First Official Run/Walk Experiment

36 comments

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Yesterday, I did my first timed Run/Walk experiment!

I decided to follow Running Room’s 10 min run: 1 min walk plan, except that I decided to do run 1 mile, walk 1 minute instead. I just figured it was easier for me to keep track this way.

At each mile (give or take 0.05 miles if I forgot to look at my watch), I stopped and walked for 60 seconds at about a 15:00 min/mile pace.

I decided to compare my overall time with a previous 8 mile run that I did before the 10-miler, where I did not stop and take walk breaks.

My time for the previous 8-mile run was 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Now this isn’t a true experiment obviously because for one, I didn’t run the same course. The course I ran yesterday was very hilly (murder hill + others), while the previous 8 mile run was done on smaller hills. Secondly, because I knew that I was comparing this run to my previous run it may have made me run faster (possible confound!). At any rate, it was fun to see the results.

Yesterday’s 8 miler (run 1 mile, walk 1 min repeats)

  • Duration: 1 hour 17 mins.
  • Avg pace: 9:44 min/mile
  • Max pace: 7:52 min/mile
  • Max HR: 171 bpm
  • Avg HR: 152 bpm

So even though I walked about 8 minutes out of the 1:17, I still beat my previous time where I didn’t walk at all. Pretty amazing!!!

The benefits of the run/walk:

  • Many of you have told me that it prevents injury and you can run much farther
  • Psychological benefits- I felt more confident because I knew I could stop soon
  • I could maintain a faster pace

Drawbacks:

  • I found that it made me focus on my watch/time too much, rather than just ‘zoning out’ and enjoying the run
  • Sometimes I just wanted to keep on walking past 1 minute! lol
  • At times, it made each mile seem long

All and all, I definitely think that the run/walk intervals helped my endurance and for this reason I will probably continue to use this technique for long runs to see how it goes. I feel like I need to test it out more to see how I really feel about it. I can’t imagine using this for shorter runs though, I think it would really throw me out of the zone.

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Blister Prevention:

Some of you have been asking me what my technique is for preventing blisters so I thought I would do a quick tutorial.

The only thing that has worked for me is moleskin and black electrical tape. The black electrical tape is very easy to remove and very soft. So the sock literally slides off of it instead of creating friction. It also holds the moleskin in place.

My Life brand Moleskin from Shoppers. It comes in a big roll and is the best bang for my buck. I actually would like to find it in bulk though as it is still expensive ($9-10 for a roll). Eric bought me BULK black electrical tape last night! What a man, eh?

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1) Find your blister prone area. For me it is everywhere, but I will pick my heel for time sake.

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Notice not one blister on my heel? Before I started doing this I had huge blisters on my heels!

2) Cut a piece of moleskin and tape:

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3) Remove backing and stick onto blister prone area.

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4) Now cover in the opposite direction with a piece of black electrical tape.

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This is my lifesaver. Thank you to everyone who recommended me moleskin!

I’m off to go on a special anniversary errand. I hope I like the ‘proofs’!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin August 26, 2009

Angela, you might like to try Podrunner Intervals at http://www.djsteveboy.com/intervals.html or look for them on iTunes. I have used them to get back into running and to train for longer runs. The music changes when you are suppose to walk and when you are suppose to run as well as during the warm up and cool down. I always hated looking at my watch too but now I just go with the flow. The music is a little electronic with no words. It took me awhile to get use to it but it does motivate you to move! I listend to the 5K set for my last race and acheived a personal record. Check it out!

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2 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Wow never knew they had something like this!

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3 Holly August 26, 2009

I set my Garmin up so it beeps the intervals for me, and you can do it as time/time, distance/distance, or distance/time, like you did! Only problem is that it can be hard to hear with the iPod going, so I do occasionally check my watch.

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4 Megzz @ Megzz Wins At Life August 26, 2009

Ang,
I find your experiment really interesting.. I am not going to lie.. whenever I run I feel like if i walk it is bad.. You are inspiring me to try the run/walk method this week on my longer run!

Meg

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5 laura August 26, 2009

I like @kristin’s suggestion- I haven’t heard of that before!

My friend ran her Marine Corps Marathon using the run/walk method, and she suggested getting a sport watch with a dual timer- you can set two different intervals and it will rotate through them. Does that make sense? The first timer is set to go off after 10 minutes, it beeps, and then the second timer goes off after one minute (or whatever your intervals are). It keeps you from looking constantly as you can listen/feel the beep.

Side note, my personal best for a half marathon was on a flat course where I ran/walked. It took me three years to beat it by running all the way- although I finally did on a very hilly course!!

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6 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Hmm I wonder if my Polar RS200 can do this feature? I’m so bad with gadgets!

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7 AshleyP August 26, 2009

I love moleskin!

I’m so glad to know that the run walk method is resulting in faster times for you! I can’t wait to do my own experiment :)

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8 Jess (Fit Chick in the City) August 26, 2009

I love seeing your running routes. I dream of running on routes like these. One of my only dislikes of living in a big city.

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9 Paige @ Running Around Normal August 26, 2009

I need to find this moleskin. I have a recurring blister on my left foot’s arch.

Interesting results to the interval run! I’ll bet the hills + your desire to go faster blanaced each other out, and you actually did make it through faster on the walk run. Either way, great job!

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10 Aimee August 26, 2009

I’m fairly new to running and am still running only in the 2-3 mile range, but I get nasty blisters on the bottom of feet, right on the big pad underneath my toes. Will this moleskin / electrical tape work for a spot that gets so much impact?

