Are you a runner that is bored with your running routine? Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to start running? Did you start a running program but stop because you got too tired or too injured? Well, do I have a program for you that I have personally been using for the past seven months.
How Was It Created?
Created in 1976 by Olympian and the author, Jeff Galloway, the Run Walk Run method is a type of interval training where you have run segments and walk segments throughout your workout. This technique helps to conserve your energy resources, allows for quicker recovery, the ability to enjoy endorphins, reduced your core body temperature and provides less stress on your body.
Why Use Run Walk Run?
Run Walk Run is a great program because it helps give you mental control over each of your workouts. It is a very motivational program that helps beginners to get out and run with all the “running enhancements” without the exhaustion or pain. So, you can still carry on all of your daily activities – even after your long runs. Plus, it can help improve your finish times in all races.
The walk breaks help in this program in a few different ways. First, by eliminating fatigue, you keep yourself from hitting a wall of exhaustion or soreness It helps collect endorphins during each walk break. Decreases the risk of aches, pains, and injury and helps speed recovery. Plus, it helps keep the workout fun by breaking up the distance into manageable units.
How I Use Run Walk Run
After I finished the AVON 39 in July, I was hooked on long distance, endurance events. Sometime during my AVON 39 walk in San Francisco, I decided that my next feat was going to be running a half marathon. I don’t know where that idea came from, but I was going to do it.
Yes, I know that walking uses different muscles and energy requirements than running. But I also knew that my AVON 39 training had set me up physically and mentally to begin running.
The only problem was, I didn’t really like running. I never seemed to be able to get my breathing right, had a lot of fatigue, and always seemed to develop shin splints. Running was painful, and I had a very difficult time understanding how anyone found it enjoyable.
But I had a goal. I wanted to run a half marathon in the coming year. So, I searched online for a program that would incorporate running with walking. That’s when I found the Run Walk Run program.
When I first started, I began with intervals somewhere around 1:2. That is, one-minute walking and two minutes running. This was great for me starting out because I needed to work back up to running. It really helped with energy conservation and motivation.
Since then I have slowly worked up to 4:1 and 5:2 intervals and up to eight miles on some of my long runs. I personally tend to do best with speed and time at 4:2 intervals, though. Since everyone is different, your ratio and speed may be different or higher/lower than mine and, that’s ok. The great thing about this program is YOU tailor it for YOU.
How Does a Run Walk Run Workout Look
Tempo Days (2 days a week). After a brief five-minute warm-up, run the intervals for 30 minutes, and follow with a five-minute cooldown. You can find out the best intervals for you HERE.
Long Runs. After a brief five-minute warm-up, run the intervals until you achieve your distance, and follow with a five-minute cooldown. You can use the Magic Mile prediction tool to determine the right Run Walk Run ratio HERE.
Timing your intervals are key to this program. You don’t want to have to look at your phone all the time while running. I personally use the Interval Timer app available on iTunes. Here are a few of my saved routines. As you can see, I can easily set and save my intervals for whatever ratio I want.