Walk/Running, what is it and how can it help you as a beginner runner?
This post is part of the Beginner Running series and is a great place to start for those who might be apprehensive about starting a running program or who are looking to start running with no experience! With a BMI of 36 I was definitely in the obese category for my small 5″ 2 frame and therefore couldn’t “just go for a run” I had to build it up and allow my body time to adjust to the new exercise and strain I was putting it under. So walk/running is how I achieved this, now I can run for over 2 hours, 14 miles and am training for my first marathon! let me tell you a bit more about it!…
What is walk/running?
This is sometimes called interval running and involves (just as it sounds), running at a comfortable pace (you should be able to still have a breathy conversation) and then brisk walking to recover.
Who’s it for?
Runners of all abilities. Even seasoned runners add walk/run workouts to tackle new distances or hilly routes as it reduces impact and encourages progression. It’s more commonly understood as a beginner workout because it is perfect with minimal time on their feet to ease in a reduce injury risk.
What are the benefits?
- The biggest is the reduction of injury risk, keeping the heart rate elevated but not overtaxed is great for those who have just started and whose bodies aren’t used to the strain of exertion from running, as well as the impact.
- Allows quite a quick progression because it allows you to tackle further distances and time on your feet without the increased impact of continuous running
- Flexible – you can progress by increasing running time and then reducing recovery(walking) time, or you can take it easy and have a longer recovery period until you feel more confident.
Cool…where do I start?
There are hundreds (literally) of programs out there – you can google couch to 5k and there will be a host of training programs. when I started I used a training program from Bupa. You can look for the appropriate one here.
I created my own walk-run program based on my own experience and progression that I found manageable, here it is in a handy printable;
Feel free to use it as a template and adapt it to your own needs. Remember as a beginner to include plenty of rest days to avoid injury from doing too much too fast. There is also room to add your strength training or stretching recovery days too!
*Note: Always check with a healthcare provider when starting a new routine or regime – my advice is not a substitute of a professional – for more information, check my disclaimer policy*