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Video:How to Do the Walk/Run Method

with Jonathon Stewart

The walk-run method is not only a great way to get into running in the first place, it's a great way to run races as long as marathons.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do the Walk/Run Method

They say you have to walk before you run. Well, what works as a philosophy for life also works for runners who want to build up their endurance, speed, and overall fitness. The Walk/Run Method is one of the best ways to get started.

Information About the Walk/Run Method

Here's how. Start with a warm-up of slow walking and stretching to get your muscles ready to go. Next, begin a five minute brisk walk, followed by a one to two minute run, then return to walking, and repeat.

Walk/Run Method

Here's the math on a 16-minute run, for example. You can do two walk/run cycles in that time, which means walk for seven minutes and run for one, times two.Be sure to return to the walk portion of the training before your running muscles give out. The walking will allow your running muscles to recover faster so that you can begin to cover more distance. Otherwise, if these muscles tire too quickly, you may find it tougher to return to the running portion. When walking, remember however, that this is not a leisurely jaunt in the park. Keep your heart rate up and be sure to pump your arms as you walk, so they're ready to return to the running portion.

More Information About the Walk/Run Method

Be sure to mind the time so you know when to switch from one to the other. You can use a stopwatch or a simple running watch, which can also generally be programmed to beep on queue so you're not staring at your watch the whole run. There are also compact interval timers that you can clip to your hat, shorts, or shirt.Each week increase your run to walk ratio. This means less walking and more running. The Walk/Run Method is designed to avoid over-exertion and allow your body to gradually adjust over time. You'll most likely find that your body will willingly comply with more running as you begin to feel more energized by the faster pace.

And, don't think that just because you have worked your way up to thirty minutes of running that you have to give up any walking. Interval training is often valued by intermediate and advanced runners to decrease fatigue and muscle soreness while training for races.

Former Olympian Jeff Galloway is a big proponent of the Walk/Run method, and even encourages first-time marathonners to train exclusively using it. By running with short but consistent walk breaks, he advocates the method as a great way to minimize injury, and save muscles for those final grueling miles. And believe it or not, there are Galloway-method runners who finish the 26.2 mile race faster than they would (and often have) by running the whole race. So whether you're just starting out, or just looking for a new way to train, why not try adding a little walk to your run.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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