t get me wrong, a good bike or stair stepper session is great too, but I find walking outside to be more stimulating AND to have greater exercise value. Where I live, we have hills and gradients aplenty, so I shoulder a backpack with 15-20 pounds and aim for 15 minute miles for three to four. Rucking makes an excellent followup to deadlifts, weighted chins, and military presses/push presses.


#19

Professional walker here. I read gas and electricity meters for a living so most days I get in a few hours of walking. It’s hard to tell how fast and how far I walk cuz it’s never in a straight line down a road, it’s in and our of yards so lots of stop/go/turning and now that it’s winter I’ll be trudging through snow too.
I’ve tried using a step counter but all the stopping/starting/turning gives me an irregular stride length and that skews the data.
I’ll second what triedntrue said though, it’s great after a heavy deadlift or squat workout. If I squat or deadlift hard in the morning and then walk hard for work that day I don’t get sore from the lifting.