When I wrote about the positive impact run/walk has had on my life, I focused on the physical benefits. There is a psychological benefit, as well.
When I’m out running, either in an organized event like the Bolder Boulder or just for myself, it’s already part of the plan that I will stop and take a walking break every 7 minutes. I’ve spoken with runners who feel disappointment if they have to stop and walk in the middle of a run, especially during a race. They have a mindset that focuses on whether they are ‘feeling good’ today, and how to maximize the ‘good’ runs. I never concern myself with ‘feeling good’ or ‘disappointment’. Stopping to walk is always a part of the plan.
This frees my mind to focus on other things – such as the scenery or how to solve the latest problem at the office. My expectation during a race is to walk every 7 minutes, so if I’m feeling tired or if I’m going too fast I don’t worry about it because there is a walking break coming up soon and I can reset.
Summarizing, the primary benefits of the run/walk for me:
1. I can actually keep doing it in my 40s and I hope into my 50s, 60s and 70s. This has fueled a lifestyle and level of general health that later in life permitted me to try other sports that I now enjoy.
2. Psychologically I am never disappointed to stop and walk. Success isn’t measured by how the course was finished; success is a matter of whether I was able to have the experience at all.