Friday, August 21, 2009

Burn more calories; turn your walk into a run!

If you are already walking for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week, you are ready to turn your walk into a run! By adding interval training with running to your workouts, you almost double your caloric burn. Alternating this high-intensity work with moderate recovery greatly increases your fitness level, and will help break through plateaus.

Running is an achievable goal for most as long as you take the proper steps. First thing first, don’t go out and just run for 30 minutes, ease in to it! Add intervals of running to your current walking routine by using the work to rest ratio method. The work to rest ratio method is simply setting a set time for work and a set time for rest. Typically you rest for one, two or three times the length of work. For example, start by warming up for 5 minutes, and then increase your speed for 1-2 minutes. Return to your usual walking pace for 4-5 minutes to recover. Continue with short bursts of running to your walking routine for 30 minutes. When you are ready to progress, make the work part (run) of the interval longer and decrease the recovery time. For example, you could do 5 minutes of running and rest for 3 minutes.

Everyone is different as to what he or she can handle and what function of exercise so tailor your interval burst to your fitness level. Before you know it you will be running 30 minutes straight! And who knows, one of these days you may find yourself training for an organized event like a 5k, 10k or half marathon!

Written by,
Dana Hansen
Seattle Athletic Club - Northgate
Director of Fitness Operations

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