So when I started this running nonsense, I read a few books, read a TON of web pages and training plans and decided to go with the Couch to 5K plan, which over the course of 9 weeks, got the runner running 30 minutes continuously (and perhaps unrealistically implying that one could run fast enough to cover 5K during that time). My speed is a slow 5 mph. Any faster and after several minutes my heart rate would get too high. For the longer intervals during the final 3 weeks of the program I had to slow my speed down to 4.8 or 4.7. So certainly I wasn’t covering 5k/3 miles in distance.
With that mindset, when I was looking for the next thing to move onto, I found many programs that just said “Day 1, 3 mile run” and so on. Nothing giving me times, etc. I did initially like the Running Room 10:1 run/walk interval method. But after doing two complete weeks and one day of week 3, I wasn’t satisfied with it. So I revisited some blogs and sites.
I found this blog post very interesting. Basically, she examines a method of run/walk intervals and how specifically it impacted her running workouts. She actually had quicker times when taking walk breaks because when she was running, it was at a faster pace. Hmmmm. (The information to which she refers is on Jeff Galloway’s site.)
That started me thinking. Who cares if I take walk breaks? I (like many commenters on the a/n post) always thought that if you were a “runner” then walking was giving in/up and wussy. But there are no running police. If I can enjoy the activity more and do more mileage and be comfortable, then why not take walking breaks? It was a big mental breakthrough for me. I do want to continue with this, building mileage and hopefully in time, speed.
I found another interesting article here and this jumped out at me:
“Contrary to what you might think, the technique doesn’t mean walking when you’re tired; it means taking brief walk breaks when you’re not.”
On Sunday I did the Gateway to 8K Week 1 workout. It starts with 7:1 run/walk intervals. Over 41 minutes (including 5 min warm up/cool down walk and three one-minute walking breaks) I did 3.1 miles. It was in some ways tougher (28 minutes of actual running) but also easier (7 mins instead of 10 running). I am intrigued.
Wait – I found a very good article here by Jeff Galloway. I agree wholeheartedly with this. He speaks to marathon training as well as beginning runners benefiting from walk breaks.
Next workout I think I’m going to try 5:1 intervals, but at a quicker pace. Just to see how it goes.
Oh, and I might need to get some of these:
in my travels.