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Get Ready for Road Races Using Run/Walk Strategy


If this is the year you wanted to run the Bix 7 or another upcoming road race, there’s plenty of time to prepare using the “run/walk” game plan. Whether you’re a beginner or have a considerable amount of running under your belt, this well-accepted running strategy has been used successfully by hundreds of thousands of runners of every level since the mid-1970s.

The run/walk strategy was developed by Jeff Galloway, a 1972 U.S. Olympian in the 10,000 meters. Instead of running the whole way without stopping, add walking at predetermined intervals to offset fatigue before your muscles start to get tired. This strategy allows your muscles to recover instantly throughout the run, increasing your capacity for running faster, longer and more enjoyably with less pounding on your joints — decreasing the chance for a running injury.

How to implement this strategy
For every three to six minutes of running, add one minute of walking. Then start running again and follow this plan throughout the whole race. Yes, that’s right, use this strategy six minutes after the gun goes off at the start of the race. It’ll feel strange to start walking when everyone passes you, but remember the goal is to minimize fatigue before it builds up. By doing this and staying consistent with this strategy, you’ll get to the finish line more refreshed and feeling like you can do more.

There’s no need to reach the end of a run feeling exhausted. Add a predetermined strategy of run/walk to your running game plan to help off-set that feeling and potentially get to the finish line faster. If you have a cardiovascular or a joint/muscle problem, please consult a physician before starting any training program. Have fun and get out and run!

Dave Juehring, D.C., DACRB, CSCS, CES, PES, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1994 and from the Palmer Rehabilitation Residency Program in 1997. Since 1998, he’s served as the director of the Chiropractic Rehabilitation and Sports Injury Department on Palmer’s Davenport campus and also is a full professor. He was actively involved with the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Program as a team leader and coach for the 1994, 1998, and 2002 Winter Olympic Games.