Walks and Weekly Mileage

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Happy Birthday to my Dad! He turned 60 last week – a very big milestone!

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To celebrate, we hung out all afternoon.  The weather here is so nice; we took James on a sunny 3.0 mile walk


Actually – I have a question for the runners out there.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love taking walking breaks during runs and even walked/ran my way to my one and only sub-2:00 hour half marathon.  I am a huge advocate of walking as a way to help you increase endurance and distance.  Here’s the question: when I go on a 3.0 mile walk, do I count those miles towards my weekly total or do I just mark it as a cross training day?


I was wondering because I’m really trying to ramp up my distance as I move towards my March 26 Half.  I try (key word – try) to stick to the 10% increase rule, which says you shouldn’t increase your total weekly distance by more than 10% each week (so if I ran 20 miles last week, this week I don’t go over 22).


Part of me says that straight-up walks don’t count towards overall distance for someone like me, who is mainly a runner.  But I don’t want to overextend my legs.  Now, if my walk/run intervals were more like 1:1, maybe it could count.




Pre-walk snack of chocolate PB and celery:


Post-walk nom nom of Wheat Chex and Vanilla Chobani:


And my LAST DINNER OUT for the month of February (ohmigosh – panic attack is setting in) was Dad’s birthday celebration at a Thai restaurant called Thai Taste.  I will definitely be back to Thai Taste once Eat-In Month is over!


Steamed spring rolls with the lightest, crunchiest veggies on the inside: 


For my entree, I got the cashew tofu and fluffy white rice.  SO delicious.  The veggies were crisp and fresh; the flavors were subtle and classic. 



I’m turning in early.  Lately, I’ve noticed that my body is seriously affected by lack of sleep or lack of veggies (I think this is due to stress), so I’m trying to make an effort to do all the healthy things I know I need.  🙂



  • Heidi - apples under my bed February 16, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Looks like a great Thai place! Happy 60th birthday to your dad! I love the idea of steamed spring rolls, never head them before. Sorry, no help with the running, this is purely a food comment 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Southern Sober Girl Runs February 16, 2011, 9:28 pm

    you count EVERY step/jump/crawl you take in that run..!

  • Jess February 16, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I would say no, don’t count the walks towards your weekly mileage. Maybe if you were a brand new runner, but you’ve been at it awhile now, right?

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Yea, this is my 5th year as a runner and my 4th half marathon… I don’t think I should count strolls towards mileage, you’re right.

      • Baking 'n' Books February 16, 2011, 9:42 pm

        I agree if your going for casual strolls or a short time. BUT if you are running a lot and then go for longer more brisk walks, it can surprisingly do more to your body than you think. I know a lot of people will eschew that, but it’s true and studies have shown it.

        This is why a lot of people who are recovering from serious injury or health issues (like eating disorders) – and yes, I know that neither applies here though!!) – often cannot recover even if they are “only walking”. It still does stress the body.

        But I think in this case your just talking about casual strolls versus an uphill hike 😉

        (P.P.S – don’t run now – used to be a serious runner and studied this college so what do i know 😉 )

        • Carina February 17, 2011, 5:20 pm

          No, I would not count the walks in your weekly mileage (unless you did some huge walk like 60 miles in 3 days or something). I’m assuming you don’t count other walking you do either (at the grocery store, etc.), other than a walk break during a run. I think you can safely increase your RUNNING miles 10%.

        • Baking 'n' Books February 17, 2011, 7:12 pm

          Oh I concur. I just mean if she’s doing a lot that’s all. But I guess that’s common sense…

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 16, 2011, 9:31 pm

    Those spring rolls look amazing! Great choice for your last eat-out meal!

    I would count the walk as cross training at the most. I guess it depends on how quickly you walk!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 16, 2011, 9:36 pm

    Happy birthday HTP dad! I would count those miles as cross training.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 16, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Instinct tells me that walking can’t count towards weekly mileage. Simply because it doesnt use the same muscles as running.

