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Taking the next step: how to transition from walking to running

If you’re a casual walker looking to intensify your exercise, you should give running a try. It can burn more calories, strengthen your heart, and lower your cholesterol levels. Running can also reduce stress levels and lead to developing a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, running nourishes your mind and soul by helping you clear your head and find peace within yourself. But how do you even begin to transition from walking to running? Our advice below will get you on the right path, the path to completing your first half marathon! This is a journey that will take time. Just remember, you’re not alone on your journey! We’re here to help you transition from walking to running. Here’s an excellent playlist for your journey!

Running gear

Your transition from walking to running may not be as difficult as you think. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable running shoes. You can extend the life of your running shoes (and save money) by only running in them. Proper fitting running shoes can also help prevent painful shin splints. Here are 7 more tips to avoid shin splints and keep your transition from walking to running on track! Wear workout gear that allows you to move freely, is lightweight, and wicks sweat. Keep a water bottle nearby to stay hydrated and replenish lost fluids. We’re fans of nuun hydration and their tablets. It’s easy to carry and help replace lost electrolytes. 

Begin your journey from walking to running

Let’s assume you walk four or five days every week and want to begin running. That’s a great start! Even if you don’t walk that much, the steps below will help you during your transition from walking to running. Pro tip: you can always take breaks in between if you are out of breath or feel exhausted.

Weeks 1-3

Develop an exercise schedule if you don’t currently have one. The goal is to become more comfortable being on your feet for extended periods of time.

  • First week – walk 30 minutes/day for four days
  • Second week – walk 40 minutes/day for four days
  • Third week – walk 50 minutes/day for four days

Weeks 4-6

Now it’s time to crank it up a bit! But don’t get too excited just yet. You want to slowly incorporate jogging into your schedule.

  • Fourth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 30-second light jog/4-minute walk for 15 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Fifth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 1-minute light jog/4-minute walk for 20 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Sixth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 2-minute light jog/3-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 7

When you feel comfortable with this routine, increase your jogging intervals and decrease your walking intervals as you see fit. Set a goal for yourself before you begin. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Seventh week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 3-minute jog/2-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 8

If you continue to feel comfortable, extend the duration of your intervals as you see fit. Alternate your jog and walking like previous routines. Continue to set small goals to reach. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Eighth week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 5-minute jog/1-minute walk for 30 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

You did it!

By now, jogging for longer periods of time should become more and more comfortable. Congratulations, you’ve made the transition from walking to running! Continue to extend your jogging time. Maybe even quicken your stride and break into slow runs. You’ll eventually eliminate the walking portion of your intervals. When you feel comfortable running for 30-40 minutes, it’s time to sign up for your first half marathon! Do you have advice for someone who wants to graduate from walking to running? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.

These 7 valuable tips will help you run your best and get the most out of training

Run your best when you follow these 7 tips! There are some things that are out of our control, like the weather. But when you execute the things you can control, you truly run your best. These tips are as easy as relaxing while you run and as technical as checking your cadence. Keep these tips in mind when you’re training during the summer months. Need a reminder? Click the infographic below to download for yourself. Take your training to the next level when you take care of yourself with this vital advice!

Relax

Downloadable infographic highlighting 7 tips you should follow to run your best.Sounds simple, but we can unknowingly put a strain on our body in an effort to produce mileage or a certain pace. Really focus on relaxing your body. Unclench your fists and loosen your shoulders and jaw. You can even begin your run or workout at a slightly slower than normal pace to really dial in your breathing. Slowly increasing your heart rate at the beginning will help with relaxation.

Check your cadence

The average runner’s cadence should be 160-170 steps per minute. You don’t have to count this in your head! Every runner is different, especially if you’re just starting out or have been running all your life. Under Armour makes knowing your cadence seamless. Their Bluetooth connected shoes, like Under Armour’s HOVR Velociti 2, send the information from your run directly to their MapMyRun app. The app even provides personalized coaching tips! Tracking your cadence, mileage, pace, and other running-related data will help you see improvement.

Focus on your stride

This coincides with the first tip to relax. Your stride improves when you relax. Don’t overstride or run on your tippy-toes. You want your stride to be smooth and comfortable. This better optimizes the energy your body uses and helps avoid injury.

Take time off

Listen to your body, whether you suspect an injury or just don’t feel good. The last thing you want is to have something minor become a major issue. If you have to take more than a day or two off, visit a specialist at the Ascension Seton Sports Performance and get checked out. If you think something is wrong get it diagnosed so you can build a plan to get back to running. 

Get more sleep

Feeling a little sluggish since you’ve increased your mileage? Add one extra minute of sleep per night for every mile you run that week. If you run 30 miles per week, add 30 minutes of sleep. Your body repairs itself when you sleep. Make sure you give your body enough time to recover when you begin asking more of it.

