This technique is especially popular among beginner runners because new runners usually don’t have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. Some experienced runners also use the Run-Walk Method as a strategy for increasing their overall mileage, completing endurance races, and reducing risk of injury.
Benefits of the Run-Walk Method:
1. Perfect for new runners
If you are just beginning to run, this method enables you to feel more in control of your workout and will also allow you to cover more miles than you would without walking breaks – this is likely to reduce the feelings of intimidating about running and increase your motivation, which means you are more likely to stick with running and establish a solid running base.
2. Improved recovery
Walking breaks are effectively short periods of active recovery which prevent you from fatiguing your body through repetitive exercise and allowing your muscles to rest and recover.
3. Helps you go further
By letting your body reset during walking breaks, you delay fatigue and extend the time you can continue making forward progress and may find yourself going the distance you never imagined.
Who can benefit from the Run-Walk method?
- Beginner runner
- Injured or coming back from injury
- Trying to build endurance but are not progressing or are feeling burned out
- Struggling with training for a race
The Run-Walk method is simple, follow these basic steps to get started with your running program. You can add pace variations later-on if you wish.
Warm-up with a 5 mins walk, then complete a few dynamic stretches. Once your warm-up is complete, run for a short segment and then take a walking break.
If you are new to running
Start with short running segments and longer walking segments. As you progress and feel stronger, try lengthening the running segments and shortening the walking segments.
Try this if you are a new runner:
- Warm-up walk (5 mins)
- Run for 30 seconds
- Walk 2 mins
- Repeat 8 times
- Warm-down walk (5 mins)
This will give you a total of 30 minutes of exercise.
If running without walking breaks is your goal, you can certainly work towards that by gradually shortening your walking segments and increasing your running segments.
If you are returning to running after an injury
In this case, the run/walk ratio will depend on many factors, such as the nature of your injury, time off from running, whether you have recovered completely, level of fitness, and your goals.
If you are training for a race
If you are having trouble completing your long runs, you may want to use this method for those runs only, but you can certainly use them for your shorter run as well if you find it helpful in boosting motivation.
There is no right or wrong way to be a runner. For some people, the Run-Walk method is the best way to stay in good shape. Whichever method you choose, remember that consistency is the key to reaching your goals and avoiding injury. Give this method a try, you may find it enjoyable and develop a healthy running habit.