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The Ultra Walk – How To Turn Up The Speed

For runners, walking is…well…slow. Why walk, when you can run?

The reality is, most of us will walk at some point (or many points) during an ultrarunning event. With some subtle (or less subtle) technique changes, that sluggish walk can actually feel a bit spunky.

As I was walking alongside Lisa during the Texas edition of RHTA, she still had enough energy to teach us how to increase our walking speed. 35 miles on the day and 1100+ miles into her a adventure, Lisa is still giving…amazing and inspiring.

Here is the tip she shared to speed up the ultra walk:

  • Hands positioned with thumbs pointing up
  • Exaggerate the forward arm-swing such that your hands swing up to shoulder height.
  • This motion will help align the upper body and engage the core.
  • You will sense that the core is guiding your forward movement which BAM – helps increase your ultra walking speed.

Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Practice Practice Practice

And the biggest tip to walk/hike fast and efficiently, is to incorporate focused walking/hiking in your training. Being able to power walk/hike comfortably at 13-15 minute/miles versus 20 minute/miles, you will be walking as fast as some will be running. No joke! Practice!

What other tips have you used to speed up the ultra walk?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

(Photo: Courtesy of / CC BY 2.0 )

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “The Ultra Walk – How To Turn Up The Speed”

  1. on 19 May 2010 at 1:43 pm Dave

    Take walk breaks early….I like to run 10 minutes….walk 2 minutes right out the gate….and I train as such…but then again….I am slow and steady…

  2. on 20 May 2010 at 3:32 pm David Hanenburg

    Dave – Thanks for sharing…we are talking about running without the 35 pound pack. 😉