5 Reasons to Try the Run/Walk Method

Run/Walking Can Be Extremely Beneficial

Woman power walking
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If you're just getting started with running, your eventual goal may be to build up running a certain distance or time period without stopping or taking a walking break.  Or, if you’re already an experienced runner, you may be thinking that walking during a race or run is cheating or admitting defeat. 

Try to put your preconceived notions about running and walking aside, and consider all the great benefits of doing run/walk.  Here are 5 reasons you may want to give it a try:

1.You'll reduce your injury risk.  You put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints when you’re running and too much of it can lead to overuse injuries. When you take walk breaks during runs, you’re using different muscles and you’re reducing the impact on your joints, even if you're covering the same distance as you would doing all run. Walking is much more gentle on the body.

2. Your overall pace may improve. I talk to lots of run/walk converts who report that they had faster race times after they made the switch from all run to run/walk. Taking short walk breaks gave them enough of a rest that they ran faster than their usual pace during their run segments, resulting in a faster overall pace.

Some runners walk through the water stops during races to give their running muscles a break and a chance to sip the water without spilling it. The short break from running gives them a chance to catch their breath, regroup, and get back on track.

Towards the end of races, I’ve witnessed many race participants doing run/walk pass tons of people who had been running during the entire race. While those who ran the entire time have slowed down and are trudging through to the finish line, those who have been taking walk breaks were able to keep a consistent pace and finish strong.

3. It's easier mentally than running the entire distance. The run/walkers I coach report that the walk intervals help just as much mentally as they do physically. Having a short walk break to look forward to can make a long distance feel much more manageable. And breaking up the monotony of a long run with walk intervals makes the time go by much faster.

4. You'll recover faster.  Run/walking is easier on your body, so you’ll find that you won’t be as sore after a long run or race. You’ll be able to get back to your workout routine much faster.

5. You can improve your endurance.  Many runners find that once they reach a certain distance, it’s very difficult for them to get past it. They find themselves stuck at a plateau in mileage.  I've talked to lots of run/walkers who've said that taking walk breaks helped them complete distances that they never thought they've be able to reach. Because run/walking is easier both physically and mentally, they’re able to go farther than ever before.

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