This picture makes me want to dust off my spandex and go for a run on a cool, foggy fall day.
Sometimes, just straight-up running feels like too much. I have days where my legs feel like weights, my shins ache, my arms can barely move and even running for just 20 minutes sounds tortorous and the very last thing in the world that I want to do. On days like these, I run-walk. And I'm not ashamed to admit it :)
Run-walking is exactly what it sounds like; you alternate a time period of running with a time period of walking. It's an excellent way to get a work-out in on days where running for 30 minutes feels impossible. I recently came across an article about it on the Runner's World blog, you can read it here.
Often times, runners scoff at the run-walk method, shrugging it off as a cop-out for those who can't handle a "real run." But I think run-walking is a great way to get into shape. The continuous change in your heart rate as you switch from running to walking is supposedly one of the best ways to lose weight. In fact, research has shown that it is more beneficial to change speed during a 30 minute cardiovascular session than to stay at one pace the entire time.
My standard run-walk session is run for 2 minutes, walk for 1. If I have the time and can do it for 45 minutes, then I've still managed to go for my 30-minute run, it's just broken up into 2:00 segments.
Rest is a very important to me as a runner and I find run-walking a great break from my standard runs. It allows my legs and lungs a little breather without sacrificing a quality work-out. I've even gotten Mr Trail Mix on the run-walking train (and he HATES to work out or run). So my friends, if you want to start running but aren't sure how to go about it, I recommend a run-walk as a great way to ease into the running game. Start with running for :30 seconds, then walk for 1:00. Continue to increase the running time as you become stronger, fitter and more accustomed to running. Good luck!
Do you walk-run? Or are you a non-believer/"true runner"? :) Also, if anyone wants more running advice, PM me and I'll happily offer up more ideas and advice!