If you want to build up to running, or marathons, then you might find interval running and walking to be a quick way to build up your stamina and endurance. This method uses very short intervals of running and walking - run, walk, run. The intervals range from 15 seconds to 45 seconds. The method was popularized by former Olympian Jeff Galloway who claims that it decreases the potential for injury.
I have been using the Run-Walk-Run method for several months in my outdoor workouts. I have varied the interval times for running and walking, from 15 seconds each to 45 seconds each. I have found that I feel best and achieve best at a 30 second interval time for running and a 45 second interval for walking.
This method helps me in several ways. First of all, I am able to increase the distance traveled and my total steps, and I am able to accomplish that increase in the same amount of time that I previously would have just walked.
Secondly, I am increasing my heart rate without feeling winded. Since the running intervals are so short, they don't make me feel tired or out of breath, although I am feeling an increased burn in my calves, which I attribute to increased usage of the muscle. The walking immediately after the run alleviates the burn.
Best of all - I had practically forgotten I could run, after a number of years of not running! It's a wonderful feeling to know I can still do it!
This method is really useful for people who have recently begun exercising again through walking but who aren't quite getting the intensity level they want. You can gradually increase your intensity at a pace that feels right for you.
What do you think? Have you tried using run-walk-run in your daily walks? Let me know in the comments!