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    « “I make a mean macaroni cheese”: the truth behind a harmless little brag | Main | Six ways to deflect invitations when moving to a new village »

    When is it really power-walking, and when is it having a sneaky rest?

    I’ve just started going running in my local park in the evenings, and have been struck by how many people I see power walking rather than doing a proper jog. I know this is recommended as an alternative to get you started, but I do sometimes wonder as I cross paths with the power walkers if they aren’t just would-be runners covering up a little rest.

    Of course the reason I wonder this is that I do it too. I am a rubbish runner, and when I start to run out of breath, energy and pride, I will often slow down to a brisk heel-and-toe walk, telling myself it must still be good for me as it’s an Olympic sport. I don’t really believe this, and am not sure most of my fellow walkers do either; I detect a certain shame-facedness about it as we pass each other. It’s the fitness version of the middle class habit of keeping up appearances I suppose, and as usual it’s done to make ourselves feel less guilty rather than actually convincing anyone.

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    I find it extremely stressful to be exercising in public like that. Even though I try not to pay much attention to others, still it is hard to ignore people flying by you while you are catching some breath. The solution: my own treadmill at home. I can do whatever I want and no one is watching. Hey, I might even pause the machine, drink a glass of water, cool down, and start again.

    June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay Dwivedi

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