The theory behind run:walk interval training/running for longer distances is that taking frequent walk breaks helps you reserve energy to finish strong. It's also a helpful method for beginner runners to build up endurance and stay injury free. I've always trained this way (even when I started running on the treadmill in 30 second intervals years ago) because for me, knowing I have a walk break coming helps me run (after all, running is 90% mental).
I set my Garmin to keep track of my intervals, but I've also used a Timex watch and now there are apps that will do that for you too.
I like my intervals. I really do. And I don't want to hurt their feelings but I sometimes wonder if I could ever be a straight run runner. I've always admired *those guys* (and gals), running mile after mile without taking a walk break and making it all look so easy and effortless (and truth be told I kind of hate them).
The other day I decided to give it a whirl. I set my Garmin to run one mile at a time with a 2 minute walk break in between miles (hey, baby steps y'all). The good news is, I can do it. In fact I managed to knock out four miles.
But I was more tired at the end.
And my knees were sore (more impact without breaks).
And running a mile straight seems sooooo much longer than my 3:1 intervals.
But I can do it.
At least for shorter distances.
(I can't imagine what running straight for 13.1 much less 26.2 would be like. Ay, yi, yi.)
I just don't know if it's the best thing for me.
Do you run straight miles or follow run:walk intervals?
P.S. Check out JeffGalloway.com for more information on the benefits of interval running (and training plans too).