I’m often asked, “What is Walk2Run like?” (aka ‘will I be rubbish and come last and look and feel like a loser and is everyone else fitter, faster, thinner, more attractive than me???’)
It seems like the expectation of many people before they come to any running group is that the leader shouts READY STEADY GO, and everyone runs for an hour in the opposite direction as fast as they can.
I’ll let you in to a secret.
The first time I tried running, I went out on my own, in the dark, wearing jeans and a huge coat, in the snow, a) so no one could see me and b) because it was impossible to run too quickly because of the ice. I ran for 11 minutes and was sick at the end of it.
Now let me tell you another secret.
You can learn to run. Just about anyone can learn to run, but it ain’t by going off as fast as possible for as long as possible. That’s called ‘running to failure’, and guess what – you end up feeling like a failure. This approach is why most people who start running by themselves give up in the mistaken belief than they can’t do it.
Now. Let’s start again.
Walk2Run sessions are different. Here's how:-
Each session is divided into a warm up, a main session, and a cool down.
The Warm Up
We do this all together, the aim is to get your muscles warmed up and your heart rate raised a bit before you start the main session so your body can adjust to working harder. It’s simple things like a short walk, rolling your shoulders in circles, or marching on the spot, or a easy jog for those that want to. Sometimes we follow that with some ‘drills’. That’s things like jogging or marching bringing your knees up as high as possible.
The Main Session
The thing you really need to know here is that sessions are structured so that everyone is able to work at their own level. Let me give you an example. One of the sessions we call the Lamppost Session, but any landmarks will do. The idea is that you go out at an EFFORT to the 1st lamppost, and then RECOVER back to the start. Now repeat this EFFORT/RECOVERY cycle to the 2nd lamppost, and then the 3rd. By going out a little further each time, you’re extending your own endurance, WITHOUT walking or running to ‘fail’.
Your own effort may be sprinting, or running, jogging or marching. Your recovery may be jogging or strolling. Either way, you are encouraged to work at your own effort, whatever effort you need to make you sweat a little and get your heart working, to get fitter and feel better.
The Cool Down
The purpose of this is to get your heart rate back down again after your main workout, and it’s usually as simple as a walk in the park. Literally. Then we’ll do some stretches together to keep you flexible after your exercise and in good shape for the next time.
And there will be a next time ;-)
Forget ‘running to failure’, come and try Walk2Run, it might just change your life.