Tips to Progress From Walking to Running

July 9, 2023 0 Comments

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As with any new habit, whether it’s drinking more water or starting a meditation practice, it takes time to enjoy running. It is quite unusual for things to feel effortless and airy when a runner first laces up, especially because many factors come into play, from the temperature to the route.

Still, there is no denying that running as part of your usual Routine has a number of benefits for the whole body, including anxiety relief, weight loss and weight management. Compared to walking, running allows you to burn more calories in less time, which costs more for your money if you are looking for a quick workout.

To speed up the pace of a leisurely walk and turn it into a run (or a jog), guide yourself to these expert-backed strategies:

1. START SLOWLY

You don’t need to put the pressure on yourself to walk out the front door and crash an Olympic 5K. Instead, start your running habit by incorporating jogging intervals into your usual walking routine, suggests Alyssa Kuhn, Physiotherapist. “Running for 30 seconds, then running for 1 Minute can be a great place to start,” she adds. “It will challenge your heart rate and increase your endurance so that you can run longer distances.”

If 60 seconds of jogging is too much, start with 15 seconds. Continue to increase the duration of the running interval and decrease the walking intervals as your body condition improves, says Kuhn.

2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPEED

When it comes to choosing the right running shoe, it will probably be different from running. “Some sneakers are good for walking, but they offer little support for higher intensity activities, such as running,” says Brandon Nicholas, certified personal trainer. “Go to a sports shoe store and consult with one of the employees,” he suggests. “They can advise you if you can continue to use what you have or help you choose the right running shoe.”The same goes for diapers – make sure you wear sweat-wicking material to avoid chafing, which makes taking your gear easier and more comfortable.

3. ADD STRENGTH TRAINING

By increasing the pace, you also increase the load on your muscles. Make sure you take care of your body by adding regular strength exercises at least twice a week to target the posterior chain – or the back of your body. Single-limb strength training, such as deadlifts and squats, is a great place to start.

4. FOCUS ON THE CADENCE

There are a number of studies that examine the relationship between cadence — or the number of steps you take in a Minute — and health-issue. Research shows that an increased cadence can lead to a reduction in stress on the hip and knee joints, thus preventing common running health-issue.

Of course, it is also important to exercise in such a way that it is comfortable and natural, explains Michelle Montiel, an RRCA certified trainer and Academy director at a Snail speed running academy. “A slower cadence is usually caused by overtaking, which leads to a stronger heel kick. This can lead to health-issue,” she says, adding that ideally you will run at a rate of between 160 and 180 steps per Minute.

“You can use a fun mix of music at about those beats per Minute to stay on track,” she suggests. “A faster pace does not require major effort; it’s just a shorter stride length. Most people actually go faster with less effort.”

5. SET A SMART RUNNING GOAL FOR YOURSELF

Having a goal increases Motivation when you are trying to increase your running frequency. For example, setting a goal of 5 miles a week for the first 2-3 weeks is a good start, depending on your fitness level, Kuhn says. “It gives you a tangible goal that helps you stick to a training plan. Once you reach this distance consistently, you can increase the goal depending on how your body has reacted and recovered,” says Kuhn. A good rule of thumb is to increase the distance by no more than 10% of the total distance of the previous week.

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