I’ve just started going running in my local park in the evenings, and have been struck by how many people I see power walking rather than doing a proper jog. I know this is recommended as an alternative to get you started, but I do sometimes wonder as I cross paths with the power walkers if they aren’t just would-be runners covering up a little rest.
Of course the reason I wonder this is that I do it too. I am a rubbish runner, and when I start to run out of breath, energy and pride, I will often slow down to a brisk heel-and-toe walk, telling myself it must still be good for me as it’s an Olympic sport. I don’t really believe this, and am not sure most of my fellow walkers do either; I detect a certain shame-facedness about it as we pass each other. It’s the fitness version of the middle class habit of keeping up appearances I suppose, and as usual it’s done to make ourselves feel less guilty rather than actually convincing anyone.