  • Evan Thomas February 16, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Happy birthday, James Cameron–I mean, Peter Noris!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing February 16, 2011, 9:43 pm

    We made spring rolls over Christmas and that picture makes me crave them!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 16, 2011, 9:47 pm

    I think it depends on how fast you guys were walking. If it was a casual stroll, then maybe not. But if you power walking, then yes?

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 8:53 am

      Yea – it was more of a stroll.

  • Lauren February 16, 2011, 9:48 pm

    When I take a few walk breaks during a run, I count the whole distance. I don’t count when I just walk though. I think walk breaks can lead to awesome runs though!

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul February 16, 2011, 9:48 pm

    I agree that it depends on the intensity of the walking. If you’re going out for a “walk” I would say count it. If it’s incidental walking around, like shopping, I wouldn’t count it.

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 16, 2011, 9:51 pm

    If it’s a leisurely stroll, complete with lots of stops for the doggies, I don’t count ’em, but if I’m walking like I do when I’m in a race walk/running, then most definitely they count!

  • m February 16, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Cait, I am a patient at the Renfrew Center (for ED recovery), and I saw today that the bathroom mirror is covered with post-its of affirmations! There is a pen and pile of notes available for all the girls to write notes and stick on the mirror. 🙂
    I took a picture, but it seemed sorta invasive (given that it’s a healthcare facility), so I didn’t send it to you. But it really made me smile.

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 8:54 am

      That is amazing!!! I love that you found it 🙂 I hope you look at the pic whenever you need a boost.

  • faith February 16, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Walking is great but don’t count it in with your running miles. As you know, the 10% rule is all about avoiding injury and walking just doesn’t provide the same stress on your joints and ligaments as running. If you count in the walking you could take too big of a jump up in your running miles and fall prey to injury.

  • Alice February 16, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Personally I don’t count walking in the running total, that is cross training. I fail at cross training and my physical therapist wants me to do something besides running and allows walks to be counted in that something else category.

    I’ll probably get yelled at here but while you don’t want to up your weekly mileage by a ton each week, you can go up by more than 10%…I’d say at 20mpw you can up it 20% right now just be sure to have step back weeks every monthish. I’ve read all sorts of conflicting articles about increasing mileage the best advice is just listen to your body. And of course stretch/foam roll/ice a lot and rest extra if you feel more than normal niggles.

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 8:55 am

      Aweeeeeeeeeesome. Thank you for giving me permission!

  • VeggieGirl February 16, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Happy birthday to your dad!! And I hope you’re able to rest up tonight.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans February 16, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Personally I count walking as cross training. Its definitely good for you but probably not the conditioning you are looking for in training.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 16, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Happy birthday to your dad! 😀
    I would count walking as cross training!

  • Melissa February 16, 2011, 9:57 pm

    I look at pure walking miles as “bonus miles” as long as they are done at a certain level of intensity (casual stroll = no; sweat inducing, heart rate pumping = yes). To me, it’s still “time on your feet” which I felt was beneficial when training for my first (and only to-date) marathon. I count them towards weekly mileage but they don’t substitute for running mileage in my training plan. So if I have 30 miles on the training plan, I could increase to 33 the next week. Walking miles are bonus but if I did 10 throughout the week I would say “40 miles on my feet”.

    I say this b/c early in the marathon training cycle I would go run 3-5 miles after work and then come home and immediately go back out with Matt and the doggies for a 3-4 mile sweaty heart rate pumping walk. Bonus mileage for sure but I think really helped overall in the training.

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 8:57 am

      I think walking helps training so much, too. It uses slightly different muscles! I like the idea of saying 30 miles ran, 35 on my feet.

      • Allison @ Happy Tales February 17, 2011, 11:51 pm

        I completely agree with this mindset… keep the “running miles” and “miles on your feet” as separate entities…

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness February 16, 2011, 9:58 pm

    I think it sort of depends. Personally, I’m pretty competitive with myself and don’t count a random couple miles here or there that I walk if I feel like just walking.

