Remember the days when a certain running distance felt unmanageable, but with time and training, it became a breeze? Building running stamina and endurance is a significant goal for all runners, as it allows them to run farther and faster. While various training methods exist, incorporating walking into your routine can be a game-changer. Walking provides a low-impact yet effective way to increase time on your feet, strengthen joints and muscles, handle hills efficiently, and improve aerobic capacity. This informative guide explores how walking can enhance running endurance and offers practical tips on how to incorporate it into your training.

  • Boosting Endurance through Walking:


Time on Your Feet:

For beginners or those gradually building up distance, walking helps increase time on your feet without overstraining. As you become accustomed to moving for longer periods, your body adapts to the physical demands, preparing you for running greater distances in the future. This applies not only to beginners but also to ultrarunners aiming to master long races like marathons or ultras.


Strengthening Joints and Muscles:

Walking offers similar benefits to running by strengthening the feet, knees, and hips. It allows your body to adapt and improve leg strength while giving a break from the impact of running. The uphill motion while hiking also strengthens the glutes, essential for runners.


Conquering Hills:

Walking uphill is an efficient strategy, even for seasoned runners, as it conserves energy and improves overall speed. It provides an excellent anaerobic workout, elevating your heart rate and promoting cardiovascular health. Additionally, mastering hills during walking builds mental and physical endurance, ideal for longer-distance races.


Aerobic Capacity:

Aerobic workouts enhance cardiovascular efficiency, supporting prolonged running. Brisk walking elevates heart rate and blood flow similar to running, making it an effective alternative to improve aerobic capacity.


Incorporating Walking into Your Training:


Walk Your Warm-Up and Cool Down:

Start your run with a brisk walk to warm up your body gently, reducing the risk of injuries. Likewise, walking during the last section of your run acts as a cooldown, aiding recovery.


Embrace the Run-Walk Method:

The run-walk approach, popularised by Jeff Galloway, is a great way to gradually increase endurance. Determine your ideal run-to-walk ratio, such as 4 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking, to suit your fitness level.


Walk on Rest Days:

Use non-running days to take a "pure walk" to enjoy movement, fresh air, and nature without straining your body.


Walk Your Commute:

Make walking a part of your daily routine by walking to work or using a train and walking combination. It not only contributes to increased daily steps but also boosts fitness levels.


Make Walking Social:

Invite friends for scenic walks using trail-finding apps like Komoot or AllTrails, combining fitness with social activities.


Walking During Injury Recovery:

When returning from injury, add extra walks to your routine to maintain physical activity without overexerting the injury.


Get a Dog:

Having a canine companion encourages daily walks, providing an enjoyable way to stay active and explore the outdoors.




Integrating walking into your running routine offers an array of benefits, enhancing endurance and overall fitness. Whether you are a beginner, seasoned runner, or aspiring ultrarunner, walking proves to be a valuable training tool. Use walking to build up time on your feet, strengthen your muscles, handle hills more efficiently, and improve aerobic capacity. By incorporating walking into your training plan, you'll find yourself running farther and faster, all while enjoying the outdoors and staying connected to your body's needs