When is it steep enough to walk?

When is it steep enough to walk?

I have read a number of articles on power hiking vs running and there is no straight forward answer to this. All athletes have different abilities and when to walk depends on the individual runner. The most important thing to remember is that you want to move as efficiently as possible.

This allows you to conserve energy and keep your heart rate down. Runners who come from a pure road running background tend to run more of the steeper climbs. Where as an athlete who has come from say an adventure racing background will be more used to trekking and they will more than likely power hike a lot of the steep climbs. The trick is to find what works best for you. I have passed a number of athletes running while I have been power hiking during a race so walking can be faster than running at times. Another factor to consider is how far you will be running. If you are running a short distance then you can try run it all but if you are running a long way it may be better to conserve your energy and walk some of the steeper climbs. It is really important to practice power hiking in your training as just like running you need to get your body and legs used to this. I would suggest finding a steep hill and timing yourself at running it and then at hiking it. Do this a few times at the same heart rate and see which is quicker. This will give you a good idea at when you should be hiking and running. You can also you this as a benchmark to try and improve both your hill running and walking.

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