Walk Before You Run With the Run/Walk Workout Method

imagesWe’ve all heard that phrase a million times – you have to walk before you can run. And yet we think of it as advice for small babies learning to walk, or as a metaphor referring to how we all have to start off slowly with any new project, taking tentative baby steps until we get our footing and gain the confidence to run with it. Seldom do we apply this advice to the actual act of running for fitness, and yet it is extremely apt. Because whether you’re new to running as exercise and you literally need to walk before you run in order to build stamina and strength, or you’re an expert runner who uses walking intervals in their running regimen, either way we all must walk before we run.

 

There is an actual running training method known as the run/walk method and its philosophy is as sensible as it is effective. Essentially, as you build up your strength and tolerance as a runner, you use intervals of walking to give yourself a break while you keep moving. When you first start out with the run/walk method you’ll warm up with a 5-minute walk and then you’ll run for a short while, lengthening the running session when you are able. In the beginning you may only be able to run for a minute or two and then you may walk for 5 minutes or even more. You should pick a certain distance, perhaps a mile, maybe two, and use the run/walk combination to complete that distance. As you improve you’ll be able to improve upon your running time and lessen the time you walk. This is a much more successful method of becoming a runner than simply heading out for a jog and exhausting yourself quickly. Even expert runners will use intervals of walking to make sure they make their distance no matter what instead of giving up.

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