    However, I’ve definitely done a 7-mile trail walk before and totally felt it the next day. When it’s that long- I’d say it counts as a form of crosstraining… but that’s just me. 🙂

  • christine February 16, 2011, 9:59 pm

    I’d have to agree with walking not counting, based on all the books I’ve read. And, according to one that I read recently (Run Less, Run Faster) cross training should really be biking or swimming to give the running muscles a break.

    PS- I totally don’t practice what I preach on the last part- I use walking and the elliptical for cross training.

  • Marie-JourneytoBodyZen February 16, 2011, 9:59 pm

    Sleep is so important! I’ve totally noticed how stress affects my sleeping patterns and poor sleeping patterns make for a long day. Glad to hear it’s getting a little better for you!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef February 16, 2011, 10:00 pm

    i think walks – even strenuous hikes or some of the other walks as described in other comments – are walks. not mileage. i’m a purist- running is running. walk breaks in the midst of a long run still make your run a 10 mile run… but a straight up walk is just cross-training, i think.

  • KT80 February 16, 2011, 10:06 pm

    I think walk breaks during a run are fine to count towards your mileage. I would be careful to track the time your run takes so that over time you can see an improvement in distance as well as time.

  • Charlie February 16, 2011, 10:10 pm

    I’ve been craving thai food for a couple days. You’re not helping with that yummy looking dinner ;).

  • Meg February 16, 2011, 10:14 pm

    i don’t think walks count toward mileage, or even as crosstraining really unless you’re going fast enough to really get your heart rate up.

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 8:58 am

      Good morning – no heart rate action!

      • Amber K February 17, 2011, 10:42 am

        The heart rate thing is what I was thinking. If you’re going fast enough to get your heart pumping definitely count it, otherwise if you just stroll again, I wouldn’t.

  • Beatrix @ Beaglebea February 16, 2011, 10:14 pm

    Looks like a great way to spend a birthday.. and that food looks awesome. As for running, I think you should only count the running portions as part of your weekly tally.. at least that’s what I do and I’m basing this on what other’s have said too. Good luck. As soon as this cold leaves me, I’m back to my training for my 8.5km may 1st.

  • Karen February 16, 2011, 10:17 pm

    I count all of my miles. I have been running for 3 1/2 years and just hit a sub 1:50 half. Walking is getting miles in. I would not coun it as part of you total mileage but rather as cross training. Happy birthday to you dad and good luck!

  • shelby February 16, 2011, 10:21 pm

    No, I would not count walking miles in your weekly total.

    Unless you want to go for a walk and leave me with those summer rolls, because they are my favorite food in the world.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 16, 2011, 10:24 pm

    We have a Thai restaurant in Spartanburg also called Thai Taste.. it’s the BEST!

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 9:00 am

      I bet there’s a Thai Taste and Royal Thai is every city!

      • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 9:01 am

        Oh and Thai Orchard

  • Fit Chick Britt February 16, 2011, 10:25 pm

    I would count them as in, yes, you got exercise today. However, I would not count them as part of your running mileage for the week; it wont benefit your running or your weekly base mileage build up.

    P.S. Those spring rolls look too good!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 16, 2011, 10:27 pm

    I would count it as a cross training day. I love walks, but during training, I would think only running counts toward your goal.

  • Maren February 16, 2011, 10:33 pm

    Definitely exercise, but it’s not the same as running. You pound the ground sooo much harder when you’re running, so the walking shouldn’t wear out your legs!

    Have a great nights rest!!

  • Ashley February 16, 2011, 10:41 pm

    Your dad definitely doesn’t look sixty! My mouths watering at the thought of thai food. yum!

