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Thursday, January 19, 2012

From Walking to Jogging in 4 Weeks Flat

Happy New Year! One of my recent goals is to start running again. Last year, I decided I would run two races a year to help me stay focused on my exercise. So, I set myself a schedule to get back up to speed. I thought I'd share a similar plan with the rest of the world.

Walk to Run Plan || how to run for 20 minutes | how to adjust your walk run ratio | couch to 5k plans | learn how to run in 4 weeks

If you can walk 3 mph for 20-30 minutes or more, and you feel like you could jog for 2 minutes at a time, then this is the plan for you. If you have any doubts, check with your doctor.

The Goal: to run (or jog) 20 minutes nonstop without a walking break by slowly adjusting your run/walk ratio over time.

The Time Table: EVERY single day for 4 weeks. Then you can scale your runs down to 3-4x a week.

The Speed:

  • If you feel like a slow walker, choose 3.0 mph for your walk breaks and do 4.8 for your jogging. 
  • If you can handle 3.5, do that speed for walking and do 5.0 for your runs.

The Warm-up and Cool-down:

  • Always walk for a 3-minute warm-up. Do a quick 1-minute stretch (30 seconds for each leg). Start with your calf for about 6 seconds, then your shins, then your hamstrings, then hip, then quads. Switch legs.
  • Cool down for 2-3 minutes at a slower walking pace. Slowly get your heart rate to come back down. Stretch again, but 1-2 minutes per leg, this time.
The Plan:
As seen in the chart below, here is an explanation of the plan for the first three days. Run for 2 minutes. Walk for 2 minutes. Repeat that 4-minute cycle five times for a total of 20 minutes.

Day #   Run-Walk   Repeat   Total Run Time
1, 2, 3       2-2          5x          20
4, 5, 6       2-1          7x          21
7, 8, 9       3-1          5x          20
10-12        4-1          4x         20
13-15       5-1          3x          18
16-18       6-1          3x          21
19-21       7-2          2x          18
22-24       8-2          2x          20
25-27       9-1          2x          20
Day 28!    20-0        1x          20

Congratulations! You've just walked yourself into 20 minutes of running! Now you can scale down to run 3 to 4 times a week and add time or distance to each run. Happy running!  

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Best of luck - sounds like a good plan! I applaud your ambition and your can-do attitude!

  2. Thanks! Wanna join me? Today was Day 8 in a row for me. I do, however, run at 5.2 mph, for now. You?

  3. You're so good. Good luck. I'll make an effort and let you know :)

  4. Catherine, I lost 10 pounds last year. Over Christmas, I gained 3. But I've already lost those and then some. All thanks to running!


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