Fitness Friday: Mid-Run Walking Breaks

Now where oh where did the week just go?

I always promise myself that I’ll be blogging throughout the week.  And then I blink.  And then it’s Friday.  How does that happen?

On to Fitness Friday!

Mid-Run Walking Breaks

When I first began running, I had the mindset that walking was for walkers and running was for runners.  Or, in other words, runners don’t walk.  Ever.

But then I began to hear from other more experienced runners who claimed that mid-run walks were their secret.  That a planned intermission of walking every so often revitalized their energy and prevented slouchiness throughout the run (i.e., bad posture, sloppiness, etc., which can cause injuries.)

So.

Needless to say.

I decided to start planning a walk break in between my runs.  And, to be quite honest, this has changed everything regarding how I view my long runs and also how I feel (physically and mentally) during these runs.

I don’t plan an exact time (when? how long? etc.) to walk, which may or may not be a good thing (depending on who you ask!)  But it works for me and it really has improved my performance.

For example, during today’s 6-mile run, I knew I was going to be feeling tired by the 4 mile mark, since I rarely exceed this length of running.  So I decided to sneak a walk break in at the 3-mile mark (based on a guesstimated time), before I became tired and sloppy.  I walked briskly for a good 2-3 minutes, swung my arms around, performed a light quad stretch, breathed deeply and kept on running.

The walk breaks instantly bring my legs back to life and I’ve noticed that my breathing becomes more normalized for the rest of the run.  My posture remains good, I don’t clobber the ground with my presence, and I enjoy finishing up the run with a tired but energetic feeling.  In addition, I look forward to these walk breaks.  If I’m running a tough hill, I power through it, knowing that I’ll be having a “rest” before long.

In essence, walking breaks have given me the ability to lengthen my long runs in a way that I never really have before.

So there you have it.

A very unscientific explanation of why I like to walk mid-run.

If you’re not sure how you feel about this sort of thing, I recommend trying it for yourself and see how you feel the next time around.  Remember to plan the break so that you’re taking a “rest” before you become overly tired.  You want to train your body to push through tired feelings (not stopping every time you feel like it) but you also want to revitalize your body when you need it.  Feeling “sloppy” or having that feeling of “clobbering the earth” can cause injuries, and a simple rest can be enough to prevent that.  Sometimes all you need is a minute or two to relax yourself, walk it out and continue on.

Happy Running!

Fitness Recap

Saturday: Rest Day (shopping!!!)

Sunday: 6-mile walk

Monday: 3-mile run + 2-mile after-dinner walk

Tuesday: Yoga + 2-mile walk

Wednesday: 3-mile run

Thursday: 2-mile run + 2-mile after-dinner walk

Friday: 6-mile run

QUESTION: Do you like to take breaks in between your workouts (running, biking, hiking, etc) or do you feel that you need to keep moving until it’s officially “over”? 

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16 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: Mid-Run Walking Breaks

  1. I keep trying to get aboard the mid-run walk train but I just can’t do it. I think it’s mental. It’s also hard for me to begin running again after walking for a bit (again, mentally). But it does depend on why I’m running: if training, I try to run the whole time but if just getting exercise, I’m down with a walk because it’s still exercise! Thanks for the tips!!

    • I like your thoughts, Janelle!! And I can see how it would be mentally tough to continue running after a brief intermission…I’ve never actually tried training or racing with the run/walk method but I’d kind of like to give it a try for my next race. I remember when I did my half, there was a man who was intermittently walking/running based on (I believe) his watch timer and he was bypassing a ton of runners (including me.) It definitely has me intrigued, but I don’t know if I’d mentally be able to convince myself to walk during a race. 😉

  2. Walk breaks may cause me to enjoy running more. Because right now – I don’t like it. But it’s all mental, and if I know I’m “allowed” to walk for a bit here and there, it may help. Good advice!

  3. I am big on walk breaks. Right now I’m training for my first marathon (in three weeks!), and use intervals of running and walking for my long runs – typically I run for one minute, and walk for one minute. The walking saves my legs, especially my knees, and I don’t think I’d be able to get that far without the walk breaks.

    • Oh, that’s awesome!!! Good for you for training for your first marathon. It’s on my life to-do list. 😀

      I’m really excited to hear that you used this method for training! Do you plan on continuing this when you race? I think it would be the best way for me to go about training for the longer runs, as I’m unfortunately very injury prone. 😉

      • Thanks! Yes, I’m definitely using the walk breaks for the race. I’ve followed Jeff Galloway’s plans for my half marathon and marathon training, including walk breaks, and I think it’s the main reason I can go for so far now. (I’m prone to injury too.) 🙂

        By the way, I like that you call it a life to-do list. I don’t like to call it a bucket list, but that’s the perfect way of putting it.

  4. I love your photos on this post. I have been exercising really hard for months now, but I just don’t like running very much. It feels uncomfortable. But I do walk very quickly with a weight vest, and I am up to about 60 squats in a setting. I also do circuit workouts as well as a plethora of videos depending on my mood. Maybe if I tried a lot of walking with a “little” bit of running the running would grow on me.

    • Thanks! You sound like you have such a great variety to your workouts…that’s awesome! I’d like to introduce more videos to my life, as they can really mix up a routine. 😀

  5. I usually take breaks when running. I like doing intervals…push hard for a bit then rest, then push hard again. Works for me!

  6. I’m big on walking breaks. I have no trouble running long distances without stopping, but often (even if I’m just doing a 5K) I’ll stop and walk, usually more than once. I like that it lets me recharge and usually allows me to keep a faster pace while I’m running. I find if I skip the breaks then overall my pace will be a bit slower.

    …plus there’s the fact that sometimes I just need to take a breather.

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