Try Ralking (Run/Walking) When Trail Conditions Are Hazardous And You Want To Safely Warm Up Your Fascia


Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

This blog is all about developing programs of safe exercise for better health, for which I explore my relationship to the earth on a regular basis, and I like to learn from all those great non-human animals out there.

Horses, animals, quality of life, FitOldDog's advice, cycling,

FitOldDog feeding apple to a friendly equine friend during a training ride. Photo by Sue

I don’t know how many of you have ridden a horse, but there clearly four major ways that they progress, walking, trotting, cantering and galloping. The walk, canter and gallop are pretty straightforward, if you have good balance, but the trot is a whole ‘nother thing! You have the get your balance and timing right, to match that of the horse or you’ll have your teeth shaken out of your head, or worse you’ll lose control. It is important to note that some horses, once they sense that you are not in charge, will give you one hell of a hard time. It’s the same with your body whilst running. Do it right and it’s smooth as silk. Do it wrong and you’ll be headed for the knee surgeon before you know it.

Photo of FitOldDog's lovely Labrador, Willbe, who is great company on trails.

Willbe loves to run trails, and he’s great company out there in the woods. Photo by Jess.

It is important to explore your stride, and avoid injuries as best you can. This is why I like to ‘RALK’ from time to time, which I did recently for several miles accompanied by our Labrador, Willbe. I consider this to be the human equivalent of trotting in horses, but it’s carried out on two legs! It’s pretty simple, really, in that you flop along, going slightly faster than a walk but slower than a run, relaxing your arms at your sides, and almost running. The result is to shake your body around in the most relaxing way, if you get your timing right, and your body parts are nicely integrated, as opposed to fighting each other. You land softly, move from your shoulders, but don’t quite let both feet leave the ground at the same time – almost but not quite! I find that I can do this for extended periods of time, it warms me up, whilst I have good contact with the ground and there is essentially no impact shock, which is a good thing if you have an abdominal aortic stent (AAA) graft holding you together!

Ralking is a great pre-run warm-up, as it’s designed to get your fascia (connective tissue) flowing (YES! Flowing), and it is especially effective on icy, slippery terrain.

Give ralking a try! 

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.