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Consider this Run/Walk program to recover faster, build volume, and train effectively for race day. 


You have a goal in mind–to complete your first Ironman, half marathon, or full marathon. However, putting in long training runs can be daunting, especially if you cannot run long enough to complete your training. What do you do if you are struggling to build run fitness? 


This run/walk program designed by Dr. Robert Green and Dr. Moose Herring allows for effective recovery, building volume, training, and racing. The program helps build athletes back from injury and develops a healthy running habit. 


Your body can only sustain a certain amount of running. You can build endurance and fitness for extended periods with specific walk intervals. With shorter intervals, you also can focus better on perfect form and higher cadence. More efficient running at a higher cadence is faster running! 


You will also notice; you have less cardiac drift or increased heart rate out of the appropriate zone. Endurance training at a lower heart rate for an extended period provides the most benefit. If your heart rate increases out of your “steady zone,” you have lost the purpose. 


Run/walk allows much more running to stay in the appropriate zone. You’ll notice less delayed muscle soreness. When changing to walk, you decrease impact, have better form, and stay in the aerobic zone, reducing the damage from lactic acid. 


The run/walk program focuses on you and your mileage. In your training, try multiple different methods to build your longer runs. Your shorter runs are the intensity and strength sessions. Longer runs build endurance, training your body to burn fat and not significantly increase lactic acid. This means a lower heart rate in the appropriate “steady zone.” 9 min run/1 min walk is common. You can use one or two-mile segments with a 1 min walk. 


Look at your upcoming race to see the spacing of aid stations. This is an excellent strategy to plan your run/walk and nutrition. In Ironman or marathon racing, you can either walk out of a planned strategy or walk out of catastrophe or frustration. Finishing strong and racing even is the goal. IF your friends give you grief about walking, tell them you will wait for them at the finish line!


The Sample Run/Walk Training Program: 

  1. When you are pain-free or motivated to start, begin a sequence of run/walk focused on your ability.


  • This may be as simple as 1 min jog/1 min walk x 5. 
  • Focus on your form. The walk is a fast-paced walk, and the run is in perfect form with a cadence of around 90. The focus is on pain-free running. 


  1. Progress to a 2 min jog/1min walk x 5, then 3 min jog/1min walk x 5, etc.


  • Each sequence should be completed at least two times and never run on sequential days. 
  • Once you have progressed to 5-6 minutes of jogging/1 min of walking, you are ready for a 20-30 min run. 
  • This process can take 4-6 weeks. 
  • You can add nonimpact activities such as cycling, elliptical, pool running, and core in addition to building fitness. Once you have this foundation, you can add intensity and higher miles.  


Schedule a call with a HUB training expert today to receive a customized training plan that will get you your best results. 


U Run Well! U Run Strong! U Run Fast!