The Run Walk Run method can and will work for you precisely because it involves starting slow. Including walk breaks reduces fatigue and orthopedic stress, making the routine safer and more sustainable than an intense, nonstop training plan. “When you go farther than you’ve gone before, your muscles, tendons, and joints need time to rebuild stronger,” says Galloway. That’s why our plan designates built-in rest days before and after your long runs, plus postural strength training such as crunches and weighted-arm running. Get details on how to do those exercises here.
This week, try running for five to 10 seconds at the beginning of every minute, walking for the remaining 50-55 seconds, and repeating. You’ll find that you gradually increase the time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking. If, at any point, you start to huff and puff, walk gently with short strides until your breathing returns to normal. Overexertion is the quickest way to get injured.
One last thing: Warming up and cooling down are vital to protecting your muscles from pulls and tears. Galloway recommends beginning each day’s task with three minutes of walking and ending it with a 10-minute slow jog that includes as many walk breaks as you want, followed by three to five minutes of walking. If this warm-up and cool-down routine sounds extensive, it’s totally fine to work it into your total minutes for the day.
Ready, set, run!