Have you ever heard of the run-walk method? This means alternating between running and walking. This popular workout technique is a great way to ease into running if you’re just starting out, or if you’re looking for a less intense workout. It’s a common misconception that running with walking breaks is a training method that is only useful for beginner runners, and that isn’t the case. Walk/run intervals can be beneficial for a wide variety of runners from beginner to advanced.
In this post, I’ll explain what run-walk intervals are, and how to do them. I’ll also share some of the benefits of this type of training. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, give walk-run intervals a try – I think you’ll be surprised at how effective they are!
What does it mean to use the run-walk method?
The run-walk method is a popular technique for runners who want to improve their speed and endurance. The idea is to alternate between running and walking, allowing your body to recover while still making progress. This can be an effective way to ease into running if you’re new to the sport, or to break through a training plateau. This method of mixing walking with running segments can take your training to the next level!
Some new runners will use this technique to ease into running and they will gradually increase the amount of time that they run and decrease the amount of time that they walk. Other more experienced runners prefer to alternate between running and walking in the long term. Many runners use this technique in their daily training or during races.
What are the benefits of alternating between running and walking?
Regardless of your fitness level, utilizing the run-walk method can be very beneficial. There are many benefits to practicing run/walk intervals. Using the run/walk method will help to improve your endurance. It can make you a faster runner and make it so that you feel comfortable running for longer periods of time.
Adding the walking segments will result in less stress on your joints. This can result in a decreased risk of injury. Walk breaks help people who are prone to push themselves too hard. It gives their body a bit of a break from the higher intensity training of purely running.
Walk/Run Intervals For Beginner Runners
Brand new runners can really benefit from using walk/run intervals to help them ease into running. Here are a few ways that new runners can use walking and running to help them become better runners.
The best way to get started is to start out slow and begin by walking more than you run – when you start a walk/run routine for the first time, you will want to walk for most of the interval and run in short bursts. Over time, you can increase the amount of time that you are running and decrease the walking time. Eventually, you will feel comfortable running most of the time and eventually running the whole time.
Walk/Run Intervals For Returning Runners
The walk/run method can also be very useful for people who are returning to running after a long break. Maybe you used to be a runner and you stopped running for a long period of time. Maybe you went through pregnancy or had a baby. Or maybe you had an injury and were forced to take some time off. Whatever the reason, walk/run intervals can be a really good way to ease back into running after you’ve spent a little bit of time off.
When I was pregnant with my son, I decided to take a break from running completely. After I had my son and waited a few months, I used walk/run intervals to ease myself back into running. It worked really well and I was able to successfully return to running in the same way that I had been doing before.
Walk/Run Intervals For Experienced Runners
Using the walk/run method can also be a really great training technique for experienced runners. As a veteran runner, adding a one-minute walk break every now and then can help to build your endurance.
We all know that running is a very high-impact exercise. Adding walk segments to runs on a regular basis can help to reduce the damaging effects of running. For long-distance runners, utilizing running and walking intervals can also reduce the impact on the joints and reduce muscle damage during long runs. Running intervals can also be a great way to help runners keep their heart rate in check. I personally love to add walk breaks to my high-intensity interval training that I use for speed training.
The bottom line is that alternating between running and walking can be a great way to improve your health while helping you to reach specific goals.