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Running versus "Walking"

Sunday, February 03, 2013

It's been a little over a year since I first started the Couch to 5k running program. Since that time I've run 2 5k races & a 5 mile Turkey Trot. My longest run was 8 miles, & I am currently training for my first Half Marathon this April (the Pirate Half in OBX - any other Sparkers doing it?).

Now, this is all great. I remember vividly telling my husband last February that Week 4 of C25k (running 5 straight minutes) was my "max" & that my body was ready to give up. But I persevered & now regularly run 15 mile weeks. I'm not the best runner by far, I'm not very fast, I still consider 5 miles a "long run," & most days I have no desire to run - but I do. & I am very proud to consider myself a runner.

What's the problem, then? The problem is that SparkPeople's Fitness Tracker has considered exactly ONE of my runs over the past year an actual "run." My pace is usually about 13:20 / mile. It takes all I have, I run hard, & while it's not fast, I don't know anyone who could "walk" a 13 minute mile.

Apparently SparkPeople does.

Because with the Fitness Tracker, you're not considered "running" until your pace is below 12 minutes per mile. Not very hard for most runners, but it's hard for me. & I can't tell you how discouraged I feel after a hard 67 minute 5 mile run to come on to log it on the Fitness Tracker & have it show up as "Walking: 15 min / mile."

I understand that SparkPeople can't have every possible pace calculation in it's tracker, but would it be so hard to have at least a "jogging" option? We're here to support each other, to be healthy, to increase our fitness level - it's hard that one of my biggest discouragements comes from SparkPeople itself.

I'm not saying that I allow something as silly as the Fitness Tracker to belittle what I consider great accomplishments. It's just a small source of frustration after nearly ever workout, & I was wondering if anyone else felt this way.

Does anyone else have this problem? Anyone else get a little frustrated or down by being considered a "walker" after having what you felt was a great "run"?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I guess I never really paid attention too much, although I do remember being a bit ticked off once when I was beginning by it. You know you ran and put in the work and effort, don't let the tracker get you down. At the end of the day, no matter how slow you go, you're still miles ahead of those people still sitting on the couch!
    1744 days ago
    I didn't realize SP did it that way. I always use the map tracking option, and then it always calls it a "run/walk" no matter your pace...at least, I think it does. Are you using the mapping feature, or just searching for "running" in the list of exercises? I can totally see how that would be discouraging. I used to check my pace on a different website, and it would tell me I was moving at walking speed rather than what it categorized as jogging, so I know how irritating that is. It made me feel kind of lame. Over time, though, my pace has picked up quite a bit - I used to do 4.8 mph on the treadmill, and now I regularly run about 7mph when I'm doing my runs outdoors nowadays. But whether your pace increases, stays the same, or even slows, it's awesome that you're out there running at all, and there's always TONS of people who are slower than you are - and they're badass runners too! :)
    1775 days ago
    Don't let that tracker get you down. Never noticed that, as I am a walker. So far I have only been able to walk a 13.5 minute mile. Can't seem to get any faster, no matter how much I try. Here in this new city though, I am much, much slower. So may have to build back up. My last attempts at somewhat fast walking was only 17 minute miles, so may have to throw some speed walking back into it to get faster. This area is much hillier than my former city.

    But when you run or walk outside, conditions make a huge difference. Elevation, wind speed, etc. My faster walking lately I slow down a bit as it is wet and the hills make me slow down so I don't accidently slip. Trying to decide which way to walk today, or do I treadmill it. Should really go for my walk. But I so don't want to.
    1775 days ago
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