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walk breaks

Joined: 15 Jan 2010
Posts: 8
Kentucky, United States
Posted: Thu 17 Jun 2010 05:05 pm GMT   topTop
I am going to train for an ultra next spring and would like to use a fall marathon to practice my run/walk strategy. I usually run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Does anyone else do this? It seems to help with recovery and injury.
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 18
New York, United States
Posted: Thu 17 Jun 2010 05:46 pm GMT   topTop
I don't take scheduled breaks, but on long runs I might walk on some of the uphills to save energy. Sometimes I find running uphill isn't much faster than walking.
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 194
Utah, United States
Posted: Mon 21 Jun 2010 11:27 pm GMT   topTop
Walking breaks are indeed a good idea and can extend how far you can go. However, on trails the terrain is typically varied enough that it makes more sense to let the landscape dictate when you walk. It drives some people (usually road runners) crazy to not have a rigid 5:1 schedule, but it really only makes sense for standard marathons on roads.

Rather than fight the terrain, go with the flow and shift into low gear going up (which means slower or walking depending on your fitness) and high gear going down. The roughness of the terrain also makes a difference in your speed and difficulty. Also, on some steep uphills, even if you are walking you're not really taking a "break" because it's difficult!

So in my opinion, there's a lot of going by feel in this sport. Pushing hard but not too hard, adjusting as you go ... a balancing act. I guess if you are really serious about scheduling breaks in more precise segments, you could get a heart rate monitor to determine how hard you are working at any given time. It also helps keep you realistic about how hard you are really working out :-)