So, you started a running routine and you’re wondering, because it kind of nags at you when you’re out, you get tired, you think about it, and you’re like, “Can I walk? Is it okay to walk while I run?” Well, I’m Jesse Funk and on today’s episode of Runner’s High, we’re going to discuss this topic that is heated among certain individuals in the running community about whether you can or should not walk while you’re out to run.
Before we get going, if you haven’t spent any time with me here on the channel, hit that subscribe button, stick around. As I said, this is a show I call Runner’s High where we talk about everything running. Like today’s topic, can you walk while you run, to training, any kinds of injuries, whether you can run in a particular weather, everything we can think of is discussed on this channel. So, like I said, hit that subscribe button and stick around with me for more episodes of Runner’s High in the future.
Now, let’s talk about running and walking. Do they go together? Can they ever mix? Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I had this mentality that is pervasive in the running community for a long time that you simply cannot walk when you go run. And the idea here is that if you walk you’re weak, basically.
You know, that’s the idea. It’s a matter of, if you’re strong enough mentally, you will keep running. And that’s the only way to get better. Now, there is a little bit of validity to this, in that I say many times on this channel, running is 90%, mental 10% physical. Obviously, that’s an exaggeration.
But the idea is that your mind is in control of what your body’s doing. You do have physical limits but we don’t like to think about those sometimes when we’re trying to get better. We want to push past those limits because our brains, our minds have this kind of central governor that tells us to slow down, you’re going too fast.
And you have to learn when to pay attention to that and when to ignore it. And that is in essence, pacing. But this idea that you simply cannot walk when you’re running is important if you’re beginning and you’re trying to go farther, and you have the physical capability to go farther. But it is simply not true in every single case.
Now, there’s actually two really good reasons to walk. The first of them, I’ve recommended many times on the channel, especially for the beginning runner. And that is when you’re building up run time, and you simply don’t have the capability yet, the physical capability to go out and say, “Hey, I’m going to go run five miles.” Well, it’s okay to walk. It really is because you’re stretching yourself.
Now, this is something that I’ve recommended for people that I’ve been in charge on their training, and we build up and say you start out, maybe you can only run for a minute, and you just simply can’t go any farther. So, run for a minute, walk for two minutes, run for another minute, walk for two minutes, and you build up. You reduce the walk time, you increase the run time until you can say, “Hey, now I can go out and run a mile without stopping. And then maybe the next time it’s a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half, and you build up like that.
Not everybody has the capability to go, “Hey, I’m just going to go out and run five miles out of nowhere.” Some people do. Some people have greater capabilities in that. We all come from different places. So, it is perfectly acceptable to go and start your run routine with a walking regimen, a run-walk regimen. I recommend that. I recommend that especially if you’ve been injured because of something you’re new, you got injured. Which means you pushed too hard, you didn’t recover enough, and then you’re coming back into things. T
The other really great reason to walk is injury prevention. Now, this is something that I use in my training currently, my coach prescribes for me. So, like here in a couple days on my Sunday long run, I’m going to go out for 12 miles, and he has me walk every 15 minutes. It’s a 30-second walk for me. But it’s to try to give your body a little bit of a break and prevent injuries. Now, it’s not just me that uses this. My friend and former coach, Barb Lindquist actually used this when she was training for the Olympics.
Now, I may bring Barb up from time to time on this channel and it may simply sound like a humblebrag, “Oh, I know Barb.” But I bring her up, and this is a sidebar because she is an amazing individual. She still coaches and I like to give her credit where credit is due. She is -- I simply can’t state how nice of a person she is. And it doesn’t matter your level. You could literally have never run before, she’s going to talk to you the exact same way that she’s going to talk to a pro athlete trying to qualify for the Olympics. She’s going to give you the same do.
Now, she may not give you the same advice, you’re in different places. But she’s going to treat you the same as an individual. So, I like to bring her up, because I’m so grateful for the time I have to spend with her, and all the clinics that I did with her. So, if you are getting more seriously into running, or more importantly, if you’re getting into triathlon check her out, BarbLinquist.com. She does do coaching.
So, anyway, back to our walk-run discussion. Barb used this strategy when she was training for the Olympics. And I mentioned that not just because I want to tell you about how grateful I am to spend time with her. But because at the top level of the game, remember, at the time this was 2003-2004 she was in
So, the best female triathlete in the world is walking on her long runs as part of an injury prevention routine. So, if the best athlete in the world is capable of using this strategy, then the rest of us are probably perfectly fine to use it as well.
So, if you’ve had any doubts about whether you can or can’t walk when you go out and run? Absolutely, yes, you can. Now, just like we talked about in the beginning of the video, the thing you need to keep in mind is, am I walking as a part of this structured routine to prevent injuries? Or am I walking because I simply don’t think I can go further when maybe I am capable of going further? And this is a delicate balance, something I can’t prescribe you through this video.
I don’t know you that well. I’d like to get to know you, hit that subscribe button stick around with me, leave comments, please. But it’s something you have to pay attention to with your own body and the things that you are doing. So, you kind of have to experiment, which is the unfortunate part a little bit over time, unless you have the direction of a coach like Barb to help you navigate some of those nuances through discussions you have on a day-to-day basis.
So, yes, you can walk when you run. There are important times to do it. But keep in mind, it can slow you down when you’re capable of going farther and you don’t think you are. So, you have to figure out which of those it is. What would you like to see next on Runner’s High? Leave comments down below. Let me know what questions you have. I’d love to do a video for you. As always, I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.