Hey Angels and Alphas,
Have you ever heard the saying, “we must learn to crawl before we can walk?”
Well, it’s the same with walking and running. The famous phrase highlights the fact that mastering a more basic fundamental skill before going to the next level is an essential part of growth.
And while you will find that this sentiment is often correct, some coaches take issue with it when it comes to walking and running. It’s not always important to avoid light jogging when you’re starting your new workout program; but a combination of running and walking programs can be your one-way ticket to better health and fitness for the rest of your life.
A walk/run program is the perfect addition to any weight-loss program.
Recent research proves that to be the case. It also supports the act of combining walking with running. One study showed that a combination of walking and running reduced muscle pain and fatigue that always accompanies newbie runners. This is yet another factor that will help you adhere to your training regimen.
Because it’s so low-intensity, any walk/run program will be (and feel) doable from day 1, skyrocketing your confidence and getting the trail going. You’ll start to feel good after each workout, and that’s the key to returning for the next one.
So how do we create a successful walk/run program?
The number one key you have to remember is that you have to exercise restraint when implementing your run/walk program. Sometimes, we are highly motivated as we start a new training regimen, but doing too much can be a recipe for disaster, burnout, and trauma.
Some people will start off their first week alternating between 30 seconds of walking and 1 minute of running for 1 mile… and this can feel like too much. If it does for you, try the reverse! Your running bursts should still be at a conversational pace, meaning you shouldn’t be gasping for air so hard that you can’t chat with someone running right next to you.
If you’re a complete beginner in the weight loss world, you can start with walk/run intervals three days of the week and never on back-to-back days.
On other days you should just walk, like experienced runners, because their bodies and muscles need to rest and recover.
If you can sustainably increase the length of your running segments by 20-25 percent every week, and therefore gradually increase the distance by a bit… you win! If you start with 1-minute intervals, the second week, you should then try for 1 minute and 10 or 15 seconds.
Throughout your journey, you will have no problem increasing the distance or speed at which you’re running, as well as adding even more intervals whenever you feel like it. This will eventually turn into a daily habit, and you’ll start to walk/run more than 3 days a week. You’ll see a progression in your body that’s not just physical, but also mental as you break down the barriers of limiting beliefs and see yourself gaining strength and endurance every day.
If at any time you feel like you’re doing too much, just go back to what you were doing the week before.
Which brings us to our final point…
If you want to lose weight with a run/walk program, always listen (and pay attention) to your body.
You always have to pay attention to things such as your perceived energy and energy exertion during your workouts, that’s pretty much obvious to everybody. But what isn’t obvious is that the “no pain, no gain” mentality could be pushing us to do more than what is needed, potentially leaving us into dangerous territories of no results, burnout, and trauma.
This means that if your knee is aching you, or your knee is starting to hurt after a long run, maybe it’s time to take some time off or seek help from a specialist. You should never stop exercising completely, but calling for a few days off from running can go a long way to preventing a lot of trouble in the future.
If you have a gym membership, spending a couple of days there or inside the yoga studio are also great options. Don’t think that running is the only thing that can help you lose weight because it’s far from it.
When you learn to balance not just your walking/running bursts but also your rest days, you will see the incremental results you’re looking for and see major changes in the way you look and feel… not only will this turn you into a bona fide runner, but it will also keep you as healthy and as fit as you let it.