From Walking to Running!

Its necessary you read my earlier post: “Start Walking: How do I do it?”

In this post we will discuss about How to graduate from walking for 30 min to running for 30 minutes.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30-45 minutes of exercise of moderate intensity. The goal is to increase your heart rate to at least 80% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). The MHR is calculated from the formula 220-age.

Exercises which will increase your heart rate are ones which are carried at moderate intensity. These include jogging, running, cycling, swimming and so forth.

After reading the article on  “Start Walking: How do I do it?”, I am taking for granted that you will be in a position to carry out brisk walking for 30 minutes at a stretch.


To run you need to do brisk walking without feeling breathless. This is necessary as going to running directly when one cannot walk could be dangerous. Running is to be avoided if you are extremely obese. Please don’t overtrain and injure yourself. During any stage of the exercise, if you feel any pain in your joints (especially the knees), its advisable to stop running. Seek medical advice if the pain persists.

Here are some general guidelines to graduate to Running:

1. Always start with some stretching exercises to relax your leg muscles.

2. Start walking at a comfortable pace for at least 10-15 minutes.

3. Now to proceed to running continuously for 30 minutes. This can be gradual and you need not rush into it. I would recommend the following to achieve this:

Lets break the 30 minutes into 5 minute intervals:

Weeks 1 and 2:  Run for 1 minute, Walk for 4 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.

Weeks 3 and 4: Run for 2 minutes, Walk for 3 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.

Weeks 5 and 6: Run for 3 minutes, Walk for 2 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.

Weeks 7 and 8. Run for 4 minutes, Walk for 1 minute, Repeat this for 30 minutes.

Weeks 9 and 10: Run for 5 minutes, with no walk intervals, (one can still continue to have 30-60 seconds walking breaks if one wishes). That’s continuous running for 30 minutes! Congratulations! Sounds Easy!

Please remember: The 2 week options are not compulsory. One can continue with a particular week plan as long as you are comfortable (say for 4 weeks). You need to be comfortable and not have any injuries during the run. If you have any pain, stop running. Rest for few days till the pain goes away and continue only walking during that time.

So in just 10 weeks you will be able to go from  Walking to Running for 30 minutes a day!

4. The pace of running is entirely up to you. Do not sprint and invite injuries. Let it be very slow at the start. Maintain a pace wherein you are in a position to carry a conversation with a friend/ running partner comfortably without being out of breath. Slow running is better and can be continued through out life rather than fast running which may invite injuries and cause you to give it up.

5. Do a cool-down walk of 15 minutes following the run.

6. The important thing is to enjoy it! During any stage, if you feel tired or breathless, please go back to walking. Its also safer to consult your doctor if you have never exercised before.

Sounds Easy! I hope it helps! Running not only improves physical health but also give immense mental satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. So Savour every moment of the run and the healthy lifestyle! Good Luck!