How to Walk Faster

Brisk walking woman with good walking form
Walking Fast. Sri Maiava Rusden/Taxi/Getty Images

Feel the need for speed? Walking faster can satisfy several goals.

4 Great Reasons to Learn to Walk Faster

  1. Finish your walking workout faster at a set distance. If you walk the same route every time, you will be done sooner. If you walk for a set period of time, you'll be going farther and therefore burning more calories.
  2. Get your heart rate up to the level for moderate-intensity exercise, so you will get the most health benefits and a better fitness boost from your walking workout.
  1. Increase the calories you burn during your walk by being able to walk a longer distance in the same time, or by increasing speed to the point you are burning more calories due to using more muscles (12 minute miles and under).
  2. Finish walking races and charity walks in better time and be able to outpace your walking friends and loved ones.

Learning to Walk Faster

The following techniques borrow good posture, proper stride, powerful arm movement and other elements from racewalking. But they are not legal racewalking technique required for judged races, and don't include hip rotation. Don't worry, you won't have to swing your hips as you walk with the technique we'll be teaching you. You'll use good arm motion, posture and foot action.

Using these tips will help you walking faster and more efficiently, turning more of your exertion into forward speed. By using good technique it can actually feel easier and more fluid to walk, even though you are going faster.

Gear Up for Faster Walking: Shoes

Your shoes can be slowing you down. You need to make sure you have the right shoes to walk faster. They need to be flexible and lightweight. To be sure you have the best ones, read in depth: The Right Shoes for Faster Walking

How Fast are You Walking Now? Measure Your Baseline

Before you get faster, take some baseline measurements to see how fast you are now and to see what your heart rate is when you are walking at top speed.

Measured mile or kilometer: Time yourself walking a measured mile or kilometer as a good standard speed measurement. You can use a local track, or you can measure out a mile or kilometer to walk using tools such as a bike odometer, car odometer, or GPS. First warm up with a walk of five to ten minutes so you are limber and ready to walk at your top speed.

Time yourself over the course of the mile or kilometer. It can be wise to repeat this two to three times and take an average.

You can also use a cell phone app that measures walking speed based on GPS. However, these vary in accuracy depending on the quality of GPS built into your phone. It is better to time yourself on a measured mile and then compare this with the reading on the cell phone app. Walking/running speedometers are usually more accurate, but often costly.

Heart rate: Knowing what heart rate you currently achieve while walking can help you set goals when you speed up. Warm up first by walking for at least 5 minutes. Then take your pulse while continuing to walk.

Measuring your pulse for 30 seconds to a minute will give you better accuracy. Or, you may use a heart rate monitor, fitness band or a cell phone app that takes your pulse.

Next: Fast Walking Technique

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