How to incorporate walking into your programme when you are starting out?
If you are just starting out on your running journey it is really important to make sure that walking is a key element as you build your running experience. There are a number of reasons why walking needs to be a key part of your progress, namely it helps with tissue tolerance, develops your cardiovascular system and will help development of your running technique and it will allow and give your body time to adapt as you progress.
Let’s discuss these points separately. Firstly, looking at tissue tolerance and the ability of your soft tissues and bones to adapt to the change in loading activity you are undertaking. This includes your tendons (muscle to bone), your ligaments (holding joints together), the muscles which power your forwards and obviously your bones themselves will adapt to the stress you place on them each day. If this stress has remained very low because you have been inactive then your body needs time to adjust and strengthen. This is important preparation time while you build your running progress. Our bodies are an amazing design and this means that we can adapt over a relative short time to changes in stress placed upon these soft tissues. It generally takes around 8 weeks for your body to adapt and during this phase you should be gradually increasing your loading through phases of running time that you’re out running and volume of your weekly training sessions. If you get this right in the early phases you will only benefit as you progress your training and build towards your first 5K.
Secondly let’s look at your cardiovascular system the development of your heart and lungs. If you have not been taking regular exercise over a long period of time, for the purposes of this discussion anything longer than six months, then you need to be careful to allow your heart and lungs the time to be able to adapt to the new training load. Walking as part of your session plan is a great way to do this and something that is very easy to incorporate and you will notice real progress in a short space of time.
So how do you go about implementing these changes into your new training plan to make it easy to make it fun and to make it enjoyable. Below you will find a training programme to get you started it is very simple it for us follows some very straight forward process is that will allow you to make sure you are ready to run and that you progress at the pace that is right for you. So complete the test at the start and follow the programme and it should take you 2-3 weeks to build up to a 10 minute constant run which is a fantastic base to develop your training programme from.
This is your starting point and you should be able to complete the below with no pain and good control before you begin running.
- Single Leg Hop – Left & Right 4x 30 seconds
- Lateral Hop Left, Right, Left – 4x 30 seconds
These are two great exercises to incorporate into your training, best on non-running days to build your leg strength.
This is the first phase of your running programme to see how you adapt to running.
Important First Step
Start all your sessions with a warm up, including a short walk and general movements for your body, which should be about 5-10 minutes.
If you have discomfort after your run and it only rates as a 4 out of 10 or less and settles quickly then please drop back one level and repeat two more times before progressing with the programme.
If your discomfort is above a 5/10 or above, or lasts longer than 24 hours please rest until the pain has settled and start the programme again. If it persists then please contact your GP or Physiotherapist for further advice.
Running Sessions – Please leave one day between each training session, although you can walk or complete other training on rest days if you wish. This section, assuming no issues with progress, will take you three weeks to complete.
- 30 seconds run / 60 seconds walk x10 reps
- 30 second run / 60 second walk x15 reps
- 30 seconds run / 30 seconds walk x10 reps
- 30 second run / 30 second walk x15 reps
- 60 seconds run / 60 seconds walk x10 reps
- 60 seconds run / 60 seconds walk x15 reps
- 60 seconds run / 30 seconds walk x15 reps
- 2.5 minute run / 2.5 minute walk / 2 minute run
- 5 minute run / 2.5 minute walk / 2 minute run
- 5 minute run / 2.5 minute walk / 4 minute run
- 5 minute run / 2.5 minute walk / 5 minute run
- 10 minute run / 5 minute walk