Do you know the Run Walk Method? We tell you everything you need to know about its benefits and when to do it. Start running progressively!
What is the Run Walk Method?
It’s a training programme that alternates periods of running with periods of walking, which gives it its name.
We all love our “methods” and “programmes”.
We see them as formulas that help take us from “point A” to “point B” without having to think too much.
The Run Walk method has appeared on the fitness programme as a way of approaching running progressively and minimising the risk of injury.
Especially in the face of the avalanche of people who, without previous experience or training, throw themselves into the practice of this sport (which today is the sport that generates the most injuries amongst people, by a landslide).
However, as we’ll see, despite not considered something revolutionary or new, the Run Walk running method has many applications and benefits.
You can start running with the help of the Run Walk method
We all know how to run, or at least we think do.
When a person with no sporting background and who hasn’t trained before decides to do some physical exercise, it’s very likely that the first activity they think about taking up is running.
This is for a number of reasons:
- In first place, running is free.
We don’t need monthly gym memberships or special equipment, bar trainers. And at the same time, everyone has access to outdoor areas where they can practice and aren’t restricted by any sort of opening hours.
- Running is the sporting activity that generates the most injuries.
As I was saying before, the reasons are simple to understand:
- Little supervision (we do this at our own risk) and planning (few people have a trainer to programme their sessions);
- Anarchic progression, with very extensive sessions that we’re not prepared for;
- Bad technique that’s never corrected; and, let’s not forget,
- The fact that it’s practiced en masse also aids it in being the number 1 injury-inducing activities.
In this way, instead of launching into the race without further ado and until the body can withstand it, this method proposes a progressive system.
Benefits of Run Walk
Get in shape progressively
The most evident benefit is that it is a structured and simple to follow programme that really helps beginner runners or any age start running safely.
And in this way it helps prevent many of the injuries resulting from first running sessions being approached without preparation.
A good way to start running again after a break
The Run Walk method is excellent for getting back to your previous physical form by establishing a progressive overload.
This is benefit is particularly current, given that in practically the whole world there has been a stop in activity in 2020.
And after an illness
We spoke in a recent post about the possible consequences that COVID-19 could have at the cardiovascular level and the need for precaution when returning to physical activity. The Run Walk method is, once again, a way of doing so progressively.
Patients with health problems
For those of us involved in caring for patients with limiting health problems, this type of adaptation to sport is particularly useful.
In consultation, it is very difficult to sell 30 minutes of physical exercise at a stable intensity to someone who has not practiced sport before.
Bringing HIIT closer to the non-sporting population
The Run Walk method is no less than a “decaffeinated” version of the famous HIIT training, where periods of low intensity (walking) are alternated with more intense periods (running), and we don’t necessarily have to talk about “high” intensity.
The benefits of these changes in intensity are reflected in the literature.
The ones I like to remind people about are the cost efficiency in terms of time spent/results and the higher efficiency for fat oxidation than training performed at a continuous intensity. If you want to know more about this topic click here.
A good way to lose weight?
It will certainly raise our calorie expenditure and improve our cardio-respiratory fitness, but it is not comparable in terms of impact to a well-planned conditioning programme or the already mentioned HIIT.
The Run Walk method is not revolutionary in terms of weight loss or physical conditioning.
Run Walk Running Method Training Plan
A simple training plan based on the Run Walk Running method would be:
- We’ll do three days of Run Walk training: Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- 4 minutes of fast walking followed by 2 minutes of gentle running. Do 5 circuits of this for 30 minutes
- We’ll do 4 days of training
- 3 minutes of fast walking and 2 minutes running. Total: 30 minutes.
- We’ll keep up with 4 days of training.
- 2 minutes of fast walking and 2 minutes running, at a ratio of 1:1. Maintain this ratio for the whole session (30 minutes).
- 4 days of training
- 1 minute of fast walking and 3 minutes running at a moderate intensity.
Errors to avoid
The principal error you should avoid at all costs is not following the progression properly, being impatient and not trusting the process.
At the beginning of the Run Walk programme you might feel a little underwhelmed and want to do a bit more.
Or you might even return home thinking “I’ve done nothing today”.
However, the reason for the programme is to establish a progressive overload that progressively improves both your cardio-respiratory fitness and the ability of your muscles and joints to cope with increasingly or more intense sporting activity.
- If you want to start running from 0, click here.
- Running on the beach puts you in direct contact with nature… continue reading.