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Walking as a Second Language

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Walking as a Second Language

Old 02-08-15, 04:44 AM
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Walking/running is definitely on my agenda -- at work and at home (well, in the gym anyway).

My most recent "achievement" was treadmill running and fast-walking about 12km last Tuesday evening... which consumed 1000 calories according to the machine's calculator.

I took several days to recover... including a day of putting up with missed (or actually empty) heartbeats, but the benefit was feeling quite a bit stronger on the Bike Friday for this weekend's two rides.

I started the treadmill running about two years ago ostensibly as training for triathlons. A tri hasn't happened yet, but unlike a lot of people who find running and/or walkung to be stupid, and even more so on a treadmill, I quite enjoy it and especially when there are metrics I can use... and tangible results on the bikes.
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Old 02-08-15, 08:14 AM
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Walking is not something that I do as a hobby or an extra exercise, walking is part of my daily routine... My job is all physical work. I stand up and walk for 9 hours per day and that's on top of my daily bike commuting and other forms of exercise which I do. I hardly ever sit down, and a lot of my life is spend either on a bike or standing/walking. I do take some rest on the weekends, but even on the weekends I still end up doing some physical activity. I think I am getting too much aerobic exercise, but at least it keeps me trim and in great shape.
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Old 02-08-15, 09:14 AM
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i have the fortunbe of having access to a 300 acre ranch that borders Chino Hills State park. last summer my neighbor and I hiked several days a week in the park, starting and ending at the ranch. We did up to 3.5 hours on single track dirt trails with a lot of steep pitches. Great cross training that worked a broader range of muscles than cycling. I use trekking poles to work the upper body as in cross country skiing. I found the best shoes are those Reebok ATV with those caterpillar like nubs on the bottom. Light with great grip on mixed surfaces. Robot Check
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Old 02-08-15, 10:42 AM
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I've been a walker all of my life. And in my opinion, there's nothing more enjoyable than taking a nice long walk, especially at night...and especially with a dog!

When I lived in the city, walking served as a way to truly see my environment; as a way to find comfort and solitude and time to think and ponder; as exercise; transportation- it was a huge part of my life. Not to mention parks and trips to the "country" where I'd walk and explore. Walking gives one a unique perspective, and a way to truly see the details and experience the landscape.

When I lived in the 'burbs, I'd take long walks at night with my dog, through the quiet suburban streets. It was true bliss and freedom!

Ironically, when I moved to the country a dozen years ago, I largely stopped walking, as the long distances with little in the way of interest or scenery change can be quite boring at such a slow speed. For the first time in my life, I started gaining weight! I still do take walks on my own property- just going out and sauntering for an hour once in a while- usually at night- but after half a century of walking, it was getting a little boring to do too often- which is actually one of the reasons I took up cycling.

The feeling of speed on the bike; and the ability to cover significant distances and see much scenery; and to be able to somewhat disconnected from the environment; but yet toi be able to fully experience it, while getting some serious exercise [I think I'm in better shape now after 3 years of cycling, than I've ever been in, in my entire life] makes cycling a real joy and benefit in every way.

But I still love to walk- only now that I cycle too, I don't "have to" walk; I can save walking for when I really feel like it- and then really enjoy it.

I tend to walk more in the winter these days- because in the summer I ride more often. For the last few weeks, in the dead of winter, the weather has been too crappy to do much cycling [I only rode 38 miles last week!]- so instead, I'll go for walks. It's a nice change.

It's funny- I can think back to virtually any period of my life, and think of the walks I used to take; where I'd go; what I was thinking; even remembering specific walks. If I had tracked the miles I've walked through my life...I bet I'd be shocked to see how much distance I've covered- but I can't be bothered doing that- although I'd estimate, these days, I'm probably only walking about 500 miles per year. In the past, I'm sure I'd log several thousand miles per year.

I consider it a gift to have grown-up in a car-free home. We walked everywhere, since the time i was a baby.

Last edited by Stucky; 02-08-15 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-08-15, 04:50 PM
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I enjoy both cycling and backpacking, and I'm at the age where "use it or lose it" is a reality. Monday and Friday are road cycling days, Wednesday is mountain biking (a bunch of short,steep hills), Tuesday and Thursday I throw on a 15-20 lb pack and hike the same hills as Wednesday's ride, then for Saturday and Sunday, one is a long ride or hike, the other a rest day. When summer and backpacking season get closer, I up the weight and miles with the pack. When school shuts down for the summer, I have a much more open schedule and can put more miles into everything!
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Old 02-08-15, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
I've been a walker all of my life. And in my opinion, there's nothing more enjoyable than taking a nice long walk, especially at night...and especially with a dog!

When I lived in the city, walking served as a way to truly see my environment; as a way to find comfort and solitude and time to think and ponder; as exercise; transportation- it was a huge part of my life. Not to mention parks and trips to the "country" where I'd walk and explore. Walking gives one a unique perspective, and a way to truly see the details and experience the landscape.

