Most beginner runners start out using the run/walk method because they don’t have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. More advanced runners often use this method while treating an injury and want to reduce their impact — and some stick with run/walk even after they’ve recovered from their injury. Runners can incorporate walking into their runs by walking for the warm-up and cool down portions of your run or by using the walk/run method we have outlined.
Whatever your reason for getting started with the run/walk method, when you’re first getting started with running, it’s helpful to follow a schedule.
Walking during a run can actually help in a number of ways, such as:
- Endurance: Increasing your muscle endurance without putting too much stress on your joints and muscles as running does.
- Injury Prevention: Walking during a long run also gives your running muscles and joints a chance to rest and recover, which can help you complete your planned distance and also prevent injuries.
- Weight Loss: Your heart rate is lower when you’re walking, which means your body will use fat for energy rather than mostly fast-burning carbs.
- Mental Health: Taking a walking break can really break up the monotony during a long run or race, which can help you deal with the mental challenges and any discomfort you may be feeling.