Many people strive to go faster and faster, to beat their own best times for a given route, or distance, or to try to win a race. I have done both and still time myself on Nordic Walks. It is sometimes good to know how fast your workout was and kind of fun to beat a record – your own, or someone else’s.
But what, besides beating records could be defined as “success” in the case of Nordic Walking?
I tend to think that getting in shape, losing weight and staying healthy through Nordic Walking is a much bigger achievement, than beating a record, or winning a race.
Speaking of races, there seems to be a growing number of marathons, which allow a Nordic Walking division. I have no problem whatsoever with that, but since one could cover the distance in about the same time without poles, while expending less energy, Nordic walkers should compete within their own division, as they would definitely be handicapped in comparison with walkers, race walkers and the like, who would be expending considerably less energy and getting a lesser workout as well.
As a matter of fact, if you actually are Nordic Walking in an intensive way, getting the optimum workout and burning calories like crazy, unless you are in a superb condition, you shouldn’t even be able to do it for let’s say: more than 1.5 hours, before getting totally worn out. If you can do it intensively and longer, you are either a superb athlete, or you are not Nordic Walking hard enough.
On the other hand, much longer walks with poles are generally possible, if you do not make them very intensive. It is probably more beneficial as far as conditioning is concerned, to perform a hard, almost strenuous 30-minute Nordic walk, than a relatively relaxed two-hour one.
In short: It is entirely up to you to decide what Nordic Walking can do for you, but in my opinion it is not only one of the greatest year-round conditioning exercises around, but it is also an outdoor activity, which you can practice almost anywhere and it is just plain fun!
As usual, before starting any exercise regimen, you should consult your physician.
Follow my own progress and adventures in the regularly updated “My Nordic Walking Diary”.
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