When I lived in the 'burbs, I'd take long walks at night with my dog, through the quiet suburban streets. It was true bliss and freedom!

Ironically, when I moved to the country a dozen years ago, I largely stopped walking, as the long distances with little in the way of interest or scenery change can be quite boring at such a slow speed. For the first time in my life, I started gaining weight! I still do take walks on my own property- just going out and sauntering for an hour once in a while- usually at night- but after half a century of walking, it was getting a little boring to do too often- which is actually one of the reasons I took up cycling.

The feeling of speed on the bike; and the ability to cover significant distances and see much scenery; and to be able to somewhat disconnected from the environment; but yet toi be able to fully experience it, while getting some serious exercise [I think I'm in better shape now after 3 years of cycling, than I've ever been in, in my entire life] makes cycling a real joy and benefit in every way.

But I still love to walk- only now that I cycle too, I don't "have to" walk; I can save walking for when I really feel like it- and then really enjoy it.

I tend to walk more in the winter these days- because in the summer I ride more often. For the last few weeks, in the dead of winter, the weather has been too crappy to do much cycling [I only rode 38 miles last week!]- so instead, I'll go for walks. It's a nice change.

It's funny- I can think back to virtually any period of my life, and think of the walks I used to take; where I'd go; what I was thinking; even remembering specific walks. If I had tracked the miles I've walked through my life...I bet I'd be shocked to see how much distance I've covered- but I can't be bothered doing that- although I'd estimate, these days, I'm probably only walking about 500 miles per year. In the past, I'm sure I'd log several thousand miles per year.

I consider it a gift to have grown-up in a car-free home. We walked everywhere, since the time i was a baby.
Excellent narrative. Thanks for posting. A lot of your experiences are mine, also.
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Old 02-08-15, 07:07 PM
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i am now an avid cyclist, but in the early 90's i was fortunate enough to have the time and resources to backpack from Calgary Alberta, to Gallup, N.M. i carryied a pack with camping gear, food, and cooking gear. i can say that traveling by foot, approximately 15-20 miles per day, was arduous over a period of time, but not too much of an aerobic exercise, except when bushwacking my way through Glacier and Yellowstone. i had to pay close attention to the condition of my feet. two or three miles, then off came the boots and socks and a close inspection for incipient blisters and a ten-minute rest. i kept them well wrapped in adhesive tape at the wear points. it helped to walk off-road too. just a few millimeters of dirt and sand was enough to make a difference. i probably did some permanent damage to one knee (tendonitis), but all-in-all was well worth it.

gee, it just occurred to me that i might be conflating things, like Brian Williams. i hope not. if so, at least i'm not doing it on a popular late-night network TV show.

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Old 02-09-15, 12:28 PM
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Who is this Mark... oh hey, tractorlegs!
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Old 02-09-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Stone
Excellent narrative. Thanks for posting. A lot of your experiences are mine, also.
Thanks.

I'm very glad that you started this thread.

Last year when my 16 year-old dog died, I went about 3 months without cycling, as I found walking to be a great comfort and solace- it's just so conducive to thinking and reminiscing; and getting "lost" in almost another realm, where one is like a disembodied spirit, just free to exist upon the landscape (One of the reasons I love to wlk at night, when it's dark and quiet)
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Old 02-09-15, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Stone
Good thought. After a few days, I may change the title of this thread to something similar ("Other sports and hobbies"), if the walking discussion doesn't blossom.
Maybe the new subforum could be called "Cross-Training" ... and would include all the exercise/sports things we do as cross-training, or to take a break from the bicycle for a bit so we don't overtrain, or just because we like doing a variety of things.


There Rowan and I could talk about our attempt at using our surf skis on the weekend The surf was big enough that it was almost like being on a kayak-style rowing machine. Good upper body workout ... my biceps and shoulders are still recovering.
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Old 02-09-15, 08:06 PM
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Most of my walking is done at work. I work in a theater multiplex and walk in front of every single seat twice plus going up and down the halls. Most mornings I ride the bus most of the way to work, but get off and ride my bike a few blocks and then hurtle down a steep and twisty hill, woo hoo! Of course coming home, I have to ride back up that hill. It's 17% in some places. But since I don't have to be home at an exact time, I then ride my bike all the way home. I'm just getting in good enough shape that I'm doing it in under 1 1/2 hours.
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Old 02-10-15, 05:42 PM
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Yesterday evening was gym night for us because that's when my spinning class is. But it just works out that we arrive about half an hour before the spinning class starts ... so I hop on the treadmill to warm up.

I did a brisk 2.15 km walk at a bit of an incline for 25 minutes, then quickly changed shoes and hopped on the spin bike for the 50 minute class ... a bit of stretching and another quick shoe change, and I was back on the treadmill for 9 minutes to take me up to a 2.9 km walking total.

