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Loubie Lou 666

Run-Walk Technique

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Hi NF,

Today, I ran a 10K using run/walk technique, I ran for a ratio of 10 minutes running/3 minutes walking and completed my run in 1 hour 17 minutes, which is significantly slower than when I usually adopt my 'all or nothing' approach (PB is around 58 minutes when I was in my prime - about 3 years ago before my daughter was born). However, I have read that the run/walk style of running is in fact better for you and while I felt like I had 'more in the tank' at around the 8km mark than I normally do, I wondered if perhaps 10/3 isn't the most effective way to divide my time? I clearly have problems with pacing and it is starting to hold me back the further I increase my distance so hope run/walk can solve this. 

 

I look forward to hearing from you :-)

Loubie Lou 666.  

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What's your source on run-walk being better for you and what does "better" constitute in this sense? Easier on the joints? Healthier for the heart?  I used it when I first started running as part of a couch-to-5K, of the kind that Fearless Leader Steve (TM) talked about in this week's article.

 

Pacing is a hard thing to do, I have trouble with it myself. If you run with a cellphone, see if you can find a metronome app. Figure out how fast your footfall needs to be for a given pace and use the metronome to time your stride. As loathe as I am to recommend treadmills, they can be effective in helping your body understand what it's like to run a consistent pace. If you don't mind feeling like a hamster, that is.

 

I'm curious, what's your starting pace vs your ending pace?

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@Nomad Jay, I can't remember where it cited run/walking being 'better' than regular running exactly (I think it may have been an article in Women's Running/Runner's World or a podcast) but I do remember it stating that because this style of running is easier on the joints, runners are less prone to injury. I was also recommended run/walking by a lady, who I can only describe as a 'seasoned bad ass',  that I had the pleasure of bumping into mid-marathon last year and to say I was left in her dust is an understatement... I was definately the Tails to her Sonic... 

 

I've never heard of a metronome app before so I'll be sure to look into it. Pace is definitely my Achilles Heel, I tend to go balls out at the beginning of a run and then slow down towards the end and I know that I should be aiming for the opposite - negative splits, but  my problem is I'm not entirely sure how to do that.   

 

I've attached a screenshot of a typical 5K run summary and my splits so you can see what I mean. Bearing in mind, I often bring the dog along on a run, times are inclusive of pee/poop breaks (the dog, not me lol :dog:). 

 

Any advice on how I can improve my running, would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance,

Loubie Lou 666. 

 

5KTimes.PNG

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Personally, I'm not sold on the run-walk technique being better. To me it smacks too much of a "just-so" story. The woman who left you in her dust may have just been a better runner and it may have had nothing to do with a walk-run technique. That said, it's your body, we're all nerds here, so run an experiment. For your next challenge find a walk-run technique, stick with it, and see if your time is substantially improving.

 

Running, fundamentally, is a function of two things: the power between each stroke of your leg and how fat your legs turn over or the timing between each stroke. Strength training will help with the first, either bodyweight or barbell, whichever you're more comfortable with. For turnover, try speed work / sprints or cycling if you have access to either a stationary or regular bike. You'll want to cycle in higher gears (easier turn-over) so that your legs get used to cycling faster. I'm normally do a 2:1 or 3:1 exchange when I cycle instead of run; for every mile I should be running that day, I do two or three miles on the bike. For example, if I'm supposed to run for 4 miles, I'll cycle for between 8 and 12 depending on various factors.

 

Looking at that chart, you seem to have the same pacing problems that I used to, going all out and then being smoked by the end of the run. I can't really say what fixed that for me, but I find that I like to leave a little in the tank for a last-mile sprint. Makes me feel good to kick on the after-burners in that last mile.

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So my understanding of the run / walk technique isn't necessarily that it's "better", but more reasonable for beginners or for people who are running a longer than usual distance. Fundamentally, it does make sense - trying to increase mileage too quickly does make people more prone to injuries and intervals can help increase running speed. That being said, I personally use it as a tool to help me become a better runner rather than a racing tool.  

 

On 7/28/2018 at 4:36 PM, Loubie Lou 666 said:

I wondered if perhaps 10/3 isn't the most effective way to divide my time?

 

I'd look into Jeff Galloway's interval pacing to answer this question. Basically, you run a hard mile and use that to determine what your "ideal" run / walk interval should be. That being said, I feel like there should be all kinds of caveats to this. If you can already run all or most of the distance, adding in intervals will take more time, unless you run significantly faster during the running intervals or walk very quickly. Does that make sense? 

 

 An alternative to a metronome app would be a bpm running app or playlist. If you listen to music, you can figure out your pace bpm (beats per minute), then use songs with that average bpm to keep to a specific pace. 

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Here are two articles from RW re: in which scenarios run/walk is beneficial. It seems to be geared more toward distance running, and is situation specific rather than habitual.

https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20862651/why-you-should-take-walk-breaks/

 

https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20818428/walk-breaks-for-faster-running/

As for Loubie's question about whether 10/3 is the ideal split, it seems like you've already determined the answer is no (or, at least, it isn't satisfying you). I suggest either taking Sylvaa's advice and speeding up during the 10 min running portion, so that the 3 minute break is put to better recovery use, OR playing around with the ratio (try 10 min run, 2 min walk? 1 min walk?). I suspect this is something trial and error will be able to answer for you! Good luck and have fun! :)

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