Trail Sisters Half Marathon & 10k

September 14th • Buena Vista, CO

ASK TS: Walking to Jogging

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Currently, I walk almost 3 miles every day, but I’d really like to start jogging. Would it be better to follow a walk/run routine or just jog as long as I can? Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Mixing in jogging with your current 3 mile walk in short sessions will help you build up your jogging fitness without sacrificing the solid routine you’ve already built. As you grow stronger you can lengthen the amount of time you jog in each session. Once you’re jogging is solid enough to split off from your walk you can create a soley run-based routine (even if you maintain your walking one).

If you’re talking about jogging on the trails, definitely do small increments.  You can’t go as fast on the trails, so you may find you can actually go longer than if you were running on a track or a sidewalk.  I have always adopted a “run until you feel like you can’t (and then go a few more seconds longer)” approach when training my body back up to longer times or distances.

Run/ Walk routine is very effective in increase your endurance and also strengthen your joints as well( less impact!!).  You can start out with Run/Walk, and extend running portion as you feel ready gradually, so you can avoid the possibility of injury from running.  Eventually, you can run/jog whole things (-:

Either way, going out everyday and just jogging as long and fast as you can is a sure way to burn out. Whether you choose a walk/run method or pure jogging – setting a plan with incremental progressions and step backs is key to moving forward motivated and hopefully, without injury. I will say, the walk/run method can be a great thing to incorporate at least a few times per week, especially as you increase distance. As a lifelong runner, I recently used walk/run when training again after pregnancy and found it to be enjoyable and successful. 

I’m a big fan of the Couch to 5K program! There’s all sorts of fitness apps that include versions of programs designed to get you to be able to run continuously for 30 minutes. Even without those training plans, run-walk intervals help as well! As an ultra runner, there’s certainly a lot of walking and I actively practice walking.

It’s exciting you want to start jogging after walking 3 miles a day. I think it would be great to incorporate a walk/run routine. You could start with a small amount of jogging and then walk. Example 20 seconds jog, 1 minute walk then repeat a few days. Once that feels good increasing the jog to 30 seconds, 1 minute walk. After a few days increase to 45 seconds jog, 1 minute walk. After this gradual build up, you can start to jog for a longer amount of time. You can always adjust the above examples to how your body feels. Happy jogging!

I would say that you’re off to a good start with your walking habit! There’s no one way to transition to running. Try out different techniques for yourself and see what fits. A walk/jog combo sounds like a great way to gradually transition. If you live in a hilly place you could do a walk-the-uphills and jog-the-downhills combination. You can set a timer on your watch and run 1 min / walk 3 mins and gradually tweak those time frames as you feel more and more comfortable so that you’re running for longer stretches of time. You can set goals for yourself to cover your 3 mile distance a few minutes faster than usual or you can try to go a little further in the same allocation of time. Remember that it’s okay to start off slow and break a sweat.

I’m so happy to hear you’d like to try running!  After I recovered from my pelvic fracture and handed in my PhD dissertation back in 2019, I was ready to get back to a routine of running regularly, after being mostly sedentary throughout my recovery, other than a summer farm season. I first spent about a month walking the track on campus, and then started to add in running.  For me, running as far as I can and taking walk breaks as needed, until I rebuild endurance, has always worked well.  I might set a goal of 3 miles (for a beginner runner that could very well be 1-2 miles), and then move your body forward in some way until you cover that distance.  Over time, you will become stronger and one day will find that you can cover that goal distance without taking walk breaks.  Then you get to build distance gradually from there.  If you try the method I use and it does not feel good, switch to a run-walk combo.  It’s all a matter of what works best for you.  Good luck!

I strongly suggest intervals. Walking breaks will not only help you recover as you build endurance, they’re also a great way to transition safely/sanely into longer stints of running while keeping it sustainable and fun. So, let’s say you start with 30 seconds of walking / 30 seconds of running. Once you’ve gotten comfortable there, slowly begin to extend the running intervals to 45 seconds while still waking for 30 seconds. Hold this cycle until you’re ready to extend from there. You never have to eliminate the walking breaks if you don’t want to, and you can always sprinkle uninterrupted runs into your weekly training just to gauge and celebrate your progress!

Way to go! Either way would probably work great but I would lean towards the walk/run routine so that your body can get used to the higher impact in small chunks. Alternating between walking/jogging could be time-based, distance-based, or even landmark-based (telephone pole to telephone pole, for example). Slowly increase the amount of time you’re running vs. walking, be patient with the progress, and celebrate the accomplishment!

Your body best adapts to small doses of something new, so I would recommend starting with a run/walk routine and then gradually increase the run time as your body adjusts.

As someone who got into distance running later in life, I can vouch for the wonders of the walk-run mix.  Start easy…Jog a minute, walk a minute, repeat.  Over time, increase jogging time.  Before you know it, you’ll be jogging consecutive miles.   There is absolutely NO SHAME in the walk-jog game.

I love the concept of alternating walking with jogging as a way to add on to what you are doing. It sounds like you have a great thing going with your 3 mile walk routine and have some energy to include jogging. Adding in 1-3 minutes of jogging after you’ve warmed up (10+ minutes) and alternating with 1-3 minutes of walking would be a way to see how it feels. Start to play with the walking to jogging time ratio as you move along and see what feels best for you. Take note of sensations in your body, changing from walking to jogging may require more supportive shoes or clothing (think sportsbra!) than walking.

I highly recommend a walk/jog interval routine.  This will help with injury prevention as you increase mileage.  The cool thing is you know you can already comfortably walk 3 miles, so pick an interval that feels reasonable and sustainable to you.  I really like the run for 3 mins/walk for 2 mins.  Over time, you’ll slowly decrease the run:walk ratio so that you can run the entire time.  Be patient.  When I first started running I ended up with shin splints because I tried running 6 miles out of the gate with no prior running experience.  I actually find that when I do intervals, I had a more consistent average pace for my runs. When I started running and doing intervals, I stuck with it for about a year and would adjust my intervals time depending on my distance.

(Pro tip: I love walking and walk often in my runs, especially up hills!!) I’d recommend starting with a :30 run, followed by 2:00 of fast-paced walking, and try that for 3 miles. Then, grow from there- when you feel solid and energized with that routine, try bumping it up to :45 run and 1:45 walk, etc. Start and build slow- you will get there!

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Ask the Trail Sisters Panel of Experts is made up of inspirational and knowledgeable women who share a love for trail running, hiking, and the outdoors. These women volunteer their time and expertise to help others enjoy a better experience on the trails.

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Sept. 14th 2024

Buena Vista, Colorado

Half-Marathon & 10k

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