So you’ve been doing this running thing for awhile. You’re stronger and faster than before you started, but you still don’t feel like you’re a “runner” because you take the dreaded walk break?
News flash! Research indicates that periodic walking, in training and in races, can help you run farther and with reduced aches, pains and injuries.
Still, many runners see a walk break as a sign of failure, and tend to only walk when they are unable to run anymore. What if we told you that some of the most seasoned runners in Moms on the Run, from 5K veterans to Boston Marathon qualifiers, not only take walk breaks, but schedule them into their training and races?
Many experts agree on the science behind the run-walk method. As personal preferences go, it may not be a good fit for everyone. But if you’re looking for a way to relieve aches and pains while training for that next race distance, it may time to give it a try.
“Walking reduces the impact forces on the muscles, joints and tendons, and reduces breathing rate and heart rate,” says running coach Jenny Hadfield, co-author of ‘Marathoning for Mortals.’ “So runners are able to cover more distance with better form and alignment, and a reduced risk of fatigue.”
A 2014 study in the “Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport” looked at 42 non-elite runners who trained 12 weeks for their first marathons. A week before the event, the runners were split evenly into two groups: those who would run the entire way and those who would take 60-second walk breaks every 1.5 miles.
The walk-breakers performed well. Runners in both groups finished the marathon with similar times, and the group that took walk breaks experienced less muscle pain and fatigue after the race than their running-only counterparts.
Olympic distance runner, author and trainer Jeff Galloway pioneered the walk-run method in the mid 70s. He added walks to his students’ training because he saw that it helped them run farther and for longer periods of time than if they tried to plow through the distance just running, and with fewer injuries.
One 50-something female student implemented Galloway’s technique and clocked her fastest half marathon in more than two years, finishing in 1:55.20 at the 2016 Pensacola Beach Run.
Bottom line – strategic walk breaks can help you become a stronger runner! Try it for a couple of your training runs and let us know how it goes in the comments below.
And author Alisha Perkins is our Aug. 26 banquet keynote, too!
It’s only fitting that “Running Home,” the debut book from mother runner and blogger Alisha Perkins, hits bookshelves this week. May is National Mental Health Month, and for those not familiar with Alisha’s story, she’s been very open (on her blog and as a contributing writer for other outlets) about her intense struggles with anxiety.
In 2011, Alisha started running regularly as a way to cope with the increased anxiety she’d been experiencing after having children. Before long, she started crossing monthly half marathons off her list. The story doesn’t end there, but Alisha keeps it real with her tales of balancing mental health, the need to run, making time for her family and sharing her newfound voice through writing.
In case you’re wondering: This is not a sponsored post. We just happen to feel strongly about the courage Alisha oozes, and the goodness that comes when we encourage one another to talk openly about life’s challenges. In fact, we’ve yet to meet a Moms on the Run team that hasn’t done some form of the same (whether exercising together or not!).
Alisha’s husband, three-time MLB All Star Glen Perkins, penned Running Home’s foreward. He says the book is for “the runner, the runner’s husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend. … The person struggling with anxiety or the partner of someone struggling with anxiety. Even the dumb jock husband who’s scared to watch two toddlers by himself.”
Sold? OK, here are a few ways to experience Alisha’s raw goodness if you haven’t found a way to get your hands on the book just yet:
Congratulations to our May 2016 KIND Most Inspiring Mom, Victoria, of Roseville, MN!
Entering her fourth year as franchise owner and head coach for Roseville Moms on the Run, Victoria epitomizes courage, strength and inspiration as a fitness coach, and as she and her husband seek to grow their family through adoption.
“Whenever you see Vickie she always has a smile and a kind word,” says Roseville participant Julie Loken, starting her third spring/summer season. “She is concerned about each and every woman that she coaches. … She cares for and nurtures all of us and lets us know how special we are. She is a role model, mentor and awesome person.”
A runner since high school, Victoria says she has a strong passion for helping other women along their respective fitness journeys. She has been part of MOTR since 2013 and enjoys getting to know each participant and seeing the progress they make.
“It's been a joy to see goals being smashed throughout the seasons and to embrace disappointments and move on,” Victoria says. “We've become a family that supports and encourages one another, not only during class and races, but also in life.”
This August, she will run her second Ragnar Great River Relay along with 11 others from Roseville MOTR, continuing to push herself in different ways and lead by example.
Her typical routine is to hurry up and finish local races, then run right back onto the course and encourage others across the finish line, running right alongside them. Good thing she’s fast. She was the third woman to finish the 2016 Charities Challenge Mother’s Day 5K, with a time of 23:22.
A few of her favorite Twin Cities area races include the Red, White & Boom (where she and a friend finished second in the 2015 women’s half marathon relay division); Women Run the Cities and the TC 10 Mile. “I love the energy and excitement of races from runners and spectators,” she says. “The TC 10 Mile is jam-packed with runners and spectators, with a beautiful course! It’s awesome being a part of something so grand.”
In addition to being a MOTR certified running coach and instructor, Victoria is a certified group fitness instructor and maintains several other certifications: BodyPump®, BodyFlow®, Cardio Kickboxing, R.I.P.P.E.D, Pilates, Yoga, Core Conditioning, PiYo®, Boot Camp, Tabata, BodySHRED, HITT, Barre Blend and Silver Sneakers.
Congratulations, Coach Victoria! You inspire us on and off the running trails!
ABOUT KIND: Since its founding in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and one act at a time. #LiveKIND and do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your world.™
This year we've challenged you to share what makes you feel connected, confident and STRONG via our season-long #MOTRstrong Instagram Contest.
What happens during good (and bad) runs to push your teammates through, to your inner circle? What is all this #motherrunner fuss about? This awesomesauce about women supporting other women through new things, new fitness (and other challenging life) journeys? SHOW US...
Well, you're certainly answering the call! Here are just a few of those #MOTRstrong moments, captured over the last month out on the trails of life.
Remember, we'll choose one lucky winner each month (May, June, July and August) for a chance to win some great prizes from our partners (VIP tickets to see Glennon Doyle Melton, anyone?). So keep 'em coming!
Need a review of contest details?
Get your post up by May 31 to be considered for our first prize, announced in early June! Remember to use the tags #MomsOnTheRun and #MOTRstrong along with which category you're entering your photo: #BestScenery, #LoveMyTeam, #Unstoppable or #MOTRselfie. More details on rules and prizes here.
Not on Instagram?
That's OK. We've just recently started to "IG" more often ourselves. You can still join the conversation (just not the contest) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (wherever you're imagination takes you!) by tagging those pics and posts with the contest hashtags! As our late and very talented friend Prince would say, "Let's go crazy...!"
So the weather has warmed up and you’re ready to hit the running trails again? Or take your running routine back outside and off the dreaded treadmill? Whether you’re new-ish to running or making a return, here are three tips to get you on your way safely and confidently: