Does All Mileage Count?

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I managed to eat so much during the day yesterday that I didn’t get hungry until 10:45 PM last night.  I’m trying not to eat for the sake of eating on long run days because then I end up stuffed and uncomfortable.  Instead, I’m re-fueling when I actually feel hungry (within reason, of course. I’m still calorie counting on long-run days to make sure I’m properly re-fueling).


I ended up having soup and pita chips (and some unpictured hummus) while watching TV with the Husband and my brother-in-law:


And some watermelon.


I woke up slowly this morning.  I have today off for Labor Day! Yay! Incredibly, I didn’t feel too sore from my 11.0-miler yesterday.  My legs felt a little stiff, but my knees were fine.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be doing double digits and not be in pain.


My original plan was to run a slow 5K by myself, so I had a mini bagel with Barney Butter (mini fuel so I could leave ASAP):


….But then I chatted with Megan and Kelly online and they said they wanted to exercise together.  We planned to meet up an hour later, so I headed back to the kitchen for more fuel:


And got dressed in a very girlie outfit:  🙂


We met up at Moss Park, which has a hidden natural preserve with dirt trails.  I love this park so much and have run a few races here, so it holds a special place in my heart.

We discussed actually running 3.0 miles, but decided that walking would be much, much better for our legs.  This prompted a debate on whether walking "counts" towards race training — I think it does as long as it’s at a steady pace (i.e. not walking my really slow dogs).  My motto was always been that mileage is mileage, whether you sprint, jog, or walk it.  It all counts towards making you stronger!


We ended up hiking for well over an hour!


  • Duration: 1 hour, 18 minutes
  • Distance: 4.16 miles


We say goodbye, and I raced home to make a veggie-packed lunch.  I was starving and craving some very specific foods:


Like corn on the cob:


And roasted potatoes with ketchup and snow peas:


Still Running Without ID?


Sara wrote me to say, "The story of that woman in DC who got hit by a bus while jogging (on a street in my neighborhood where I’ve jogged before) finally got me to order a Road ID. For the next 30 days, anyone can get $1 off their order by using the coupon code ThanksSara537956.  Here’s hoping we’ll all wear them but never actually need them!"


Have a wonderful day!


What do you think — does mileage count towards training even if you are walking it?



  • Ashley Lauren September 7, 2009, 10:09 am

    Since you're engaging the muscles, just with less impact, in my unscientific opinion walking counts for something!

    Thanks for the encouragement yesterday- I finished my first race!! It was a lot of fun 🙂

  • Kelly September 7, 2009, 10:12 am

    I wouldn't count walking miles towards my "running" miles for the week. But I would count it as overall miles. Getting stoked for next weekend!

  • Lori September 7, 2009, 10:13 am

    It certainly counts towards training, just like rest days do!

    Great job on the pain-free running!

  • inmytummy September 7, 2009, 10:17 am

    Thanks for the RoadID code. I really need to get one.

  • Lizzy September 7, 2009, 10:18 am

    i think it certainly counts!!!! mileage is mileage!!!!

  • inmytummy September 7, 2009, 10:25 am

    I just bought a Road ID! Thanks for always highlighting the importance of these. It persuaded me to get one.

  • brandi September 7, 2009, 10:27 am

    that park is beautiful! what a cool place to walk/run.

    i think mileage counts, no matter what you're doing: running, walking, roller blading, biking…you're still working your heart and lungs and legs.

  • jvegegirl September 7, 2009, 10:34 am

    I don't think walking mileage counts towards running, but it's good "cross"-training.

  • recipesforcreativity September 7, 2009, 10:36 am

    Yummy looking potatoes! Who cares if walking counts towards your mileage – you got out and moved your body, saw some beautiful sights, and spent time with friends! Good stuff!

  • Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) September 7, 2009, 10:38 am

    I would probably not count it as mileage but I tend to underestimate exercise anyway.

    Do you find that you get hungry not long after a lower-protein lunch like the one you had today? Just curious!

  • Susan September 7, 2009, 10:47 am

    I think that walking counts as a good form of cross training and stretching out your legs, but I wouldn't count the miles towards running. I know I feel better after a good walk, though!

  • platipus329 September 7, 2009, 10:55 am

    I don't think walking miles and runnin miles are the same or should be counted the same, but I think both are beneficial for training and good forms of excersise

  • Kristen @ Simply Savor September 7, 2009, 11:01 am

    so glad you're feeling pain-free after the 11-miler yesterday! i agree that walking counts as long as its at a faster, more intense pace. i just bought my Road ID–thanks for bringing this up! have a wonderful monday off 🙂

  • Matt September 7, 2009, 11:07 am

    Walking and running are too completely different things. I think walking can be "cross training", but it shouldn't be counted towards running mileage.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 7, 2009, 11:13 am

    deb – i notice hunger more if the meal is low-fat or low-fiber (the potatoes have EVOO on them so this lunch had some healthy fat).

  • Happy Feet 26.2 September 7, 2009, 11:15 am

    I do not count walking toward my running mileage, but it definitely counts for cross training & for calorie burning(which most of us are in to). Each week I track my running, walking, biking, yoga, and weight workouts. All separate, but all part of the total package.

  • Oh She Glows September 7, 2009, 11:16 am

    yea it totally counts…I trained for both my 10 k and my 10 miler by doing mostly speedy hill walking! 🙂

  • Oh She Glows September 7, 2009, 11:17 am

    Oops hit submit too soon, I meant to add that I dont count it toward actual running mileage though.

  • applecrumbles September 7, 2009, 11:23 am

    I count my walking miles separately from running miles. Somehow I think it's cheating. But if one isn't so obsessed, walking is great for training if you do steep hills and also couple the walking with sprints.

  • K from ksgoodeats September 7, 2009, 11:36 am

    Glad you didn't feel sore after your 11 miles – that must have been a big relief 🙂

    Those roasted potatoes look absolutely delicious!

  • Bec September 7, 2009, 11:38 am

    I think walking millage counts for sure just as long as you are still running and when you walk you do the distance you need to do not time

  • Susan September 7, 2009, 11:42 am

    I think it definitely counts for something! For me though, the shorter runs are all about pushing the high heart rates, as running is still very much a cardio challenge for me, and not a muscular one. So walking instead would defeat the purpose for me. At the same time, I think you did a great thing for your muscles by walking and not running the day after a long run 🙂

    I have the same philosophy on my long workout days. Eat till I'm satisfied. I find the hunger takes a day to catch up with me anyways, so there's no sense in stuffing myself silly just to make up for the burned calories. It'll balance out 🙂

  • MelissaNibbles September 7, 2009, 11:42 am

    Those potatoes look delicious. How did you cook them and are they just regular Idaho potatoes?

  • Alex September 7, 2009, 11:46 am

    I think walking definitely counts toward fitness, but running miles only count if they are done running – like they always say, the only way to train for running is by running!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 7, 2009, 11:50 am

    melissa – they are called baby dutch yellow poatoes. i just slice, coat in EVOO and salt, and roast.

  • teacherwoman September 7, 2009, 11:56 am

    I think that hiking can most definitely be included into your training distance. I would just look at it as an easy recovery run or something (even though hiking is not easy by any means). 🙂 Sounds like fun and a great way to kick of Labor Day! Enjoy the rest of your day off!

  • Angela (RUn Study Eat) September 7, 2009, 12:18 pm

    wow. I really ned to get a Road ID.

  • angieinatlanta September 7, 2009, 12:28 pm

    I definitely agree that mileage counts if it's purposeful! I'm sure you girls were walking at a nice, steady, brisk pace and engaging the same leg muscles so it totally counts.

    I'm glad to hear your knees are feeling good! I'll keep my fingers permanently crossed for you!

  • Kirsten September 7, 2009, 1:05 pm

    I'm glad for all the votes that it does count! I walk two miles round trip through Boston to work every day and sometimes count it when I am justifying missing a run 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) September 7, 2009, 1:39 pm

    I don't count walking. I use it as crosstraing I count it towards that. I understand the need to rest somedays but I don't count it.

    But yeah for pain free! I can truly appreciate that lately. I'm hoping that my small run later will be pain free after giving my hip a rest.

  • Kate September 7, 2009, 2:08 pm

    Yes and no. It can be good endurance training, and very good active recovery. So, given that it the purpose was recovery and the choice was between a slow, yucky 5k or an enjoyable long hike, it definitely counts!

    But you can't walk all your runs, so you have to draw the line somewhere!

  • Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles) September 7, 2009, 2:46 pm

    I think walking counts as good cardio and recovery- not for actual training purposes but recovery IS essential to training!!

    I always used to walk on my "off" days from training when I was training for endurance running.


  • Taylor September 7, 2009, 3:14 pm

    I completely think that walking/hiking is excellent exercise, especially the day after a long run! I personally never ran after my long runs, but walks loosen up the legs perfectly! It's hard to count walking/hiking towards strenuous exercise all the time though, since sometimes you just need to SWEAT! haha. But sounds good for today!

  • Julia September 7, 2009, 3:40 pm

    I would personally count walking as cross training, just because I don't think I would quite benefit the same training wise from a walk as I would a run.
    So like Kelly it would count for overall miles but not running miles.
    What a beautiful place to get to walk!

  • Sara September 7, 2009, 3:44 pm

    Soup seems so appealing lately. Must be fall already?! Amy's/Health Valley, here we come….

  • TinaGirl September 7, 2009, 5:15 pm

    On the milage topic. I do believe that walking at a brisk steady pace counts towards your milage BUT remember that it uses different muscles to walk and different body positioning. it is actually a x-training which is great! I train and walk for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (nearly 40 miles of San Fransiscan hills in one weekend!) in the MIDDLE of my summer base training for the marathon. Believe you me… it all counts!

  • Mackenzie September 7, 2009, 5:17 pm

    Couldn't you just eat more calories for a few days in a row after your long run days instead of trying to replenish them all in one go, so that you get to avoid uncomfy fullness? Or does refueling not work like that? I keep trying to rewrite this post because I think it reads like my questions are rhetorically sarcastic, but I'm seriously just curious and can't think of how to pose the questions! so sorry and thank you!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 7, 2009, 5:28 pm

    Mackenize – That doesn't sound sarcastic at all 🙂 The answer is yes, to a point. You have to immediately eat back some proteins + carbs to help your muscles heal properly. And my hunger is jacked usually for two days after a run. Your body doesn't know "Hey its 12:00 AM, switching over to lower cal needs now!" Does that make sense?

  • Lauren September 7, 2009, 5:52 pm

    Absolutely all mileage counts. Really, any form of putting stress on your body is entirely worthy of counting towards your exercise goals.

    A 4 mile hike sounds like the perfect way to keep your mileage going but working different muscles, which is extremely important during training.

  • Jenna September 7, 2009, 6:18 pm

    any type of exercise is great!

  • Jess September 7, 2009, 7:19 pm

    I don't run everyday, but I walk at least a mile with my dogs everyday to keep all our hearts just a little healthier. I'm not sure how that factors into your marathon training, since we both know I'm a running novice, but I think any type of exercise in a day is great!

  • shawna September 8, 2009, 4:33 am

    I don't know why, but those potatoes look awesome!!!

  • Ali September 8, 2009, 9:16 am

    I like to think that walking counts. I walk to and from work everyday for a combined total of 5 miles. I like to think that this miles count as well as the miles I run in the morning. But, of course I am no expert.

  • Alicia October 8, 2009, 5:33 am

    Hmm… walking as mileage. I agree – I think it has to be with a purpose, and intensive. I would not count a slow walk as mileage. Jeff Galloway promotes running and walking for training, so I think if you get your heart rate, and sweating a bit, then yes it definitely counts, or when doing a long run, running a few minutes and walking a few minutes to cover the total giant distance. Anyway, I’ve run half marathons where the walkers finished under 2 hours… if I walked like that, I would DEFINATELY count it as mileage! 😉

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