What is run/walk?
It’s the third week in January and Cap City Quarter and Half Marathon training are officially under way. I get questions all the time about how to transition from walking to running and how to start increasing your mileage. We have programs for both the half and quarter marathons on the Cap City Training page, for both beginners and intermediate runners. Even with those, I really like the run/walk approach when you are training for a new distance. Our schedules are set up so that you can run, walk, OR run/walk them to get ready for the races in May. The big question is What is Run/Walk? I am re-posting this discussion from last year, because I think it helps answer some of those questions. Enjoy!
The easy answer is any combination of running and walking to cover a specific distance, for whatever reason. Many use it as a transition between walking and running, by slowly increasing the amount of running time in a given workout. It can also be used as a strategy to train and complete a 5k, half marathon, marathon, even Ironman distances! I personally have trained for and completed my most recent marathon leg of an Ironman this way, starting with a 10 minute run/1 minute walk segment. It is often called “The Galloway Method” after Jeff Galloway who promotes it as a primary training plan. It works! It works for experienced folks and those who are new to running and walking. If you train this way, I guarantee you are in good company and believe me you ARE a runner! Your medal is the same no matter how you get to the finish line!
How do I choose my run/walk segments?
We are going to use it as one option to train for and complete The Capital City Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon. If you are new to running, this is a really good option. If you are currently able to complete 2 miles 3 times per week or more, then this is a good plan for the you for the half. If not, consider the quarter marathon or 5k and shoot for the half marathon next Spring! We are going to have three options, but you can adjust the run/walk segments to your fitness needs. My options are 1) 3 minute run/5 minute walk 2) 5 minute run/3 minute walk and 3) 10 minute run/1 minute walk. Which one to choose? I suggest that if you have not run more than 2 miles in the last 3 months, then start with #1. If you have run more than 2 miles but not more than 5 in the last 3 months, then start with #2. If you have run 5 miles or more in the last 3-6 months, then try #3. You can always change the run/walk segment times as your fitness needs and goals change.
Easy running defined
The idea is that you are able to run and walk in what we call “easy” mode. This means only that your effort is such that you can talk in complete sentences throughout your entire workout. If you are only able to grunt a word or two, you should slow down in the running segment and/or increase your walk segment time (or both). I will repeat this easy running discussion so many times over the course of your training that you may get sick and tired of hearing it! It’s really important though as often runners want to train harder and harder every time, however that often does not lead to fitness gains and can lead to injury, fatigue, and disenchantment with the sport. Run easy as you build miles and choose the run/walk segment that works for you!