Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned runner, the running/walking technique can be a powerful, effective tool to safely improve your endurance and speed. Finally, you can improve race times if you choose to participate in them.
Most beginner runners start using the running/walking technique because they don’t have the endurance or fitness to run for long periods of time. Some experienced runners also use running/walking as a strategy to increase their total mileage, complete endurance races, and reduce their risk of injury.
The running/walking method is a simple and effective method to avoid injury, promote running motivation, and improve endurance. Follow these basic steps to get started with your run/walk program. You can then add speed variations if desired.
Use the startup procedure
Warm up with a five-minute walk, then complete a few stretches. When you’re done warming up, do a short run and then take a break from walking. Beginners can start by alternating very short runs with longer walks.
For example, you could use a 1:7 ratio — one minute of running followed by seven minutes of walking.
Stick to your goal
Keep repeating your run/walk pattern until you’ve completed your target distance or time. For example, if you want to run/walk for 16 minutes, you can run/walk at a ratio of 1:7 for two cycles. Make sure you use the right form on both your running and walking segments.
Start your walking part before Your running muscles become too tired. This step allows your muscles to recover immediately, extending the time and distance you can exercise. If you wait until you are too tired, you will go slow and it will be difficult to start running again.
Use a clock or other device to time your periods. A simple running watch like the Timex Ironman features an interval chronograph. Another product loved by runners/walkers is the Gymboss, a small, easy-to-use timer that clips onto your shorts, shirt, jacket or hat. It beeps loudly to signal when to start and stop your intervals.
Stick to a good pace
Focus on keeping a good pace on your walks. Make sure you don’t go for a leisurely walk. You should use good walking form and stretch your arms to keep your heart rate high. That way, you’ll still get a good cardio workout, and it’ll make the transition back to running easier.
If you relax too much during your walk, it will be difficult for you to return to running.
Build on your success
As you resume your run/walk program, try to lengthen the time you’re running and reduce your walking time. Once you can successfully run in stretches, don’t feel as though you have to give up the run/walk method. Some long-distance runners use it in training runs and races to help relieve muscle pain and fatigue.
Set your optimal speed
How fast you run and how fast you walk in each interval depends in part on why you use the walk/run method. Some use the walk/run approach to build enough endurance to eventually run continuously. However, others use the walk/run approach to improve race finish times. Here is an overview of both options.
If you’re a new runner or someone returning to the sport after a break, you can use the walk/run approach to build the endurance needed to run for longer periods of time. For example, you can set a goal to enter a 5K race and run the entire distance without a specific speed goal.
In this case, the goal is to keep the shard running relatively easy. Some trainers recommend maintaining a low-intensity jogging regimen. This pace will allow you to continue the conversation while jogging.
Then go for a brisk walk to maintain a moderate intensity. Since there isn’t a huge difference in intensity between jogging and brisk walking, it’s easier to combine the two together into a steady run.
Improved race time
There are famous coaches, such as Jeff Galloway – an expert on the running/walking method – that recommend using this method to improve your race time. According to Galloway, you’ll run 13 minutes faster in a marathon if you take a break from walking — as opposed to running continuously.
Galloway recommends walking/running until mile 18 in the marathon or mile nine in the half marathon, and then reduce or eliminate walking segments as needed.
If improving race time is your goal, your running speed is determined by two factors: your fastest one-mile pace (Galloway calls this your Magic Mile speed) and your distance. training run or race. He uses a calculator to assign a value to each time period.
For example, if your best mile time was 8 minutes/mile, then you would complete your run at 12:24 during the long run, 8:33 pace during the 5K workout. , 9:12 speed while running 10K workouts. Your marathon pace will be 10:24 and your half marathon interval speed will be 9:36.
During walks, Galloway recommends walking slowly with short strides because longer strides can irritate shins. Also, since the purpose of the walks in this case is to allow for recovery, your walking pace may be slightly slower.
Use this method in races
You can use Galloway’s method or any running/walking method during the race. To do so, simply use the same intervals that you used during training. Or some runners prefer to use longer intervals to get to the finish line faster.
For example, you can take a 30-second walk break at each mile marker or each stop on the water. Then resume running after the walking interval is over.
Be careful and practice good running etiquette when doing run/walk in races. When you stop to do your walking interval, make sure there are no other runners behind you as they could crash into you as you slow down. Glide over the curb or the area of the race where you won’t disturb other riders.
Disadvantages of this Method
While the run/walk method is a smart technique for some athletes – especially those who are new to the sport or those who are returning to the sport from injury or illness – it doesn’t work for everybody.
For example, some people like to go for a run because it frees them up, where they can focus on their thoughts. Some even consider running a meditative experience.
If you’re watching a stopwatch and changing your activity every minute or so, it’s unlikely you’ll ever fall into a meditative or flow state. Additionally, it can be difficult to focus on running-related form issues such as breathing or posture.
Also, if you use the run/walk method during a race, it can affect your motivation. If you’re running well and feeling well, it can be difficult to walk slowly just to watch runners pass you from behind.
Finally, the walking portion of the run/walk method can disrupt your rhythm during long runs or races. Some runners rely on breathing patterns and continuous footwork (called the locomotor-respiratory joint) to guide their training runs and races. If you change the tempo frequently, this rhythm will be difficult to achieve and maintain.
If you’ve decided to give the walk/run approach a try, keep these tips in mind to make your program work.
- Drink water at the end of a workout to rehydrate. If it’s hot and humid, you should also drink some water (about 4-6 ounces) between workouts.
- Invest in a watch to time your workout and provide other information such as speed and distance.
- Choose a training schedule if your goal in the end is to run a race. For example, a 5K run/walk training schedule requires at least eight weeks of preparation, and a 10K run/walk training schedule requires a 10-week commitment. Meanwhile, the half marathon running/walking training schedule and the marathon running/walking training schedule are a bit longer, with a maximum commitment of 20 weeks.
- Always properly equipped with running shoes. Running shoes and walking shoes are built (slightly) differently. It’s smart to wear running shoes even if you’re doing a walk/jog or just walk.
- Use your breath as an instruction in your running segments. You can continue to chat while running and your breathing should not be heavy. Not only can you run/walk longer, but you also prevent side stitches.
A very good word
There is no right or wrong way to be a runner. For some people, the run/walk method is the smartest way to get and stay in shape. Whichever method you choose, remember that consistency is the key to achieving your goals and avoiding injury. Try the run/walk method. You may find that’s the key to maintaining an enjoyable and healthy running routine.
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