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Secret to a pain-free and enjoyable run

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels
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Dreading your next run? You’re not alone. Many of us have that love-hate relationship with pounding the pavement. But what if there was a way to run with less effort and pain and more enjoyment?

Enter Helen Hall, a gait motion expert who can help you ditch the dread. Her method, perfect for marathon preppers or anyone wanting to get started, promises to save energy and boost your running experience.

Intrigued? Me too. As a former long-distance runner (think: daily 15-milers and runner’s high), the thought of hitting the pavement now brings to mind more “ouch” than “ah.” But when I saw Helen’s video about incorporating walking into running, a spark of hope (and maybe a hint of “I can do that!”) ignited. Here’s why the Run-Walk-Run method speaks to me – I used to break my runs into smaller chunks throughout the day, making manageable mileage. Helen’s approach seems to offer a similar benefit, making running feel less daunting and more doable.

Here’s what she had to say in an Instagram post about her experience using the method in training and events:

I walked 60 seconds every five minutes and I still came in four hours 16. The last six miles was so enjoyable. I mean this is at the end of the marathon, the last six miles was so enjoyable.

Five minutes run, one minute walk. How enjoyable is that? Fatigue? It never came. I mean, even during training for Ironman, it was more enjoyable. I was looking forward to my runs. I was sleeping better. At the end of a run, I felt I could do it all over again. And then on the day, I walked, ran, walked, ran, walked.. I was passing those who were running. They were fatiguing and getting slower and slower. I was just Steady Eddy keeping going. Same pace. Not fatigued. Absolutely amazing.

Running Made Easier

The Run-Walk-Run method is not new and is a training strategy that alternates between running intervals and walking breaks. This structured approach to running offers a multitude of benefits for runners of all levels.

Firstly, it builds endurance. By incorporating planned walk breaks, runners can extend their overall workout duration without burning out. This allows them to gradually increase their running distance and improve cardiovascular health.

Secondly, the walk-run method helps prevent injuries. The walking breaks provide active recovery periods, allowing muscles to recuperate and reducing stress on the joints. This can be particularly beneficial for beginners or those returning from injuries.

While there isn’t one definitive scientific study, there’s a growing body of research supporting the walk-run method’s effectiveness. Jeff Galloway, a renowned running coach, demonstrated a 98% success rate in marathon completion for runners using his run-walk-run training plan.

He found that when you start huffing and puffing, it is best to take more frequent walk breaks and slow the pace. This would eventually lead to fewer injuries and more successful completions of 5K and 10K runs.

So, for those of us who have not jumped on the cycling craze, here’s to the run-walk-run revival, which is much more my speed.

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Learn more about Helen Hall and her clinics. You can also listen to her on podcasts such as the one below:

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