December is done

December 31, 2008

It’s time to look back what I have done this month. I walked/jogged 20 mornings in total that was 51km. In November I walked/jogged for only 13 mornings of total 30km.

I have tried new route this month, back and forth from my place to a nearby school, with a distance of 3.6km.

I don’t have a coach from what I have read the FAQ is always about what is better for you between jogging and brisk walking. From my own experience I agree with this article that walking fast is a lot stressful for the muscles due to the efficiency of your body for the same speed as jogging. Some said running/jogging, which is a high intensity workout, will burn mostly stored carbohydrates for fuel. Walking as low-intensity workout will burn fat. I really don’t know what is correct as I don’t see any change when standing on a bath room scale after 2 months.

If you like punching your calculator to reassure yourself that you are doing the right thing perhaps this reference could help. If you like to hear from the pros and researchers you could also read this.

I still don’t have a clue as to what is best for me perhaps there isn’t an absolute good-for-all solution. A more academic argument such as this suggests that if you are overweight or have a cardiovascular condition walking is better especially for those who aren’t used to high intensity exercise because your body has to take few times more stress when running.

My conclusion from reading all these is that

  • if your doctor says you are fit to run (go for a treadmill test measure your heart rate …etc), running will give you better satisfaction
  • if you aren’t fit enough and are absolute beginners like me, try walking first then improve your speed to brisk walking
  • at more than 8kph (5mph) brisk walking is harder than running. So far I could walk at 6.4kph which I felt harder than jogging at low speed
  • keep good record of your speed, mileage done and heart rate by something like this so you’ll know when to promote yourself to do something harder
  • listen carefully to complains from your leg muscles, joints and even heart

My plan for January will therefore be alternating between jogging and walking.

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