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Christine Luff

Tips for Your Walking Breaks

By March 3, 2014

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Many beginner runners start out using a run/walk technique because they don't have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. And some experienced runners also use walk breaks as a strategy to prevent injuries and improve their overall pace. If you're taking walk breaks during your runs, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Don't wait too long to start your walk interval. Start your walk portion before your running muscles get too tired. This will allow your muscles to recover instantly, which extends the time and distance that you can cover. If you wait until you're very fatigued, you'll end up walking slowly and it will be harder to transition back to running.

Maintain good form. When walking, don't lose your good running form. Make sure you keep your arms at a 90 degree angle - don't drop them to your side and walk casually. Keep your stride short, so you're not putting stress on your hamstrings and your shin muscles.

Walk briskly. Don't be tempted to take it easy and slow down too much during your walk breaks. You want to keep your heart rate elevated.

Adjust your walk schedule, as necessary. You may need to alter your walk break frequency to adjust for breaks in your training, course conditions, and weather conditions. While it's good to have a walk break schedule, you may sometimes need to go "off schedule" and take more frequent walk breaks.

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