Run/walk is a great intro to running, but how should you transition to running the whole way round?

Like most runners, you probably started out with the popular “run/walk” method of training. This approach, which combines bursts of running with recovery stints of fast walking, is a brilliant way to ease you into the runner’s lifestyle. It gets you fitter, helps you lose weight, and primes your body for longer runs.

But after the initial confidence boost of run/walk, some people want more. Are you wondering exactly how to ditch the “walk” and move up to running the whole way?

We’ve got you covered.

Make A Gradual Transition

Even though you’re keen to be able to run your entire training route without walking, you need to do this in stages. It won’t take long! Remember that your commitment to run/walk has built a brilliant base of fitness, and your body knows how to run. You just need to gradually decrease the length of the walk breaks, and increase the amount of running.

Track Your Progress

Take the guesswork out of it. Go on a typical run/walk session, and make a note of how long your running stints last, and how long you walk for. This is your starting point for continual running.

Set A Schedule

Now design a simple training schedule which reduces the walking and increases the running. It’s important not to do too much too quickly, and don’t increase lots of variables at the same time. So keep the total distance of your sessions the same for now. All you should focus on is reducing the walking and increasing the running.

How Long Should It Take?

If you currently run/walk 3 or 4 times per week, you could expect to be running your entire 30 minute route within a month. Wondering how the transition might look? Take this as an example (for a woman currently run/walking for a 30 minute session, 2-4 times per week):

Current 30 minute session

2 minutes running, 1 minute walking x 10

Stage 1

30 minute session

Currently 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking x 10

Stage 2

30 minute session

2:30 minutes running, 30 seconds walking x 10

Stage 3

3 minutes running, 10 seconds walking for a total of 30 minutes

Stage 4

5-8 minutes running with 10 seconds running when you need (for a total of 30 minutes)

Stage 5

Remove the walk breaks and run for 30 minutes (stage 4 was practically this anyway!)

What’s Next?

After you’ve hit your goal of running for 30 minutes non-stop (which is awesome, by the way!) you can introduce more advanced training methods, like speedwork, pace work, sprints, or hill reps. But whilst you’re transitioning from run/walk to running, don’t put any pressure on yourself regarding pace. Time on your feet is the most important factor.

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