  • alli February 16, 2011, 10:43 pm

    don’t think about *not* eating out for the rest of the month, but think about how many yummy meals you are going to make 🙂

    those rolls look delicious!

    about the walking mileage- i don’t count walking in my weekly mileage because it’s not part of my big goal. yes, walking is great, but in training for a race you’re mostly going to be running. so i would only count the running 🙂

  • Ashley February 16, 2011, 10:55 pm

    It’s smart to listen to your body!

  • Camille February 16, 2011, 10:59 pm

    I personally don’t count walking toward my training mileage, but I do count it toward my general exercise. Walking is great, fun exercise!

  • hippierunner February 16, 2011, 10:59 pm

    I walk A LOT. Like when I’m home in L.A. I log like 6-10 miles a day just hanging out with friends and walking to get places. Even on days when I have long runs, I walk. I like to think that I could count walking as the training some days but I know that really, while it does help because it’s more time I’m on my feet getting endurance/making me fit/burning calories, I should think of it as more of a supplement than a substitute for running.

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty February 16, 2011, 11:05 pm

    Dinner sounds delicious! Maybe you can make some of your restaurant favorites at home for the rest of the month?

  • annette February 16, 2011, 11:05 pm

    agreed on the sleep 🙂 Get lots of it (plus veggies) and you’ll be completely back in the game. I’d say walking is cross training. But because you’re coming off of an injury, I’d say possibly add it in as mileage….. good luck with whatev you decide!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now February 16, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I don’t count walks in mileage totals for running because it’s less intense and also running works muscles in a totally different way.

  • Tara February 16, 2011, 11:23 pm

    Sometimes I count it if I do hard core incline walking at the gym, but not a leisurely walk.

  • Lauren @SassyMolassy February 16, 2011, 11:23 pm

    I wouldn’t count the walks toward your overall mileage because while you’re on your feet, you aren’t pounding like you do when you run 3 miles. Make sense? It’s an active rest day though!

    Happy Bday to Papa HTP!

  • Rachel @ Healthy Teacher February 16, 2011, 11:30 pm

    One of the running coaches around here said that it’s all about covering the miles and your muscles getting used to the distance. One of the guys in my training group ran 12 to 13 minutes miles with a speed walker and ran a marathon with a sub 7 min per mile speed.

  • Kiran February 16, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Happy Birthday DadHtp 🙂

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) February 16, 2011, 11:53 pm

    Happy 60th to your dad!!!!

  • elizabeth February 17, 2011, 12:11 am

    as a runner i would count walking as cross training. it is completely different muscles and a different mindset. you are smart to follow the 10% rule! happy trails!

  • Anne February 17, 2011, 12:31 am

    I would definitely count walks as part of my cross-training and not toward the weekly mileage. Happy birthday to your dad!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence February 17, 2011, 12:32 am

    happy birthday to your dad!!
    I’m not really a serious runner, but I think I’d count it as cross training unless there was some running involved.

  • Robin February 17, 2011, 4:42 am

    I don’t count the walking towards my weekly mileage either. But the thought has crossed my mind!

    Happy birthday to your father – it’s nice that you have such a good relationship!

  • Cathy K February 17, 2011, 6:22 am

    happy late bday, HTP Dad!!
    my opinion:…if you go out for a walk, do not count that towards mileage. if you take a walk break or breaks DURING a run, count every step/minute with your weekly mileage. i would consider going out for a walk to be more of a xtraining, light activity.

  • Lauren February 17, 2011, 6:48 am

    I would say walks do count towards your weekly mileage but I once read (I think in Runners World) that you are not supposed to count walks into your training mileage. I don’t know. Yesterday I did a 3 mile interval where I would speed walk on a 15% incline for 1/2 a mile and sprint the other 1/2 mile. This was my hardest run this week, so I definitely counted that.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit February 17, 2011, 6:57 am

    My body definitely feels it when I am lacking aleep and/or fresh veggies. Hope you got some rest!

  • Jen February 17, 2011, 7:10 am

    Happy Birthday to your Dad 🙂

    Dinner looked amazing!!!! I love Thai food.

