Ok, I agree, the word Cheating sounds rough. I titled it like this after a chat with my dad yesterday afternoon. He went out to do his very first 13 miler yesterday morning. I mapped the route for him two nights before. The map showed a 13.12 mile run but when he ran it, it only recorded 12.75 on his Nike+ in 2:03hrs.
Now, what does all of this have to do with walking? Well when I got back from running and I got to sit down and relax after freaking out over my horrible new shiny blood blister on my right foot. LOL yes.. Ewwww too.. My dad and I were talking about his run. He was bragging about him running non stop, but that came to an end when I told him that I ran 13.7 in 2:02 hr.. I explained to him that after mile 3 I made quick stops every 2 miles to get a bit of gatorade. He started laughing and said.. "ohhh that's cheating" you can't say that you ran that long when you walked part of the run.
Hmmm. Now, the question is; Is it cheating to take a quick walk here and there durning a run? there are so many ways to see this. Based on my experience alone, I have to take quick walks regardless.
1- After 4-5 miles of non stop running I need to start taking liquids, and I have not yet master the art of running and drinking at the same time.. My gatorade ends up all over my shirt and face. I've tried it. lol
2- Having a history of knee injuries, me running is against everything the Dr has told me. lol I am not supposed to play soccer, nor run for long periods of time. Screw the Dr I am running.. LOL what does he know right?
The liquid factor is not a big deal to be honest, I only need a few steps to get this done and I can be back to my regular pace in just seconds 'till I have the need to get water again. That usually happens every two or 3 miles after the first 5 miles. The longest I have run without stopping is 6 miles and I have only done this once in my entire life. The funny part is that I didn't do this on a treadmill but on the road. I never really understood how I did that.
The knee factor is a different issue. Now this is what happens; As stated before, I can run 5 miles non stop.. I can last for another 2 or so miles before starting to feel this really uncomfortable pressure on my knees. The first few times this happened and I did not payed attention, I ended up injured for almost 3 weeks without running. I noticed that taking a quick walk once it starts it helps me relieve that pressure and it actually stops completely allowing me to run for another mile or 2 before it starts again. So I have to do this throughout the rest of my run or depending on how hard the run is.
Lately I have been doing my long runs in a very hilly area so the walking part has become a big factor. However, I have noticed a decrease in my time for 13 and 15 mile runs, so even with a few walks, my times are getting shorter. it does not mean I am getting faster pace wise, because when I run I am keeping my regular pace 8:40-9:30.. my overall pace is crappy to my standards because I track my walks rather than pausing my Nike and Garmin. I figured, the clock at the race is not going to stop every time I take a walk so why should I do it while training?
Like I said, this is based on my own experience. Other people may have different reasons for taking a walk or two. I can see my dad's point when she says. "when you race you are doing a run not a run/walk, so if you walk then you are cheating" Again, I can see his point but I do not agree with it one bit. lol