Real runners don't walk!
Do they not? What are we calling a "real runner" - Mo Farah ? A Kenyan marathon runner? A club runner? Someone running an Ultra? Or someone like me who just runs for fun and sometimes fits in a walk break when the going gets tough?
I was chatting with my brother a couple of years ago about when he considered I'd become a real runner - he said it was when I'd completed my first running event and got a finisher's medal (not the Race for Life!) which just happened to be the British 10k, which I finished in 1 hour and 12 minutes - yes I walked and I've always had to take some kind of walk break during any run or event I've done because I never learn from my previous mistakes of going off too fast at the start, or not hydrating enough in the run up to it. Does this mean I'm not a real runner?
You never see the pro athletes taking a walk break! You never see club runners walking during a race although I have heard Ultra runners may take a small walk at some point - or spend an extra 5 minutes chilling at an aid station.
Maybe the question should really be what is a real runner? I've never classed myself as a real runner - despite my inspirational younger brother saying I am - I'm a plodder, usually at the back of the pack so I don't get in anyone's way.
I was looking round the tinternet whilst I was thinking about this subject, as you do, and putting "do runners walk" in the google search I found this interesting feed on daily mile. The consensus of opinion seems to be that you're still a runner if you walk during a marathon!
And I found this on another site about the top ten training mistakes -
1.3 Training Mistake 3 - Breaks in long runs
The relative difficulty of long training runs is different between runs that are continuous and runs where there are breaks. Even relatively short Walking Breaks will allow for a surprising level of recovery, which is why ultramarathoners can cover such long distances. Unfortunately, many marathoners intended to race without any Walking Breaks, but do not train that way. I believe that Walking Breaks can be used as part of marathon training to extend the distance that can be covered on the longer long runs. However, allowances should be made when evaluating your training. A long run with plenty of breaks should not be equated to the same distance and pace run continuously. Also, some of the long runs should be is continuous as possible. Often it is impractical to avoid stopping completely; you will need to refuel, cross roads, or change clothes. With some planning, it should be possible to minimize these interruptions and to keep the run is continuous as possible (see Race Simulation below). When doing Race Simulation it is important not to pause your watch on any breaks that are taken, so you have a good evaluation of the training impact.
and this advice given on About.com
So maybe real runners do walk after all! Fitting in small walk breaks actually helps. How do the pro athletes do it?
Yay I'm a real runner - what do you think?