  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner February 17, 2011, 7:13 am

    I don’t count walks towards my running miles. I sometimes stop for walking breaks during runs, but a walk is much less strenuous than even 1:1 walk/run intervals. I would just call it cross-training.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 17, 2011, 7:19 am

    Dinner looks delicious! I am so glad you got to spend time with your dad. I hope you got some rest. I have noticed a huge lack of energy that I am hoping is due to lack of sleep too, so I have been trying to get some extra zzzzs.

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 17, 2011, 7:33 am

    Straight-up walks should be counted as cross-training. But if you are walking within a run, that would definitely count as mileage! Walking is one of the best cross-training for runners.

  • Whitney February 17, 2011, 7:37 am

    I am on the impression that any amount of time getting your legs used to being active for a period of time aides in the training for said marathon/half marathon.

    Obviously, you cannot walk-train for that event (though, that would make it SO much easier, darn!), but I think it could count. Calories burned are calories burned, if you are looking at it that way.

    I also think walking IS good cross training. Your legs feel differently after a walk than they do after a run. At least mine do!

  • Kara February 17, 2011, 7:52 am

    Summer rolls are the best, I’ve even been able to make them at home! You can get the summer roll wrappers in the “Asian” section of the grocery store and then you just have to soak them in water and fill!

    I don’t count walking miles, even if I’m walking briskly. I justify it because walking is low impact and running is high impact, so I’m only counting my high impact miles 🙂

  • Becky February 17, 2011, 7:55 am

    When I’m training, I only consider my runs when totaling my weekly mileage. For me, walking is considered cross-training, so I just make sure that I still take me planned rest days. I know some people consider walking a “rest,” but it is still working my body, so I like to take one day completely off every week.

  • Lee February 17, 2011, 8:00 am

    I usually consider walking cross training. If I’m running and stop to take walk breaks, that counts for my weekly mileage, but straight up walks are cross training.

    Happy Birthday HTPDad.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) February 17, 2011, 8:07 am

    I don’t count walks towards my weekly mileage UNLESS those walks are adding up to some serious miles. During the summer months, I was walking anywhere from 15-25 miles a week. I didn’t use to count these, but I found that my legs were becoming more and more sore and that injuries were starting to linger (no time to rest!)

    That being said, I think as long as you also plan out one or two absolute, complete rest days, you’ll be fine. 😀

    Great question! It’s been really interesting reading peoples’ responses. 😀

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 9:03 am

      It is interesting to read everyone’s thoughts – people have good points!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 17, 2011, 8:14 am

    The spring rolls look phenomenal! About the mileage, I’d say count it toward cross training but not your actual running mileage. If you were a beginner, I might add them in (like if you were doing run/walks or something like that) but I know you’re a seasoned pro!

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) February 17, 2011, 8:18 am

    I would say the walking would count as cross training but that is just me.
    I hope you had a fun day with your dad!

  • Meredith February 17, 2011, 8:40 am

    I agree that walking is considered cross-training. As soon as I stop running at the end of my run or even for bathroom breaks I stop the clock on my Garmin. But that’s just me.

  • Holly February 17, 2011, 8:46 am

    I do a 5 minute warm up walk and a 5 minute cool down walk every time I run and I count that in my mileage and anytime I walk during a run I’ll count that as well.
    I count the walks I do on the treadmill on strength training days as just cross training.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your DAD!!!

  • Kelly (meatlesswithaman.blogspot.com) February 17, 2011, 8:53 am

    We’re going for Thai this weekend – my first time as an official vegetarian – so thanks for the meal ideas!

    • Caitlin February 17, 2011, 9:04 am

      Oh thai is so good! Make sure you ask if they use fish sauce in their curries.

      • Kelly (meatlesswithaman.blogspot.com) February 17, 2011, 9:44 am

        good call!!! I’ve had thai – but usually get a chicken dish. But I’ve LOVED being veggie so far and experimenting with new recipes and food combos. Thai will be no exception. Thanks for the heads up on the fish sauce.

