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According to running coach Jeff Galloway, when you are learning to run, you should gradually increase to a comfortable 30-minute walk before attempting a slow jog. “Use a gentle walk, not a power walk. Take short strides. A longer stride tends to cause problems and early fatigue,” says Galloway.
Once your 30-minute walks feel comfortable, insert five to 10 seconds of running, followed by 50 seconds of walking. Gradually, you choose the length of time for which you are comfortable walking and running. Try 15 seconds running, then 45 seconds walking, then 20/40, then 30/30, then 2-1 (two minutes walking, then one minute running), etc. There are no specific amounts that you would set as a goal – run and walk the amounts that feel good to you. The amounts will often vary from day to day.
“Having the right run-walk ratio allows you to feel good every time you go out,” says Galloway. “Some days, you may need to take more walks than runs.” The walk-run method is a tool that allows a person to gain more control over their level of fatigue. Try the walk-run method three days a week on nonconsecutive days. “I hear regularly from people – about 100 emails a day – and most tell me that they couldn’t have done it without the walk-run method.”