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11 Dustie August 26, 2009

If this technique works out for you will you use it on your half marathon…or just in your training? Due to my injury I will be using this technique for the remainder of my training, but not sure if I want to try it on marathon day. I don’t know if it would take away from my pride of getting to the end. I’m sure when that day comes I won’t care and will feel just as successful as it’s up in the air on if I will be able to run it in the first place!

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12 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

I’m really not sure yet! I will have to feel it out. I stop at EVERY water station and walk, so perhaps I will continue to do so, and then walk if I am feeling really tired. For example, in my 10 miler race, there were many times when I could have benefited from a walk but I didnt. I think next time I wont be so against it during my half.

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13 Pam (Highway to Health) August 26, 2009

Thanks for the input! I think I might try it on my run tonight. I always feel like I hit a wall at some point and I think this may help prevent it.

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14 Lainie August 26, 2009

What a fun experiment! Interesting that your run/walking time was faster. It doesn’t entirely surprise me though…I think walk breaks are so important.

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15 kristi (sweet cheeks) August 26, 2009

That is such a great idea! I am looking to build up my endurance for longer runs so I will definitely be trying this! Thank you!!

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16 Susan August 26, 2009

I obviously love it!! I agree that walking isn’t necessary for short runs, but I think it’s saved me on long runs. Can’t wait for my 9:1 run on Friday ;)

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17 Chloe August 26, 2009

I wonder if you could do different periods of walking or maybe incorporate a few short walks in your runs instead of every mile. Such an interesting idea, and really motivating for a non-runner like me!

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18 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Yea I am definitely going to mix it up and see what combo works best! Like anything else, I don’t think there is a perfect formula that will work for everyone. I will play with it on my next few long runs before the half!

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19 Tay August 26, 2009

Look at you power up that killer hill1! GO YOU GIRL! I’ve tried run/walk and I agree with all of your negatives. I’m constantly looking at my watch and the time seems to drag on as a wait for each run segment to be over so I can walk. And my legs also feel so much more tired after walking when I go back into running. As much as all the studies show that walk breaks help, I find that straight running has worked best for me.

However, since coming back after my knee injury, I AM including walk breaks to ease back into it.

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20 Sara August 26, 2009

Talk about “rolling hills”! Your fitness routine is very inspiring and motivating. Good luck with the blisters. Please swing by my new health blog if you get a chance; I’d love to have your opinion. PS- Really enjoyed the cute ‘Glo’ bars in the Healthy Living Summit goodie bag :)

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21 Courtney August 26, 2009

Thanks for the update on your run/walk intervals! I am glad to know I’m not the only one enthusiastic about this form of training!
Courtney
Adventures in Tri-ing

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22 Tasha August 26, 2009

I just wanted to say that I LOVE your new layout! I havnt been here in a while (out of town) and it is so fun and refreshing!

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23 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Thank you!!

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24 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 26, 2009

In all my years (Decades!) of running, I never knew that about the moleskin. Wow, thanks for the great tip!

I blogged today about a green monster and linked your GMM site. One of these days, I’ll get around to submitting some of my recipes (if you could call them that) in the format that’s friendly for your site.

Hugs and thanks for all the great work/posting/updating you do on your blog for us all to appreciate and read along with you!

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25 Kristina August 26, 2009

I just have to say that I love your blog!! You are super talented, your bakery delights look delish and you have a great writing style! Keep up the great work, I look forward to reading everyday!

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26 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

*blushes* You are too kind, thanks girl.

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27 Marcia August 26, 2009

I LOVE seeing your running routes. Reminds me of home in the northeast (So Cal – not the same).

I really liked reading about this. I’ve *always* been someone who walks during my runs. I try to run without stopping, and feel like I should. But I shouldn’t beat myself up! Today I did 3 miles and walked 2 min in the middle.

I have a friend who ran track in HS and she used to YELL at me for walking. NO WALKING or you can’t get started again. I told her to “bug off” and she hasn’t done it since. :)

I am training for a 1/2 marathon, so I might have to try this. My next run is 7 miles.

And Kristen, thanks for the tip!!

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28 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Basically what I have concluded with all of your help and insight is that there is nothing wrong with taking a break or rest during a run if you want/need to. I used to never let myself stop even if I really wanted to, and now I realize how silly that can be to think that way (for me anyways!).

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29 Sarah August 26, 2009

Neat experiment! Let us know the results if you do a repeat ;)

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30 Marissa August 26, 2009

Moleskin sounds great!

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31 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 26, 2009

Its amazing!

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32 Courtney August 26, 2009

I’m interested to see how it works for you on long runs in the future. Keep us posted! :)

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33 Amanda @ Panda Lunch August 27, 2009

I’m not very much of a runner yet, still a beginner, so walk breaks are always a part of my runs! Good to know about the moleskin, I’ve gotten severe blisters just from taking long hikes before!

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34 Jess August 27, 2009

I’ve always taken walking breaks during my runs – long or short! And I used to feel terrible about it. But I also wouldn’t structure them – and as a result, I haven’t been the best “mental” runner about pushing myself.

I tried the 10:1 last night and it was great! I still knew that I would be able to stop for a minute, but I think I pushed myself harder as a result! I don’t know if I’ll use it forever, but right now this is just what I needed :).

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35 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) August 27, 2009

I love how you wrote and formatted your post like a real experiment :) Your inner psychology background is shining through. If only the articles I read for my classes are as fun as yours, hehe.

I think you may have convinced me to try walk breaks during my runs despite my belief that it’s harder to run again after a walk break. I will definitely try it now though!

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