SLR 086: Walk To Run!
Play • 5 min

Sheryl crossing the finish line at the 2002 Ironman Canada

It happens every year about this time, mid-way through January, after the holiday meals and desserts have fully accreted and solidified in the form of “love” handles.

Now comes the not-so-glamorous work of unpacking the storage shed, of taking off the extra pounds that have accumulated over the past couple of months, and getting back on track to be in better shape than ever this year – 2015.

If you are wanting to get in better shape, or are starting back after taking a break, we recommend a walk/run program, to strengthen tendons, ligaments, and muscle, in preparation for a run program.

Why Running Is The Goal

It is said that walking can be nearly as good for you as running, but since running is more rigorous, it maximizes aerobic conditioning in minimum time.  With a smart, gradual routine, executed over a period of time, you can prepare your body to perform at higher levels.

I cannot claim to be a fitness expert, but I am a fitness “enthusiast”.  I enjoy getting in shape, and when you get to be my age (56), that becomes a never-ending challenge.

Three Basic Rules of Good Fitness

Rest, Diet, Exercise


1)  Go to bed early.

2)  Do not spend an hour staring at a bright screen on your phone or tablet before turning out the lights.

3)  Get a solid 7-8 hours sleep every night.

4)  Choose at least one day per week to NOT exercise.


A well-balanced diet is needed to support our body’s fitness.

Regarding Weight-Loss

For smart, maximum weight loss, we like a high protein diet, with a calorie to protein ratio of 10/1.  Example:  a 200 calorie meal has approx. 20 grams of protein.  And if this ratio exists, the product must, by necessity, be low in sugar and fat.

When we are attempting to lose weight, we eat small meals of around 200 calories, 6-8 times per day.  Eating smaller meals, more frequently, speeds our metabolism.


The following routine sets forth the basics of a walk-to-run program which is both enjoyable and sustainable long term.


Walk every morning, whether you feel like it or not.  It takes about three weeks to establish a new habit.  Get up early and START, go slow, and go short.


If it is always the first thing we do, we find it is easier to remain focused and committed.  We do the workout automatically when we get up, and so it gets done before daily distractions can interfere.


Start by walking a short distance.  The distance and/or difficulty is not your goal at this point.  You are simply establishing the habit of getting up and getting out.  You are telling the body it is time to get strong.  You are laying a foundation, strengthening ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles, and preparing the body for the next level of training.


We have found the “walk-to-run” fitness principle to be the most effective way to return to fitness after a long, or short, hiatus.

You should plan to walk a set distance every morning.  One morning per week, plan to increase the regular distance by 25 percent, then take one rest day.

In the following week, return to the shorter walk, but with an increase in distance of 10-15 percent.  Your long-walk day is still a 25 percent increase, but as you can see, your distance gradually increases week by week, increasing your endurance.

As you progress, begin to add run sections.  For instance, a section could be from one lamppost to another.  Starting out, the ratio could be 5:1, five sections walked for each one ran.  As your fitness improves, the ratio shifts from walking to running, for example 1:5.  Your training has become a RUN-TO-WALK routine, where walking simply becomes a brief scheduled rest interval during your run.


It is always better to work out with a partner, for the support, and to help each other stay accountable.


One way to stay motivated is to register for an upcoming athletic event.

Sheryl and I have our sights set on Disney’s Dumbo Double Dare this year (2015), and would be delighted to enter our family running team into next year’s Hood to Coast race – 2016.


We encourage you to get fit. Share the steps you are taking in our COMMENTS section.  We can all learn from each other.

Happy Training Everyone – 2015!


Originally posted on


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