One of the questions runners routinely ask is, "When is it OK to walk?" or perhaps more accurate, "Is it OK to walk?" For the trail runner, it is OK to walk when you're too tired or taxed to run. Makes sense. But really, I think there are at least three times when it is (considered) OK to walk, or even to stop on the trail.
One is to admire a view. Too many times, the instant you take your eyes from the trail you fall down, especially if you're going at a good clip and the terrain underfoot is gnarly at best.
Second is when you are running a race and getting to an aid station. It's always easier to stop to take a drink thank to grab and go. You get more fluids this way and swallowing is a great deal easier. Of course it is a good idea to carry fluids on your training runs so that you get comfortable drinking during your runs whether walking or running.
Third has to do with training partners. If you plan a run with someone who runs at a slower pace than you, stop and wait for your partner as opposed to charging ahead and leaving your partner in your dust. Or, if you run ahead, turn back and meet your partner to give him or her encouragement. Don't chastise your partner if he or she is incorporating some walking into the run, it's OK to walk!
Enjoy the emerging spring,