  • Lizzy @ runbakerace February 17, 2011, 9:15 am

    I don’t add it to my weekly run total but I add walking to my weekly workout time total. I count it as cross-training. Happy Bday to DADHTP!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) February 17, 2011, 9:17 am

    I walk my dogs anywhere from one to three miles per day – which is about an extra ten miles a week, give or take. I don’t count this as part of my weekly mileage. First, the dogs stop and sniff everything so there’s also a lot of standing around in there. And second, I’ve been doing these daily walks for so long (six years! My dog is getting old! Sniff.) that my body no longer even registers them as exercise. It’s just a thing we must do every day, like eating breakfast and having a glass of wine after dinner. 😉

    As some comment-ers above said, if you were a beginning runner and this was your first race, then counting miles walked would be one thing. But for a seasoned athlete like yourself, including strolls would be selling yourself short.

  • Paige @ Two Runners And A Brown Dog February 17, 2011, 9:24 am

    I have been running about six days a week for the past 8 years. If I am injured and/or overly tired, and have to walk some; then I count the mileage. If I am just strolling around, like walking my dog, or walking around window shopping, then I don’t count the miles. I think that there is a difference between walking (focused cardio) and strolling. Focused: Count! Strolling: Don’t Count!

  • Johanna B February 17, 2011, 9:25 am

    I totally agree with your last statement about doing all the healthy things you can do. I try to make each choice the healthiest one I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes the only choice is less healthy but I keep on trying. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

  • Lee @ RealLeeRunning February 17, 2011, 9:40 am

    I have wrestled with this question too. As much as I would love to count my walks with the boy and the pup towards my weekly mileage – I can’t. For some reason, I feel like I would be cheating myself a bit. Great post! Glad to know that I’m not the only one asking myself this question!

  • kathleen February 17, 2011, 9:43 am

    Interesting question. Ultramarathoners routinely use walking in training and races. You’re taught to walk up hills or even use a run for 15min walk for several minutes interval. So walking would definitely go towards your mileage in that situation. I’m trying to take it slow and let my hip heal so I’ve been doing a ton of miles on the elliptical. I count that towards the miles I’ve travelled…. not the same as running but?

  • Kacy February 17, 2011, 10:22 am

    I’m struggling with a similar dilemma. I skipped all my mid-week runs last week and then ran 7-miles for my long run. I want to get back into my regular mid-week training runs and up my distance during my long run but don’t want to overextend my legs.

    I’m not really sure if it would count towards your distance or not, but I totally think you could count it as CT if you want to add some more runs in and now go over 10%. Does that make sense?

    Happy Belated to you dad!

  • Liz February 17, 2011, 10:27 am

    I personally don’t count walks because I spend a lot of time walking with my dog and around the city, so it doesn’t really feel comparable to running those miles.

  • Kathie February 17, 2011, 10:31 am

    chocolate PB and celery?! why havent i thought of that yet?!

  • Kris February 17, 2011, 11:18 am

    I can’t remember if you’ve made spring rolls before or not. If not, they’re so easy and fun to make! Happy belated BD to your dad; I know you’re both so proud of each other! So neat that you enjoy your extended family — so important.

  • Rebecca February 17, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I consider walking cross-training, but I don’t think it counts towards your mileage for the week. It’s good to slow down and take in your surroundings, though. I need to get better at walking!

  • Ann February 17, 2011, 8:36 pm

    Happy Birthday to HTP Dad! And you are making me majorly crave Thai food! I am not at all good at increasing my running distance, so I won’t comment on that, but sluggishness sounds like you are due for a green monster tomorrow!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales February 17, 2011, 11:54 pm

    Yummm Thai Taste is SUCH a good restaurant!!! Good pick! Let me know if you ever want to accrue more “miles on your feet” and take the pups on a walk to the park!!!

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