Walking uphill vs. running

I had a revelation yesterday at the gym.

I now understand the concept of a runner’s high.

Oddly, it came to me while walking.

I swore I never experienced it before while I was sweating and struggling through those miles at the gym. I never understood those girls who looked so damn happy running their miles a few treadmills over from me.  They made it look so easy and I always felt like a hot, drippy mess.

But strangely enough, following a treadmill work out where I was walking uphill most of the way, I realized I feel better after jogging.

Let me rewind a little bit.

You may remember that a few months ago, I was gloating/celebrating running three miles straight for the first time. I was so excited and hoping to continue on to a point where I could run three miles regularly.

Well, that never happened.

Shortly after that point, my right knee started to twinge a little bit when I ran. And having grown up with a Dad who had terrible knee issues, I was not inclined to keep running. So, I stopped for a while to make sure I wasn’t messing with anything.

After a few months, I started jogging  on the treadmill every once in a while, but never three miles straight. It was more of an interval treadmill workout.

Around this time, I also discovered that if I put the incline on the treadmill up to level 10 and walked at about 3.7 or higher, I was burning more calories than I was if I was jogging at about 4.3 (turtle-style runner here!) .  Or at least that’s what the treadmill counter said.

And there are plenty of sources that expound on the benefits of walking uphill.

It seemed I had found a major victory. I had found a way around running, which I’ve avoided like the plague for most of my life.  And I was still getting a good cardio workout.

But yesterday morning, a new reality set in.

I realized after logging my half hour of uphill walking today that I didn’t feel the same way I did after finishing a few miles of jogging.  I felt like I’d exercised, but that I’d somehow taken the easy way out even though the calorie counter says I didn’t.


I think I may have to start jogging more.

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What are your thoughts? Uphill walking workout or running?


One thought on “Walking uphill vs. running

  1. I know what you mean! I feel like I don’t get as much of a workout after the classes I take, insanity, etc; But I’ve heard the interval training is better for you – there’s also a few good ones on pinterest that I have yet to checkout.

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