For most people, the hardest part of any new hobby, habit, or lifestyle change is just getting started. Progressing from walking to running is no exception.
Even expert running coaches like Sascha Wingenfeld understand the trepidation of starting a new running regimen. He urges would-be runners to “keep in mind that the first step is always the hardest!” He advises folks to think of running as a ‘new start.’
New runners should try being non-judgmental and curious about the habituation process. “A few guidelines can help you avoid beginner’s mistakes and thus achieve your running goals,” says Sascha.
Read on to see Sascha’s advice. Plus, see our workout plans for motivation, endurance and speed, or download a blank template and create your own!
Here are the five best tips for running to walk, plus our training plans:
Run, Walk, Run: Interval Training
If it’s not possible to run the whole distance right from the beginning, then run and walk. Start off by breaking a run up into short intervals of running and walking. Stick to the training plan’s miles, time, and intensity, but feel free to intercept particularly hard workouts with walk breaks.
“This way you reduce the overall intensity and minimize the orthopedic stress of a running session,” explains Sascha. As fitness levels increase, lengthen the running parts and shorten the walking breaks.
This basic form of interval training is especially beneficial for beginning runners.
Examples of run, walk, jog sets:
- Workout: alternate between 3 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 20- 25 min
- Workout: alternate between 4 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 30 min
- Workout: alternate between 5 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 30 min
- Workout: alternate between 5 min jogging + 1 min walking for a total of 30-40 min
- Workout: alternate between 3-5-8-5-3 min jogging + 3 min walking for a total of 40 min
- Workout: alternate between 5-8 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 40-45 min
- Workout: alternate between 8 min jogging + 3 min walking for a total of 45 min
- Workout: alternate between 10 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 45 min
Walking to Running: Take It Easy
Many beginning runners tend to start off too fast because of the initial excitement. This often results in many first attempts ending after a few hundred meters.
Plus, this can lead to overtraining and fatigue, which usually puts a premature end to any running ambitions. The reason for this is quite simple: People tend to lose interest pretty quickly when things aren’t fun.
Therefore, Sascha recommends starting off very easy: “Your body needs time and rest to get used to the new stresses and strains of running. Always choose a pace where you can carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. It may seem too easy and relaxed to you at first, but with time, the intensity will add up.”
Increasing your training slowly and giving your body time to adapt to the new demands will lead to long-term success, improved fitness, and better running technique.
Leave Room for Improvement
How to improve running pace and intervals? Make sure to start off with very short distances. Still have energy afterwards? No problem. Just increase the distance a little next session.
Don’t overdo it: the best training plans start slow. At first, the body needs time to adapt to the new training stimuli. The heart, muscles, metabolism and circulation have to get used to the new workload.
Give the body the time it needs and plan training so that rest and work alternate.
Variety Is The Spice of Fitness
There is more to training than running. Especially when starting out, it is a good idea to increase fitness and avoid injury through running cross training. Mixing up exercise reinforces cardiovascular and muscular endurance. And, different styles of exercise balance out the muscular and orthopedic stresses of running.
Try these bodyweight exercises or download the adidas Training app for guided workouts.
Follow A Training Plan
The exact training plan for a runner really depends on their goals. Here, we’ve laid out a few different walk-to-run programs for brand-new runners and those who’ve returned to running.
Give the plans a try, then use other advice on the adidas Runtastic blog to elevate your goals and running form. You can also create your own plan by downloading our training plan template.
PS: Some of these plans include yoga. Here’s a blog listing some great yoga poses for runners.
How to use the following plans
- Identify your fitness goals
- Find the plan that best fits your goals
- Save, print, or download the image so that you can use it with ease!
- Or, download your own blank training plan. Set your own goals, create a weekly workout schedule, and stick to it!
Share your workout schedule with us! Take a picture and tag @adidasruntastic on Instagram. Then, be sure to track and share your progress on the adidas Running app.
Or, create your own run walk training plan!
Sascha’s Bottom Line
The first step out the door is always the hardest. Perfection is not the goal; enjoyment and fitness are! Remember that running is genetically viable for all humans. It might not be pretty at first, but grace will come! Just keep running.