Walking to Run faster…

With my first foray back into the world of running under my feet…literally, I was excited to get back to it. My mind swirled with images of Races from my past… Honolulu Marathon, Blue Berry Stomp (Plymouth, IN), Howl at the Moon 8 Hour Run (Danville, IL), not to mention the Chicago Marathon… but back to reality! If I wanted do any of those again I would need to start running…and soon.

My first week I alternated between walking and running every other time out, which was really hard to do! I was running again…why did I need to walk? Because I didn’t want to get hurt… like all good little running boys and girls, I know the 10% rule. Don’t increase your running by more than 10%.

My first few weeks of running weren’t easy either. I knew it would be a long haul back but I was determined to do it. 2-3 mile runs were the staple of the first few weeks, but I was getting itchy to do my fall back run…one known as “Big Square”. It’s essentially a Big Square in Portage (thus the name…). I took off on my first run… and felt great for the first couple miles… The last 2 miles were work. My pace had slowed to a shuffle and I thought my heart would burst!! I was having some serious doubts as if this were going to be possible.

My next run I took a new…or old approach! Jeff Galloway claims that you can run farther…and even faster by taking strategic walk breaks. In fact I spoke with Jeff last December about it and had used it before with success. In my zeal to be a runner again…I completely forgot it. And so I set off on my next attempt at “Big Square” with a planned 60 step count every mile. Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk program literally changed the next run! When I finished, I was nearly 30 seconds per mile faster than my first run on this course a few days earlier.

So it looks like sometimes you need to walk in the middle of your runs when you aspire to be…


The Recovering Runner