Power Walking for Triathlon Training

by Rick Carlo
(Schaumburg, IL)

My question is: Am I getting any kind of benefit to my triathlon training from doing 45 minute power walks during my lunch breaks or am I just missing out on rest/recovery, beating up my knees, adding to over-training, etc. by taking these walks?

As background, I am a 42yr old male training for my first Ironman (WI). This is my 3rd year of triathlon training. I spent most of my 30s not overweight, but my activity level was relatively low. I am historically a runner focusing on marathon training (6 under my belt). I have suffered from ITBS, but seem to have that under control if I stick with my natural stride.

I enjoy the walks which are done with a co-worker. I would run during lunch, but I do not have access to a shower facility so walking has allowed me to get some exercise in the past. Now that I am training for an Ironman I don't know if the walks could actually be detrimental.

Thanks for considering my question.


Intelligent Triathlon Training replies:

If you’re reasonably fit, which by the sounds of things you are these lunchtime power walks won’t provide any additional training benefit for your triathlons. However they are unlikely to be detrimental either. Just make sure that if you are feeling tired you either don’t walk that day, or go a bit slower.

Whilst power walking might not provide a training benefit for you, they could still be a useful part of your triathlon training, acting as an active recovery session.

Because the walking will get you nice and warm, you could include some stretching or mobility work at the end. As you probably know stretching is often helpful for ITBS (illiotibial band syndrome), and it is also something that people often find hard to fit into their day.

Another potential use of your 45 minutes at lunchtime could be to do some running drills if you wanted to do something more specific to triathlon.

So overall, power walking will be generally good for your health, and is unlikely to be detrimental to your triathlon training so long as you don’t over-do it if you feel tired. So keep doing walking, especially if you enjoy it!

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