How to Evolve From a Walker to a Runner


If you’ve hoped you could get into running, but found the initial workouts to be too difficult, take heart. Most wanna-be runners give up because they push too hard on the first few workouts, frustrating themselves. The least painful way to go from walking to running is to walk, then run, and then walk, and then run, slowly increasing how much you run versus walk. These methods won’t transform you into a runner immediately, but they’ll help you build up to running in such a way that the workouts will never feel like they are too much.

Use a stopwatch to become a runner. Your handy dandy stopwatch can be an incredibly effective training tool. When working out, start out by walking to warm up. Next increase your pace until you are running at a comfortable pace, running until you feel it getting to be too difficult to be enjoyable. Note how long you were able to run before it became uncomfortable. Thirty seconds? Now use your stopwatch to walk for double the time you ran. Alternate running and walking in this manner, always walking double the length of your run time. Over time you’ll want to reduce your walking time to equal your running time, then half of your running time, until you feel you can run and enjoy it without walking at all.

Another way to ease into running is to use a heart rate monitor as a trainer. The heart rate monitor will help you adjust your exertion level such that it’s never too much for you, but is challenging enough. Take the time to figure out what your fat burning heart rate zone is, and then start your exercise session by walking. After you warm up, switch into running, keeping an eye on your heart rate monitor to determine what level of exertion puts you into the upper end of your fat burning range. When your heart rate monitor reports that you have hit the top of your fat burning zone, change your pace to a walk until your heart rate drops to the lower end of your fat burning zone. Keep running and walking, always keeping within your fat burning heart rate zone, so you’ll have an exercise session that is challenging but not too hard. Keep this up until you can run but stay inside your fat burning heart rate zone for an entire thirty minutes without walking.

These methods may not be the fastest ways to become a runner, but they are the least painful and are easy to stick with.

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