Running can be one of the best ways to maintain a good attitude, erase stress, and enjoy sustained vitality throughout the day. When the pace and the walk breaks are balanced, I’ve not found an experience that bestows a wonderful sense of freedom and mental energy.

But many runners let themselves run too fast, increase mileage too rapidly or get too fixated on a time goal. These obsessions can reduce or eliminate the treasures bestowed by each run. Here are some ways of gaining control over every run that you do.

  1. Start every run about 3-4 min/mi slower than you could run the same distance if you were really running fast. Slower is better, so you can go as easily as you wish. There should be no huffing and puffing!
  2. Insert a 30-60 second walk break, after 1-2 minutes of running for the first 10 minutes of your run. Count this as part of your warmup and enjoy.
  3. Continue to insert liberal walk breaks before you need them. You’ll find a ratio of running to walking, based upon pace, in my books YEAR ROUND PLAN, WOMAN’S GUIDE TO RUNNING, HALF MARATHON, 5k/10k, etc. Click here for details.
  4. If you start to breathe heavily or feel bad for any reason, back off the pace and take the walks more frequently.
  5. If you’re accumulating leg fatigue, week-by-week, run every other day for a few weeks. You won’t lose any conditioning and your legs will "freshen up".
  6. Have fun! Schedule scenic runs, social runs, and special running trips. You deserve it!

Jeff Galloway

US Olympian

Sign up for Jeff’s free newsletter

E-coaching to your goal