Monday, November 05, 2018

on walking and running

There's a very interesting article, written from a military perspective, on the dynamics of walking and running both unencumbered and encumbered. The article confirms my intuition that the human average for walking is about 5 kph, or 3 miles per hour (the article says 3.1), and that the average human step rate is 100 steps per minute. That's me all the way: I am the average. Here in Korea, though, I'd submit that almost every walker on the bike paths walks faster than I do; the Korean average is probably closer to 6 kph at 115-120 steps per minute... until the women hit an uphill grade, that is: that's when I chug past them because they're all cardio and no strength. The article's stats for a marching soldier, though, are intimidating:

The average soldier should be able to walk at a speed of 6.5kph (approx. 4 mph) for 20km carrying 32kg (LBE, pack & rifle) with a heart rate below his lactate threshold. The special operations soldier should be able to complete the same task at a speed of 7kph.

Damn. Last year, I'd say that I walked at an average rate of 4 kph with a 15-kilo pack on my back, about 30 km per day. By the end of such a day, I was ready to eat a meal, then go to sleep and allow myself to recover overnight, giving my feet a chance to decompress after eight or nine hours' walking. The military standard quoted above is for a soldier who is likely marching to a battle zone, i.e., at the end of his march, his day is only just beginning.

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