Crawl, Walk, Run

I was listening to the Diz Runs With podcast Episode 16 with Sarah Doughtry, and she was explaining how she started running.

Like myself, Sarah lost quite a lot of weight and was still heavy when she started to run. Since it was extremely tough for her, she started out by “running to the choruses.”


What a great strategy! I did something similar when I started. But I didn’t have it broken down so specifically.

I was listening to a really great song and felt to energized to only walk, so I ran a bit, walked again and then ran some more.

Over time, my walk intervals became shorter than my run intervals and eventually I dropped them. I did make it a point to continue with a good half mile or more walking at the end of runs to cool down though. That allowed me to more effectively recover.

It is very dangerous to go out, run hard and then just sit down. When you are just starting out, your body has to adjust. Running is a very intense, high impact activity. If you don’t condition yourself, you are headed for injury. And I have had a few.

In the army, they teach the principle of crawl, walk, run. You don’t become an expert overnight.

By using a method like Sarah’s running on the choruses, someone new can build up safely.

One of the keys to being a successful runner is to stay injury-free. If you hurt yourself, you won’t be able to improve. You will be stuck and never improve. Build up gradually, be safe and you will be more likely to enjoy running pain free.

Once you have built yourself up to running full time in a workout, please check out my post Training with Purpose to help extend your gains.

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Eric Hunley

RRCA Certified coach. Started to change lifestyle in 2012 when weight was up to 283 lbs. Eventually started running later that year and racing in 2013. Has run in dozens of races and has been featured in some podcasts. Full Bio on About Page.
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