Ok. Had to walk from the Pentagon to the Annex, and according to my Garmin it was a 1.4 mile walk. Then I walked back, and had to do it all over again, for a total of 5.6 miles of walking. After work I rode the metro home, and decided it's a nice day to walk home, which is 1.2 miles from my apartment, according to my tell tale Garmin. Now I have a total of 6.8 miles walking at a pretty brisk pace, almost 4 mph.
Now my question to you. I have about a 45 min run today, and i have walked about 1 hour 45 min at a substantial pace. Can I utilize that as my cardio, instead of the run??
Can't wait to hear the answer, as soon as I get back from my run.
Talking strictly from a cardio perspective, I think that the answer lies in your heart rate. If your brisk walk is at an elevated heart rate level for most of the walk then I would count it as a cardio workout.
However, I wouldn't use this loophole too often since the only way to run better is to run :) ... just like the only way to be a better biker is to bike and the only way to be a better swimmer is to swim. Once we start substituting other "equals" into the equation, we start to only cheat ourselves.
if you are trainining for the race walk in the olympics then it counts.
if you are coming off a leg injury and can't run then it counts.
if you are completely healthy and can easily run and training to run the run in a triathlon or running race then you were just too lazy to take fossil fuel transportation like you should have for all that walking instead.
Walking will not make you a faster runner but it helps to improve your overall fitness.