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Graduate from walking to running with this simple advice

Is one of your goals to get active? Are you looking for a way to intensify your exercise? Give running a try. It can burn more calories than walking alone, can strengthen your heart, and lower your cholesterol levels. Running can also reduce stress levels and lead to developing a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, running can help you clear your mind and find peace within yourself. But how do you even begin to transition from walking to running?

The right running shoes can make all the difference.

Our advice below will get you on the right path! This is a journey that will take time. Just remember, you’re not alone on your journey! We’re here to help you transition from walking to running.

Running gear

First, the transition from walking to running may not be as difficult as you think, but you will need some gear. 

  1. Running shoes – Make sure you have a pair of comfortable shoes that are specifically for running. If you have an older pair, be sure to read through this article to make sure they don’t need to be replaced. Proper fitting running shoes can also help prevent painful shin splints and injuries that could sidetrack you from your goal. Once you have your pair, use them only for your upcoming walk/run workouts, wearing your running shoes for other activities can cause bad wear patterns, and wear them our faster.
  2. Clothes – Wear workout gear that allows you to move freely, is lightweight, and wicks sweat. You will want to stay away from cotton.
  3. Water Bottle – Keep a water bottle nearby to stay hydrated and replenish lost fluids. If carrying a water bottle is uncomfortable, check out these different ways of carrying water with you while you run. 
  4. Extras – hat, sunglasses, headphones if you like to listen to music, and lights and reflective gear if you are going out in the dark.

Begin your journey from walking to running

Slow your jog back to a walk if you feel exhausted.

Let’s assume you walk four or five days every week and want to begin running. That’s a great start! The helpful steps below will help you during your transition from walking to running. You can always take breaks in between if you are out of breath or feel exhausted.

This is just the beginning, but when you’re ready to train for your first triathlon add in these 7 tips.

Have a plan and set goals

  1. Develop an exercise schedule if you don’t currently have one. The goal is to become more comfortable being on your feet for extended periods of time.
    • Week 1 – walk 30 minutes/day for four days
    • Week 2 – walk 40 minutes/day for four days
    • Week 3 – walk 50 minutes/day for four days 

Take the next steps

  1. Now it’s time to crank it up a bit! But don’t get too excited just yet. You want to slowly incorporate jogging into your schedule. You will want to complete these 4 days a week. On your off days, you can include recovery workouts like yoga, cycling, or even just short walks like we did in week 1 & 2.
    • Week 4 – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 30-second light jog/4-minute walk for 15 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
    • Week 5 – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 60-second light jog/4-minute walk for 20 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
    • Week 6 – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 2-minute light jog/3-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

As you get more comfortable, increase your time spent jogging.

Start to increase your jogging

  1. Next, increase your jogging intervals, and decrease your walking intervals as you see fit. Set a goal for yourself before you begin. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time in small increments. Try and stay above what you accomplished the week before even if it just 20-30 seconds longer. 
    • Week 7 – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 3-minute jog/2-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Pick up the pace

  1. After that, as you continue to feel comfortable, extend the duration of your intervals as you see fit. Alternate your jog and walking like previous routines. Continue to set small goals to reach. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time. If you want to continue to increase your speed during your jog, these 6 tips will get you started.
    • Week 8 – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 5-minute jog/1-minute walk for 30 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

By now, jogging for longer periods of time should become more and more comfortable. Congratulations, you’ve made the transition from walking to running! Continue to extend your jogging time. Maybe even quicken your stride and break into slow runs. In the end, you’ll eventually eliminate the walking portion of your intervals. Ready for your next challenge? tThis helpful advice will get you started on cycling!