Hydrate

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely vital. At a minimum, you should drink 60-80 ounces every day. The more active you are, the more you should increase that amount. Make sure you have a good balance of water and an electrolyte-infused fluid, like nuun hydration.

Cross-train

Don’t run every day, mix it up. Cross-training is important to prevent overuse injuries. Try swimming, cycling, yoga, lifting weights, or online workouts. You’ll work different muscles and build strength. When lifting weights, focus on a lighter weight with more reps. Here are 8 reasons to include cross-training with Camp Gladiator!

You will ask more of your body as you increase your mileage. It’s important that you take care of your body. Incorporate these tips so that you can run your best. Do you have a tip that helps you run your best? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

You know it and we know it – 3M Half Marathon is better with friends

It’s no secret, 3M Half Marathon is better with friends. Invite your friends to run with you, cheer for you, or celebrate with you once you cross the finish line. Of course we couldn’t do this without some of our friends. They provide the sweet participant shirts, stock the beer garden, offer amazing hotel deals, design official 3M Half Marathon gear, and more. Check out some of the friends who will help make our 26th anniversary unforgettable! Don’t forget – RSVP to the Facebook event to receive the latest details.

Image of the men's and women's Under Armour 2020 3M Half Marathon participant shirts. This blog has everything you need to get ready for the 2020 3M Half Marathon!

Don’t miss out on these custom Under Armour shirts!

Meet the folks who will help make race day unforgettable

Under Armour – UA returns as presenting sponsor for the third year in a row! The commemorative participant shirt is made with their game-changing material. Participants from all over love to wear them!

Fleet Feet Austin – Fleet Feet Austin is our home away from home. They host weekly runs and provide runners with everything they need, from custom-shoe fitting to restocking your hydration. Swing by their booth at the expo to check out the official 3M Half Marathon gear!

Participants enjoy a cold Oskar Blues beer, the Official Beer Sponsor of the 3M Half Marathon.

Celebrate at the Oskar Blues beer garden!

Oskar Blues – The makers of Dale’s Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils are back for another year! Oskar Blues Austin will put the beer on ice while you’re running and get the party started when you visit the beer garden.

Ascension Seton – We hope you don’t need them, but if you do we’re proud to have Ascension Seton back as our Official Medical Provider.

Hilton – our Official Hotel Provider has special deals near the start line and finish line. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be near the action. Don’t forget – free shuttle take folks to the start line after the event.

Austin Youth River Watch – This Austin nonprofit returns as our beneficiary for a second year! Learn why 3Mgives selected this amazing group and how even just a small donation can make a big difference.

H-E-B – Some say H-E-B is the best grocery store in the world and we agree! The post-race snacks comes directly from their stores and straight to our finish line.

Sara Ferniza, 2020 3M Half Ambassador, poses with giant 2019 3M Half Marathon medal.

Our Ambassadors are great!

Ambassadors – Our Ambassadors are top-notch! You see them at events, running around town, and professing their love for 3M Half Marathon on social media.

Volunteers – Show this group some love! They get up early and give you their energy so you can chase your 13.1-mile PR.

Pacers – This crew from Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club will pace you to your goals and/or PR on race day. Get to know them and swing by their booth at the expo to ask questions and talk about race day.

SPIbelt – They’re an Austin original and have supported 3M Half Marathon for as long as we can remember. We’re proud to have SPIbelt as our Official Race Belt, but they’re more than just a belt. Visit them at the expo to check out all the other products they have to offer!

CG trainers cheer on runners at the 2019 3M Half Marathon. Expand your summer training with Camp Gladiator trainers!Camp Gladiator – This crew will get your blood flowing with the pre-race warm you up. Keep an eye out for them on course because they’ll be cheering and giving out high fives at their Official Cheer Stations!

GU – The Official Energy Gel and Chew will be on course providing you with gels and chews to help you chase your PR. We’re also working with them to recycle nutrition wrappers and prevent them from ending up in the landfill.

Chameleon Cold Brew – Want some caffeine after you cross the finish line? Visit the Chameleon Cold Brew tent and recharge with their delicious brews!

Elites – You’ll complete the same course as some fast runners. Meet the elites and see who will run 3M Half Marathon as a final tune-up before the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials!

Dole Sunshine – If you crave something sweet after you finish then Dole has you covered! Their fruit cups are delicious and contain coconut water (which aids in recovery!).

Nuun – Our Official Hydration will be available at every aid station and the finish line. We’re making our water count!

Show these folks some love on social media and race day! Without them, 3M Half Marathon wouldn’t be as amazing as it is year-after-year. Invite your friends and family to join you on Jan. 19th because Downhill to Downtown is better with friends! Don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook event to receive the latest details. See y’all soon!