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The run/walk technique can be an efficient, reliable method for safely improving your stamina and speed, whether you’re new to running or a seasoned runner. If you want to run in races, you will be able to decrease your race times.
Since they lack the stamina or fitness to run for long periods, most beginner runners continue with a run/walk technique. Few seasoned runners use run/walk as a tactic to increase average mileage, finish endurance races, and reduce injury risk.
The run/walk method is an easy and efficient way to prevent injuries, increase stamina, and raise enthusiasm for running. To get started with your run/walk method, follow these simple steps. If you like, you can add tempo variations later.
Use a Warm-Up Routine
This is better to Warm up for a five-minute stroll before moving on to some dynamic stretches. Once you’ve completed your warm-up, sprint for a brief section before taking a walk break, beginners may want to begin by mixing very short runs with longer walks.
For example, a 1:5 ratio—one minute of running followed by five minutes of walking—could be used.
Stick to Your Goals
Repeat this run/walk pattern until you’ve completed the distance or time you set for yourself. E.g., if you want to run/walk for 18 minutes, you can do so in three cycles at a 1:5 ratio. During both the run and walk segments, make sure you maintain the proper form or posture.
Begin walking until your running muscles get too sore. This move helps the muscles to heal quickly, allowing you to cover more ground in less time. If you wait until you’re thoroughly exhausted, you’ll end up walking slowly and find it impossible to get back into running.
Time the cycles with a watch or another unit. An interval timer can be used on a basic running watch. It beeps loudly to indicate when you should begin and end your intervals.
Stick to a Good Pace
Keep a steady tempo during your walking segments. Be it. You’re not out for a walk. To keep your heart rate high, you can walk with proper posture and pump your muscles. You’ll also get a robust aerobic workout, and the transition back to running will be much smoother.
It can be challenging to get back to running if you rest too often during your walk periods.
Build on Your Success
If you continue the run/walk schedule, aim to increase the amount of time you spend running and decrease the amount of time you spend walking. Don’t feel obligated to abandon the run/walk method until you can run for long periods. Long-distance runners use it to help minimize muscle soreness and weakness during training runs and races.
Set Your Optimal Pace
The speed at which you run and walk during each cycle is determined in part by your justification for using the walk/run method. Some people use the walk/run method to build up enough stamina to run continuously in the future. Others, on the other hand, use the walk/run technique to increase track times. Here’s a quick rundown on both solutions.
If you’re a new runner or returning to the sport after a break, the walk/run approach will help you develop the stamina you’ll need to run for more extended periods. For example, you could set a target to run the entire distance of a 5K race with no particular speed in mind.
The aim in this situation will be to make the run section as straightforward as possible. Any trainers advise sticking to a low-intensity jog. You should be able to have a conversation when jogging at this pace.
The walk can then be brisk enough to keep the pace mild. Since there isn’t much of a gap in speed between jogging and fast walking, it’s better to combine the two into a slow jog eventually.
Improve Race Times
Several well-known trainers, including Jeff Galloway, an authority on the run/walk method, advocate increasing the race time. Galloway claims that taking walk breaks instead of constantly running in a marathon would save you 13 minutes.
Galloway suggests walking/running until mile 18 in a marathon or mile nine in a half marathon, then cutting or dropping the walk segments if desired.
If you want to improve your track times, two things decide your run speed: your best one-mile pace (Galloway refers to this as your Magic Mile pace) and the length of the training run or race. He assigns values to each interval using a calculator.
If your fastest mile speed is 8 minutes a mile, for example, you’ll finish your run intervals at a rate of 12:24 during long runs, 8:33 during a 5K workout, and 9:12 during a 10K run. Your half marathon run sprint time will be 9:36, and your marathon run pace will be 10:24.
Galloway advises walking gently and quickly during the walk segments, as longer strides can cause shin discomfort. Additionally, since the walk segments aim in this scenario to allow for regeneration, you should walk at a slower speed.
Using This Method During Races
During a sprint, you can use Galloway’s approach or some other run/walk method. To do so, repeat the cycles that you used during preparation. Alternatively, some runners choose to use quicker sprint distances to get to the finish line faster.
At each mile marker or water stop, for example, you might take a 30-second walk break. After the walking time is over, resume running.
When doing a run/walk during a sprint, be cautious and follow proper running etiquette. Be sure there are no other runners behind you when you rest for your walk interval, so they will collide with you when you slow down. Get to the edge of the road or a part of the race where you won’t bother any competitors.
Downsides to This Method
Although the run/walk approach is a good strategy for some athletes, especially those new to the sport or recovering from an accident or illness, it isn’t for everybody.
Some people love running because it provides them with a mental outlet to concentrate on their feelings. Running is also defined as meditative by others.
You cannot enter a meditative or flow state while watching a stopwatch and adjusting the operation every minute or so. It can also be more challenging to concentrate on running-related shape problems such as breathing or stance.
In addition, using the run/walk approach in a competition can affect your motivation. It can be frustrating to slow down to a walk when you are running well and feeling good, only to be passed by runners from behind.
Finally, during a long run or sprint, the walk portion of the run/walk process will throw off the pace. Some runners use a continuous cycle of breathing and foot strikes (known as locomotor-respiratory coupling). This routine would be difficult to achieve and retain if you shift your tempo often.
If you’ve chosen to follow the walk/run process, keep these pointers in mind to ensure that your program is effective.
- Rehydrate yourself by drinking water at the end of your workouts. If the weather is hot and sticky, drink a glass of water (about 4-6 ounces) halfway through your exercise.
- Invest in a watch to keep track of your exercises and include additional data including speed and distance.
- If you want to run a marathon in the future, make a training schedule. A run/walk 5K training schedule, for example, can be completed in as little as eight weeks, while a run/walk 10K training schedule includes a 10-week commitment. The run/walk half-marathon and run/walk marathon preparation schedules, on the other hand, take a bit longer, with a cumulative commitment of 20 weeks.
- Keep your running shoes in good condition. Running shoes and walking shoes are (slightly) distinct in construction. And if you’re just walking or using the walk/run cycle, it’s a good idea to get some running shoes.
- During your running parts, use your breathing as a reference. When running, you should be able to carry on a conversation and your breathing should not be slow. You’ll be able to run/walk for longer and still avoiding side stitches.
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Long Distance Running has few words for you
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to running. For certain people, running/walking is the most effective way to get and keep in shape. Whatever tool you use, note that the trick to achieving your goals and preventing harm is consistent. Check out this run/walk method if you are starting. You might discover that it’s the secret to keeping up a fun and safe running routine.