The legs were feeling it by the time we headed home!
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Old 02-11-15, 04:26 PM
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Yesterday, I walked 6.4 km over 4 walks outside. That's my biggest day of walking so far this year, and brings me to 80 km for the year so far.

I do 1 km on my way to and from work most days. The bus is the majority of my commute, but I do need to walk between home and bus and bus and work. Then I nipped out to get tickets to an event at lunch, decided it was a nice day, and kept walking. And after work, we walked down to the beach, along the beach, and back.


Very nice! But for one little problem. Blisters. I should have changed shoes when I went out at lunch.
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Old 02-12-15, 12:06 AM
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It has come to my attention that I splay my feet out a bit when I walk and that I need to "correct it" to ensure I walk in a "straight line without drifting". Thing is, I find that pointing my toes/feet straight ahead to be unnatural and a bit uncomfortable, not to mention slows me down and distracts me from my surroundings (due to concentrating on "correcting the issue")...
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Old 02-12-15, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
It has come to my attention that I splay my feet out a bit when I walk and that I need to "correct it" to ensure I walk in a "straight line without drifting". Thing is, I find that pointing my toes/feet straight ahead to be unnatural and a bit uncomfortable, not to mention slows me down and distracts me from my surroundings (due to concentrating on "correcting the issue")...
People point out the same thing to me (I only notice it myself when walking in snow ), but it has never seemed to cause any problems.
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Old 02-12-15, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
It has come to my attention that I splay my feet out a bit when I walk and that I need to "correct it" to ensure I walk in a "straight line without drifting". Thing is, I find that pointing my toes/feet straight ahead to be unnatural and a bit uncomfortable, not to mention slows me down and distracts me from my surroundings (due to concentrating on "correcting the issue")...
Who told you that you need to correct it? I do that with no problems that I know of.
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Old 02-12-15, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120
Who told you that you need to correct it? I do that with no problems that I know of.
Well, it was my Orientation & Mobility Specialist.
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Old 02-12-15, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
It has come to my attention that I splay my feet out a bit when I walk and that I need to "correct it" to ensure I walk in a "straight line without drifting". Thing is, I find that pointing my toes/feet straight ahead to be unnatural and a bit uncomfortable, not to mention slows me down and distracts me from my surroundings (due to concentrating on "correcting the issue")...
No one walks a straight line without drifting. We all use our eyes to keep on course.
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Old 02-12-15, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
Well, it was my Orientation & Mobility Specialist.
Bet them. Then have them put on a blindfold and walk a straight line down a hall. Then collect your money.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 02-12-15, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
Well, it was my Orientation & Mobility Specialist.
Does he ride? He could buy a nice bike with what he collects from you for "fixing" your "problem".
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Old 02-13-15, 11:45 AM
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My wife doesn't ride anymore due to balance issues. However she likes to walk including walking about a dozen marathons. She now has me doing about 3 half marathons with her a year. We have one coming up in early May (Flying Pig in Cincinnati) so I'm walking about 10 miles a week for training.

"Training for walking?" you may scoff. Even with training, I'll be more sore the next day after a half marathon than if I'd done a century ride.

One thing that's important to remember is good shoes. I spend over $130 on shoes and retire them to things like yard work after 400-500 miles.
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Old 02-13-15, 01:50 PM
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I miss walking. I used to work at a place near a mall and I could go for a nice long walk at lunch whether I biked or drove to work. The place I'm at now is in an armpit of a city with no sidewalks so I drive to the gym at lunch. so stupid
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Old 02-13-15, 02:00 PM
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On days that I drive to work I walk approximately 2 km from the parking lot to my office. I work in a large complex and have occasionally walked as much as 6 km between buildings on a single day. When I ride my bike I only have to walk about 1.5 km to my office, but sometimes still have to do the long walks around site.

I think a lot of folks around here take up walking for exercise when winter comes, but just as many get out their XC skis, and a much smaller group get their studded bike tires on.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
Well, it was my Orientation & Mobility Specialist.
Maybe it's a matter of degree. If your feet were splayed out too wide, I guess you could develop knee problems eventually like some of the ballet dancers do from moving around so much with their toes out. If I keep my feet straight I kick my forward leg with the one moving forward.
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Old 02-13-15, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120
Maybe it's a matter of degree. If your feet were splayed out too wide, I guess you could develop knee problems eventually like some of the ballet dancers do from moving around so much with their toes out. If I keep my feet straight I kick my forward leg with the one moving forward.
Exactly . I'm not planning on becoming a bloody tight rope walker.

Besides, I feel that the slightly splayed out "duck foot" actually is safer on uneven surfaces- allows me to shift balance much quicker in another direction if needed to avoid a fall.
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