5 Steps to Go from Walking to Running

Many people feel they are not "made for running," but most people are, just at different speeds!

  1. Work your way up to being able to walk at a brisk pace 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
  2. Now you're ready to start some jogging! During your walks, insert 5-10 seconds of running every 1 to 2 minutes. Do this on every other walk. If you'd like to progress more quickly, try walking nearly every day, so your walk-run sessions are every other day.
  3. Gradually increase the length of your jogs by 5-10 seconds. This could be every other week, or after 3-4 sessions. Do what feels right. One rule of thumb is when you stop feeling sore, you should be ready for another increase. Keep consistent with these sessions, no less than 3 times a week.
  4. Once you feel comfortable running for 3 minutes, try making a jump to 6 minutes at a time, walk 3 minutes and run another 4 minutes or as long as you can. Scale it back on your next session if you need to recover, but work on your longer sessions at least a couple times a week.
  5. After a couple weeks, try jogging the whole 30 minutes. If you are not yet ready and have to walk part of the way, be patient. Soon enough you'll be able to do run the whole 30 minutes. You're a runner! Depending on your goals, you can continue walking some of the days, or start working on a 5K training plan!

Tony has been a runner for over three decades, competing in cross country and track in high school and college, and road races for various clubs. He's served as team captain for several Corporate Challenge teams at YMCA of the USA, and has informally coached many friends over the years.

Tags: Y, YMCA, Running, Jogging, walking

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