Saturday, 10 July 2010

Is walking the answer?

I have completed two races this year. Unfortunately not without injury. I think that now I'm in my mid-60's I have to be a little more circumspect. A running injury that took 3 or 4 weeks to get over can now take much longer, several months in fact. And so I'm looking for an alternative form of exercise, at least until my injury settles down. Nature must always be given a chance to heal. I recall about ten years ago I injured my foot;perhaps a minor fracture somewhere in the arch. It felt like that anyway. It took 12 months to get back to running. Maybe my groin strain will also take that long. If so, then I'm mentally prepared to adapt. And so I've recently bought a pair of entry level Nordic Walking Sticks.
The shop assistant gave me a 10-minute course in the technique up and down the wide aisles of the multi-national sports-equipment supermarket and confidently sent me on my way. After 3 tentative days, during which small children laughed at me and big dogs bellowed as I passed, I found that I'd mastered the basic skills involved. In fact, I soon found that I was even inserting one or two confidence boosting flourishes into my walking style. And so I go on. My shoulders and upper arms appear to appreciate the work out, and without the pounding involved in mountain running my legs now have the opportunity to recover from the strains imposed upon them. A shelf full of cups, medals and trophies won since I was 60 are a sign that I've been pushing myself a little bit too hard.
So, is walking the answer? It could well be. Ask me again in 6 months.

5 comments:

Dave King said...

Difficult this: should one give in gracefully to old age or stem the tide for as long as possible. My wife is fighting both age and disability; her exploits in the garden are both a positive and a negative influence on her physically. Spiritually, though, they're a total boon.

Poet in Residence said...

Dave,
Much good luck to your wife in the garden.
I'm more of a side-stepper than a head-on battler. If I can't do it one way I'll try and find another. Now, I'm going to get the old bike out of mothballs. Dominic says if the feet are straight on the pedals they won't give the adductors any problems. Sounds fine to me!

Tramp said...

I used to run a lot and enjoy it but by the time I was 50, I found that every time a bit of fitness came and the workload could be increased, I'd get an injury and have to rest. It got too frustrating and so I took to walking, sometimes quite rapidly - over 120 steps per minute, left, right every second. I've never tried the Nordic walking sticks.
I for one will be watching with interest to your experiences.
Good Luck.
...Tramp

Poet in Residence said...

Hello Tramp,
120 steps a minute. Good heavens, that's pushing it.

I saw on your blog that you are in Prague. I've been there for a long weekend but it was only in the city, not on the trails.

But I have run in CZ a couple of times. One time I did a nice training run alongside a lake to the west of Brno. You can reach it by tram form the city centre. I took the ferry to the far end of the lake and walked/ran bits on the way back. There was a lakeside castle I remember where you could have a guided tour.

I've also been to, I think it is called, Alt Vater Gebirge, and did a training run there. I keep meaning to go back.

When the weather breaks I'll try my trail bike. With the stick and the bike I think I can live without getting too depressed. I do miss the running though.

Poet in Residence said...

Hello Dave, Dominic, Tramp and co. I've had to disable the comment box on Bard on the Run yet again. Sorry for any inconvenience.
gwilym