The run-walk method is a simple and effective way to improve endurance, avoid injury, and boost run motivation. Try this and train and race with a smile.
We have all been there – right after an exhausting bike split. It was perhaps windier or hillier than you asked for. Or, more often, you did not follow your race plan. And in T2, you have that shaky feeling in your legs. Doubt comes creeping!
So, instead of adapting an initial personal best running tempo and a guaranteed subsequent did-not-finish, you better alter your actions. And reallocate your scarce resources and embrace a run-walk (or even walk-run) formula.
The run-walk method is like the name suggests, a way of distributing your effort in predetermined run and walk segments.
For example, break up your run in 10-minute chunks where you run for 8 minutes and walk for another 2 minutes. Then you repeat – constantly moving.
The overall advantage is that the walk sections reduce the stress on your body and mind; this is especially true during a longer run.
- The short recovery that comes with the walk will help you to keep going longer and maintaining good run form as well as speed. And this, in turn, will reduce the risk of getting injured.
- You will let your heart rate drop, and you give yourself a chance to stretch out a bit while you keep moving forward.
- You break the monotony of running when you get something to keep your mind on. When you know what to do, and when, you take control over your running. And become empowered to continue.
When you practice the run-walk method during training, you will gain some key benefits. Foremost, you will be able to go on for much longer and thereby practicing “staying on your feet” for an extended time.
It is a perfect training pattern during your preseason when you want to increase your aerobic capacity.
So instead of running consecutively for 120 minutes, a run-walk endurance session would look something like this,
- 10 min of warm-up jog and dynamic stretch
Then you start running,
- 2* (18 min run in zone 2 + 2 min walk)
- 4* (9 min run in zone 2 + 1 min walk)
- 6* (4 min run in zone 2 + 1 min walk)
Then cool down and stretch for another 10 min.
Run-walk during racing
If you include the method in your training to build the necessary endurance for your distance and follow your race-plan, you do not have to worry about walking during your race.
However, as stated earlier, following the run-walk formula might be the difference between a DNF and crossing the finishing line with a smile.
In either situation, you now have another tool in your toolbox to make your upcoming season the best yet.
Your training plan
For your training to become relevant, motivating, and also to help prepare for your upcoming event, you benefit from an individual training plan.
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