Reader Mail: How Can I Stop Walking While Running?

Received an interesting question from a reader over the weekend. She asks, “I’ve been running for some time now but can’t seem to get over my urge to walk at times during a run. Any tips to how I can stop walking while running?”

Here are a few pointers that might help out:
Make a slow go at it: While it is incredibly tempting to want to stop and walk, try to slow down your running to a jogging pace, or jogging to speed walking. The point is to keep moving. Once you start walking in a run you’ll find you are more likely to keep starting and stopping throughout.

Shorten your distance: If you’re struggling to run 3 miles, make sure you have a solid 1 mile run down before you add on mileage. Quality miles over quantity.

Mind over matter: Sometimes it’s the brain muscle you need to retrain. If you’re focused and worried about walking it will be distracting. Make a new playlist and tune out to your head and focus on pushing your body.

Pick YOUR pace: If you are accustom to taking a walk break, you may not have found a suitable pace for you. Find a pace that you’re comfortable running at and can sustain for a reasonable distance, and then you can work on increasing your distance and building your ‘base pace.’

Most of all give yourself a break and give it time before you find your running comfort zone. The important thing is you’re DOING IT!

Check out Runner’s World for a few additional tips on Becoming A Better Runner.

Any other tips you can offer up on how you became a stronger runner?

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14 responses to “Reader Mail: How Can I Stop Walking While Running?

  1. I definitely agree that a lot of it is mind over matter. Because you are so much more capable than you realize! I often go “just one more .1 of a mile. Ok, I could totally do another before I walk… Ok, I can walk if I want after one more….”

  2. I think it is all a mind over matter. I am trying to get back into shape where I am running more, but back in the day when I ran 40 to 50 miles a week I found that picking points to run to really help. I would tell myself I will run to that next light pole…OK, now I will run to that tree…I found by setting short goals my mind would be less likely to be filled with wanting to walk. Great Blog

    • Thanks!! Picking points is a stellar idea! Even if it’s a few feet, it helps. I use to do it with mailboxes and sewer lids, realy fancy mile markers, haha.

  3. I can back every one of those points. I’m a beginner (a few months in), and I have just managed to run over 1 mile straight. I was doing 3:1 for a while, and one day, I just decided to slow it down and go for it. And I HAVE told my brain to calm down and let my body do the work.

  4. Totally agree on mind over matter – sometimes half of the battle is just telling yourself that you’re NOT going to stop even if you feel like you want to or need to. Chances are, you really don’t need to, your mind just is so used to the walk/run thing that it’s hard to get past that hump of ALL running. Great post!

  5. Finding someone to run with definitely help too! It’s hard to think about stopping when your in good company 🙂 But I completely agree about the brain game. In the end, it’s all mental strategy. You have to be strong and positive to fight past the negative thoughts that can creep in during any run, short or long!

  6. I struggled with this for months and didn’t think I was physically capable of running 3 miles without stopping. Then I joined a group running class and easily did 3+ miles without stopping. It was all in my head… Once I got over the mental hurdle, and got in better shape during the class, I was able to run by myself without walking.

  7. Great tips! I especially love the mind over matter part. Just as you have to re-train your brain to not crave sweets when you want to clean up your diet, you have to re-train your brain about getting out of your comfort zone.

  8. I’d say slow down you are running too fast, most likely it is a pacing issue.

    However, walking during a run isn’t bad. There are many times during a training run that I talk a walk break, I even walk through water stations sometimes. Sometimes that extra few seconds of walking is exactly what your legs and mind need to get back on pace.

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