What pace constitutes a run vs fast walk?

I use my Apple Watch to track my exercise. It suddenly occurred to me that I’m not sure what the pace threshold is for a fast walk versus a slow run. When the temperature is 40-90 degree F, I do my aerobics outside and my route has a lot of elevation in places making for a good workout. When the temperature is lower or higher than 40-90, I use the treadmill set at a 12 degree incline.

I’m curious as to what pace warrants selecting indoor/outdoor walk vs a run. I ask because this would affect the workout I select on the watch. Does anyone know what the pace threshold is for selecting the walk vs the run workout option?

Biomechanically, the difference between a walk and run is being airborne (both feet off the ground) at some point during the stride.
It would be hard to relate this to a universal speed, as the transition is based on efficiency, body mass, stride length, personal preference, terrain, etc.

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As @JohnAtl says, different movements. But if you want a rule of thumb, you’ll struggle to walk faster than about 4 miles per hour on the flat, unless you’re a race walker.

I also believe it’s about the type of movement rather than the speed. Workouts learns about your run and your walk and optimizes tracking, so if you happen to be a fast walker or a slow runner/jogger, it’ll pick up on that.

It’s really your preference as to what you want to see in record and shared activity, too. My runs involve some intermittent walking, not enough to warrant switching workout types or IMO enough to confuse tracking, and it’s my preference to see those as runs in my history rather than walks with intermittent running, but either would work.

My pace is about 4.2 on a 12 degree incline (treadmill) for 40-45 minutes. But, both feet are never in the air at the same time so I suppose this is a good brisk walk?

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Oh yes. The Watch counts a brisk walk as anything above 3mph. 4.2 is pretty quick - you must be working to maintain that.

I do but I’ve done this for a long time and usually for 5 days a week, I take the weekend off. I used to run a lot but after reading some research, I concluded that for overall good fitness a brisk walk is as good as running but far easier on the joints and back over the long term.

It’s not pace, it’s heart rate, and you need to achieve about 110 BPM for a walk to count as ‘brisk’ for Apple Watch purposes.

A brisk walk is different for each individual. A particularly large person, or an elderly person might not be able to break 3mph but they’ll still get exercise minutes.

In terms of selecting the right workout, are you using a walking gait or a running gait? They both look different to the accelerometer so if you want an accurate measurement pick the workout according to gait. If you’re walking, pick walk. It’ll also maintain separate calibration data for walking and running so if you are running but pick walk you will mess up the calibration and likely not get accurate measurements when you do walk.

Basically pace is irrelevant. You should never pick a walking workout because you’re running slower.

If you’re not getting what you feel is appropriate workout credit then you can reset calibration data in watch settings.

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Thanks, great information!