Want to Train for a Race? Walk/Run Your Way to the Start.

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I firmly believe all of us are capable of becoming runners. Granted, not all of us are capable of becoming Kara Goucher or Usain Bolt. But we all have an innate ability to run in some way or another.

Jeff Galloway formed the run/walk method which brought running to the masses. He was the first to create predesigned plans for runners and started the group and charity running craze. What he had in mind really works. In order to start running, you don’t have to strap on your shoes and go run three straight miles. If that were the case, I would still be sitting on the couch today talking about how crazy running is.

The run/walk method has helped many non-runners find a love of the sport. It follows the “huff and puff” method where you take more breaks or slow down when you find yourself short of breath. This is almost like a form of interval training, or perhaps those fartleks we all love! Run at a pace that suits you, and then walk when you feel the need to take a rest break.

This method will help to keep you injury free, requires less mileage and conserves your resources which will aid in a speedier recovery. It won’t take up a lot of your time and you are in control, making it a bit easier to add to your daily schedule.

You can simply start out with a time or distance goal. “Today I am going to run/walk for 15 minutes.” Or, “Today I am going to run/walk for 1 mile.” This method will require you to up your limits over time and you need to be accountable for yourself. Once you can run 3 minutes without stopping, you will need to find that next little push to get to the 4 minute mark. The goal is to find a way over time to push yourself a little bit more.

Remember, running is never easy and the better you get the more ways you will find to make it harder for yourself. But there is a way to make it work for any level, age, and body type.

Are you considering starting to run or trying your hand at a 5k, 10k, or more?  I am a certified distance running coach, a personal trainer, athletic coach and a runner myself.  If you are looking for some help, advice, or training tips/plans send me your comments or questions, I would love to help!

7 thoughts on “Want to Train for a Race? Walk/Run Your Way to the Start.

  1. I agree. I think when times were harder, when you had to pursue and kill your next meal, rather than take your car to the drive-in and lower the window to order, most of the human species were more like the fittest long-distance runners that exist today than most of today’s average joe (and joanne). Given that we’re all descended from those people (the survivors of the fittest), we have the capability to be like that. A few years ago I read, in a reputable science weekly – New Scientist or Scientific American I think, a theory that our ancestors hunted by gradually wearing the prey down. So we weren’t as quick, or as strong, over short distances as the prey, but we had an ability to keep going for long distances AND, importantly, eat on the run. So after hours or days the prey couldn’t keep the pace up and/or had to stop to eat.

    We are all runners inside.

  2. Galloway does the Disney training for their races. I remember seeing race pace group leaders walking, and it took a minute to realize they were following his method. It was just bizarre to me because I’ve never seen pacers walk in a race before.

  3. I love the Galloway method. I used it to conquer my first half marathon and managed a 2:06 time. I met Mr Galloway at Disney this November, and he was a terrific guy.

    I’m going to use run-walk to do a training run marathon (sort of a test before the big one I’m training for). I think it’s a great way to increase mileage and conserve energy.

      • Being able to run/walk a 5k is a great start. I would love to help you out with any of your ideas on training or help you set up a training schedule. I am a certified distance running coach and work a lot with beginners hoping to get into this crazy sport. You can contat me at sarahdudek80@gmail.com and let me know what you would like.

      • I used Jeff Galloway’s training app to get me ready for my first half. I played around with the run/walk ratios until I found the one that left me it’s the most comfortable. I crossed the finish line feeling great despite really warm temperatures (85 degrees).

        It’s such a safe way to add distance without injury.

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