Walk Breaks...Can Lead to a PR!

It may not seem logical that walk breaks in the middle of your run would help you to stay ahead of the game and come out on top, but the truth of the matter is that they very well do exactly that. The thing is, you need to conserve energy throughout the early stages in a marathon in order to run harder and faster at the end. Walk breaks work because they reduce the intensity of your run, conserve energy until you need it, and allow you to run longer.

Marathon walk breaks will help you to last longer and finish faster IF you follow some basic concepts.

  • How long do I go before a walk break and how long of a walk break do I need? - First of all, remember that if you are having a hard time resuming running after a walk break you are starting your walk breaks too late in the game. The early walk breaks are the most important ones.
  • First Timer Marathon Runners - In your training you probably did one minute of walk breaks for every three to five minutes of running, right? Continue this.

  • Experienced Marathoners - You have a more complex pattern to follow:

Time Goal Strategy
5:30 or slower 1 to 2 min. of walking after every 3 - 4 min. of running.
5:00 to 5:29 1 min. of walking after every 4 - 5 min. of running.
4:30 to 4:59 1 min. of walking after every 6 - 7 min. of running.
4:00 to 4:29 1 min. of walking after every 7 - 8 min. of running.
3:30 to 3:59 1 min. of walking after every mile of running.
3:16 to 3:29 30 sec. of walking after every mile of running.
3:08 to 3:15 15 sec. of walking after every mile of running.
2:50 to 3:07 10 sec. of walking after every mile of running.

If this all sounds like too much, simply practicing this type of a pace during long runs will help make it seem more normal and second nature. And, keep in mind that these rates aren’t just for marathon runners. For a 5-K to 10-K take a 30 to 60 second walk break every ½ to 1 mile. The longer the run, the more important it is to use a marathon walk break. 10-k to 20-k runs need at least 30 seconds each mile during the first half of the race. For longer than 20K runs, consider 60 seconds every mile for the first half.

Top Recommended Marathon Coaching Program

If you are looking for some additional help in preparing for and running a marathon whether it be a first time event, aiming for a personal best, or possibly to qualify for Boston:

My Top Recommendation is: The 100 Day Modern Marathon Training Plan

Marathon Training Plan


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