Generally speaking in the absence of an underlying condition or injury most relatively healthy people are very capable of walking around completely pain free. However many of these same people have a very negative experience when they decide to start running. Calves, Knees, Shin Splints, Patella-Femoral Joint pain, ITB, hips, low backs, plus more, all guilty of popping up and saying "oi mate, dafuq!". But before you started running they were sweet, so what changed?
Dosage, that's all. A big cross section of volume and intensity. One or both of the following; too much, too soon. It'll surprise no one that compared to running, walking causes less injuries
however due to the lower intensity the physical benefits don't come quite as fast. i.e Running is more effective. But that effectiveness comes at a price. Running produces ground reaction forces of up to 2.5 times bodyweight in comparison to 1.2 times for walking. These forces are absorbed by the body and depending on our overall capacity to withstand them, the body will react accordingly. I think it's important to look back at those reaction forces 2.5 vs 1.2, that is a huge difference, more than twice as much! The problem typically arises when someone who hasn't built the capacity to withstand such forces decides it's time to run. Let's put it in an easier to digest context. Let's say I squat 120kgs (1.2), no problems, it's easy. Then one day I just decide I feel like doing 250kgs (2.5). It's not exactly the same thing but I hope you get my point, it wouldn't be the smartest thing to do, right? In a lifting context it makes a lot more sense that I'd do 140kgs then 160kgs, 180kgs and so forth until I'm able to achieve my goal of 250kgs. Unfortunately walking to running doesn't quite have that simple loaded progression. Enter the Walk/Run protocol! By interspersing short periods of running with longer periods of walking and slowly progressing it over time we can easily increase our overall capacity to handle our future running loads.
It just takes a little patience and bit of ego checking. I've outlined a couple of simple Walk/Run progressions below to help you understand the framework. These may vary a fair bit depending on your starting point and overall time investment (which is also something to progress slowly, think 10 minutes > 15 > 20 etc). If in doubt always start easier than you think! *examples only* 30s run, 4 minutes walk 30s run, 3 minutes walk 30s run, 2 minutes walk
30s run, 1 minute walk 1 minute run, 2 minutes walk 1 minute run, 1 minute walk 1 minute run, 30s walk You might stay on a particular progression for a session, a week, a month, hopefully not more than that. There is obviously a lot of room for individualisation given your current capacity but I hope this little blog post shed some light on how to implement walk/run in order to progress to running. If you need a bit more help getting started feel free to reach out. AJ