Taking breathers on longer runs

Since graduating, I've been doing 5-6k runs on most outings (one or two fall short of the 5k and my last run was 3.5k but that was on speed).

But most runs, I do tend to stop for a breather or two whilst I'm out. I tend to walk for 1-200m just to catch my breath and rest a little.

Do others do this or do I need to wind back the lengths of the runs to concentrate on upping my endurance?


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20 Replies

  • I think its a matter of your own preference, listen to your body and do what you are comfortable with. Like you though I do a couple of short faster runs which I have to say I really enjoy and find them quite a challenge too. :)

  • that's my style too - I stop from time to time and walk fast and then take off again.

  • I have just ordered a book by Geff Galloway after Bxter mentioned it - he advocates this as a way of increasing distance and speed. Makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not yet at that stage but wanted to read about it.

  • Me too !

  • I have done a ten miler by doing ten minute runs and one minute walks, which got me most of the way through, but breaking into the last two ten minute runs was really hard work; I didn't want to stop walking for miles nine and ten!! My OH recommended this method to me and to be honest, the total time is faster run/walking than just running, however

    I haven't done it that way again, but prefer to keep going; I actually find it easier to continue running than break the rhythm.


  • Breaking the rhythm is awful but sometimes, I feel when I stop, it's involuntary. One minute I'll be running along and then my body'll say 'nope, I'm done' and next thing I know, I'm walking :(

  • In the past I've used a similar technique to get me around a half marathon (because I knew I hadn't trained enough), only using 5 minute blocks instead. I would start off running the whole five minutes, then as I became more tired I'd change to 4 mins running and 1 minute walking, then 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking etc. I also noticed that there was very little difference in my pace between all running and walk/running (I admit that I'm not very quick though).

  • I find it hard to stop to walk while running for fear that I won't start again. Generally I'll always slow my pace down rather than stop unless I feel physcially ill.

    Although saying that I've made a lot of changes this year and relaxed my running style compared to last year so, you never know! I have had a few stops and started again, but that more of a gentle jog home rather than mid run.

  • I need to relax my style. I posted a few days back about putting the fun back into it. I am getting far too competitive by constantly trying to beat my last time or pace...

  • If I have to stop and walk now, that's it, I walk the rest usually (like tonight) I am anxious to maintain that attitude of keeping going, that I can actually do it.

    That's unless I am doing intervals - can't seem to manage to cope with a jog instead of a walk when alternating with 'faster' running (faster for me that is)

    But this is for you... depends what your goal is... whatever keeps 3 x 30 minutes plus a week in your life. I'd say you might consider doing intervals to build up stamina and then you'd not need the walk as a 'breather' It would be a pity to stop running some 5ks though, longer runs bring their own benefits and pleasures (and I am wondering why I've wimped out for a few weeks now...)

  • Completely agree. I know I can do it as the last 3 runs of week 9 were all 30min runs and I completed those without stopping. I'm not sure why I've started stopping for breathers. It irks me because I feel like I'm cheating, but on the other hand, I'm stopping because I am tired.

    This is also why I've started running shorter (but faster) runs once a week. I'm denying myself the chance to stop unless I REALLY need it. Tuesday was a 3.5km run with no stopping. Tomorrow is a 4km run, with the aim of not stopping.

  • Even a few months after graduation I can't shake Laura's doctrines of "slow down if you're getting tired but keep going" and "don't go too fast, it's more important to keep running to the end". I actually wish I could shake them because it sometimes feels like a lot of pressure.

    When I try an increased distance for the first time I always promise myself at the start that I can walk a bit if I need to in order to get right round but usually find that slowing down really does help and if I keep the rhythm I usually get a second wind just when I think I've had it

  • I completely forgot Laura used to say that! I've got a long run planned on Saturday so will try and slow down but keep the rhythm.

  • Strangely, I walk more since joining running club. Several of the others have walk breaks too. I think it's because if I were alone I would slow down sooner to avoid the need to walk. Sometimes it can be hard to start running again because the aches kick in but once I re-start I feel better - I usually set targets ie I'll walk as far as that lamp-post, then run up the hill. I try and walk and recover on easy, flat bits then make myself run up a hill and keep going afterwards.

  • I wonder if it is something to do with the weather? Temperature/humidity up? Maybe even a low level pollen allergy?

  • You might have a point there. So many people I know are complaining of feeling utterly worn out that there is very likely a common cause

  • If you think it is more the mind teling you to stop rather than the physical need to stop, then suggestions I have been given include the "I will just run to the next but one lampost/tree/end of that fence" ploy. Another is to count 1 to 50 and see if you still want to stop after 50 or could you do another 50?

    But the Galloway run/walk method is great, I hadnt heard of it but it worked for me the only time I did a parkrun!

    My experience on my solo runs is that if I stop running (eg when I have to stop to put my dog back on the lead) then I sometime have a mental block about resuming running :-(

  • Clear evidence that drugs and sport dont mix. You can only run 3.5k on speed but can manage 5k without :-)

  • I read this with interest after annoying run on Monday. Ran 15 then thought Id have a quick walk but just couldnt get back into a routine of running again until final 5 mins. Still listening to week 9. Disappointed that I stopped as havent done so since long continuous runs in weeks 8 and 9-felt like I cheated myself. I didnt really have that problem with stopping and starting earlier on in the C25K. Wonder how that will go when I try to increase speed or distance-which is obviously my next goal post graduating. My aim next time will just be to get back to 30mins solid!

  • It is annoying but it's not the end of the world, and it's good to take breathers. I'd rather take a couple of breathers and run for 50 minutes as opposed to pushing myself to run a constant 30mins and that be my lot.

    That said, I did manage to run a constant 30mins on Monday, it was hard work but it was the first time since graduation 3 weeks ago. But in those 3 weeks, i've clocked up varying distances from 3.5 upto 8.5k all with breaks for a breather.

    You know you can do it, you just need to persuade your legs that you can!

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