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Building to a 30-Minute Run

The Walk to Run Approach

Are you a non-runner who wants to run? Or have you been a runner in the past, but have taken time off? Consider trying the walk to run approach.

A walk to run approach begins with walks, transitions to walk and run intervals, and ultimately (and optionally) to a continuous run. Early in the training, run intervals are short. Each week, the run intervals increase in duration as the walk intervals decrease in duration.

The keys to successfully transitioning from walk to run are:

  1. Start Short. If you are not currently exercising, start with 10-30 minute walks 3-5 times each week for at least two weeks. Then, once you are ready to get started layering in running intervals, pick a run interval which is short enough for you to complete without feeling like you need to stop to walk. I.e., you should be able to continue running past the interval length.
  2. Build Slowly. Follow the same run/walk interval format for 2-3 runs (or more) prior to progressing to the next interval. The idea is for you to feel comfortable and confident with the run times before adding more time.
  3. Keep It Conversational. The run intervals should be done at a comfortable conversation pace. Walk intervals should be done as brisk walks. The walk breaks will help the heart rate drop and muscles recover in between run segments.

TIP: It really helps to have a pre-programmed timer, so that you just need to listen to the beeps!

Set forth below is a suggested walk to run plan for getting you to a thirty minute continuous run in eight weeks.