Walking/running intervals are good practice for beginners, or for people trying to ease themselves back into a running routine. Start off by running 6-10 minutes, switch to walking for another 6-10 minutes, and continue to swap between the two until you complete the distance of your run; make sure to run at a comfortable pace that you maintain for the 6-10 minutes and that you’re walk is still kept at a decent pace. As you continue practicing this interval routine each week, try increasing your run/walk times by 30 seconds or a minute. When you reach a comfortable state at the 10 minute interval mark, maintain a 10 minute run period, but decrease the time that you walk for. Challenge yourself by setting markers or setting distant target goals, and run towards them. Run until you start to feel tired, give yourself a 1-2 minute walking break, then keep running.
When you’re running, it’s helpful to know your heart rate max (HRmax) and resting heart rate. If you’re unsure of your HRmax, you can roughly calculate it by subtracting your age from 220. (Ex: I am 23 years old. 220-23 =197, so my predicted HRmax is 197 bpm ) To find your resting heart rate, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor for a few minutes and find your pulse. Start counting for 15 seconds (the first beat should be the zero count). The math to figure it out might look complicated, but it’s actually easier than it looks.
HRR (heart rate reserve) is the heart rate you want to work at. HRrest is your heart rate at rest, and %HR is the percent of your HRmax you want to work at.
Here’s an example:
I have a predicted HRmax of 197 bpm, a resting heart rate of 60 bpm and I want to work at 70% of my HRmax:
My heart rate can be rounded to 156 bpm, and I would repeat the equation to find for the cap HRR that is usually 10% higher, 80%.
When you’ve calculated your HRmax and HRR, you can advance your running abilities:
Try increasing your speed or distance by staying within a specified heart rate zone. If you’re looking to increase distance, try to stay within 70-80% of your heart rate max for the duration of your run. This will help you keep a constant pace as you continue to increase your running distance by 500 metres every week. Running at 75-90% of your HRmax for 3-5 minutes, followed by a slower pace at 65-75% of your HRmax for 3-5 minutes, will help you increase your running speed.
For the best results, try and get outside with your running shoes about two or three times a week; try these techniques and make the most of your runs. Enjoy the sunshine, the summer scenery, and remember to stay hydrated!