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How to power walk without looking like a doofus?


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Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

28 Replies (last)
Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

I kinda agree...  I've never seen a power walker that doesn't look a little.... goofy.

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

I kinda agree...  I've never seen a power walker that doesn't look a little.... goofy.

True, but I'm not using my arms like "Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo" train. Just walking fast, but it feels SO weird. 

I wonder if my legs are not built to walk fast or if it will get easier overtime.

 

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

I kinda agree...  I've never seen a power walker that doesn't look a little.... goofy.

You might be thinking of "racewalking," which does look kind of weird IMO. But fast regular walking can look very good. My wife walks 4.7 mph comfortably, for long periods, and appears to be walking normally unless she is passing someone and you get a point of reference.

If you get good enough and fast enough at it you'll look less like a doofus because people will be impressed. But other than that there is no way to make it not look funny.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

I kinda agree...  I've never seen a power walker that doesn't look a little.... goofy.

You might be thinking of "racewalking," which does look kind of weird IMO. But fast regular walking can look very good. My wife walks 4.7 mph comfortably, for long periods, and appears to be walking normally unless she is passing someone and you get a point of reference.

what? WHAT? 4.7mph? She's a freak!

But that's awesome. I know that the better I am at walking fast, with ease, the better I'll be a running.  I've heard that walking fast in between training runs helps runners improve their performance and endurance. If you think about it, it makes total sense: It's way harder to walk 4.7 mph and hour than jog it.

Original Post by armandounc:

If you get good enough and fast enough at it you'll look less like a doofus because people will be impressed. But other than that there is no way to make it not look funny.

I might as well buy one of these in the meantime.  But replace the cans with water, of course.

#8  
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Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by mjsophia:

Well? How do I do it?

My DH and I are starting to power walk. Right now I barely have any free time, so powerwalking is a perfect exercise while walking the dogs (since we have to do that anyway).

My DH is probably the fastest walker I've ever seen. I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph).

My question is, how do I stop feeling like I'm going to trip all over myself. I feel like my feet just "plop" down, even if I think "heel-toe, heel-toe".

I just started, but any advice to look more like a normal person, and less like Shrek when I walk fast?

 

Note: Moved from previous thread because I'm an attention ham.

Can't be done. You must embrace your doofisity.

+900000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Original Post by mjsophia:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

You might be thinking of "racewalking," which does look kind of weird IMO. But fast regular walking can look very good. My wife walks 4.7 mph comfortably, for long periods, and appears to be walking normally unless she is passing someone and you get a point of reference.

what? WHAT? 4.7mph? She's a freak!

But that's awesome. I know that the better I am at walking fast, with ease, the better I'll be a running.  I've heard that walking fast in between training runs helps runners improve their performance and endurance. If you think about it, it makes total sense: It's way harder to walk 4.7 mph and hour than jog it.

Not freakish at all, lol. But, she's pretty solid for a woman walker. She's done a few marathons, on pavement, in under 5:45 without any running, but her real strength is hiking on trails that are longer and steeper than that. On our long hikes, we can average over 4 mph together for 8 hours or so, with hills.

A woman at my gym (35? years old?,  5'2" tall) walks for an hour, staying above 5.6 mph the whole time. She does some 2-5 minute long intervals up to 6.5 mph, and can recover at 5.6 mph. She doesn't do the "hip wiggle" like in olympic racewalking, but her legs are moving pretty fast (160 steps/minute). I'd consider that unusual. But, I see tons of women walking 4-4.5 mph, at a cadence of around 145 steps per minute, for 30 minutes or so. Those are women of all shapes and sizes.

mjsophia:

Have your hubby or a friend use a video recorder of some sort filming you as you do a bit of power walking.  You may not look as doofi as you think you do.  However, you might.  LOL!

Even when I walk just for errands and not doing my power walking, though, I still probably look doofus-like since I tend to walk reasonably fast even when walking "normal."

If people have such boring lives that we walkers provide their entertainment, then the problem lies at their end anyway.

OGR:  I'm not sure I even jogged at 5.6 mph, so that is far out of my walking range. I feel pretty good just doing 3.8 to 4.2 mph -- so that gal is really smoking!  It's sort of funny -- when I am walking on the HS track, I don't like it when someone is walking fast enough to pass me by -- so it makes me walk faster.  LOL!

  Screw what anyone else thinks - are you happy with the increase in performance from the first time you tried? Don't consider what level of performance you're at right now - consider what level of performance you were at when you first started, where you're at right now and where you will be at if you keep on training for another year. Do you think improving on what you're able to do right now will make you happier?

Try speed moon-walking.

I walk everywhere-don't have a car. And I walk very fast comfortably.

When I have to kick it into high gear though..holy cow do I look like a freak.

Arms swinging, hips waggling..the whole 9 yards.

So..be happy in the fact you're not alone :)

Original Post by delaneia:

I walk everywhere-don't have a car. And I walk very fast comfortably.

When I have to kick it into high gear though..holy cow do I look like a freak.

Arms swinging, hips waggling..the whole 9 yards.

So..be happy in the fact you're not alone :)

Ya know, I think that that might be how my wife got so good at walking. She didn't own a vehicle all through college, and grad school. I had a car when we met (a '68 Chevelle, no less) but we'd often go on foot for our dates. We'd wouldn't think twice about walking more than 5 miles to a theatre. Salt Lake City, UT is safe walking at night, and there are ice cream shops everywhere for sustenance!

You jog. 

Original Post by tboonpickenz:

Try speed moon-walking.

I vote for this.

Haha.

Yeah, who cares? When I go jogging, I sometimes turn my steps into a little salsa dance or shimmy back and forth. If I come across a lamp post, I might do a little pole dance. I'm sure I look like I have a mental disorder, but my legs are looking very shapely!

Original Post by mjsophia:
...I breathe so heavily while he has no problem walking my speed (my speed sucks...about 3.3 mph)...

This comment about the rate at which you are breathing indicates to me that you are achieving a walking pace that is providing physical benefit, and that walking faster than this right now might be overreaching your goal.

I suggest looking into getting a heart-rate monitor and checking your pulse rate during your walking sessions.  Looking at your maximum heart rate, compare and see if you are reaching a cardio fitness level during your walks (aim for 60% max or higher).  If, as I suspect, you are, then I would focus more on duration than speed as you strengthen your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system more.  As you become more fit you may find that you can begin to more easily increase your pace and keep your workouts going strong.

And don't worry about how you look while working out.  What matters is exercising correctly and safely.  People who power-walk (myself included) tend to look like they are power-walking, and if people scoff then sod 'em.  You can also incorporate ankle and wrist weights if you want more resistance without increasing your pace or stride.

Original Post by carmenxox:

You jog. 

It's actually much harder to walk fast than jog for a long period of time.

Thanks everyone. I think I should clarify: I really don't care about OTHER people thinking I look stupid. Actually, the areas we walk are pretty rural and isolated.

Let me try to explain: I guess I'm thinking that if I FEEL like I'm plopping my feet on the ground, having difficulty going at a slow pace or look like Shrek that I might not know how to walk! I'm serious. A few years ago I realized I walked poorly and would have horrible posture doing it. My balance is awful, too. If I look at the pond to my left or right, I generally start leaning in that direction.

Eh. I don't know what I'm concerned about. I guess I'm just scared of tripping over myself. Does anyone else trip over themselves regularly? Is this jut poor balance? How can I fix this?

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