The fourth meeting of the Walk to Run 5K training program I am coaching for was held last Saturday on a beautiful temperate morning. Seven of us gathered in the parking lot of the Lady Bird Johnson Park off the George Washington Parkway in Arlington and set off for a four mile walk on the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac.
Northbound we walked as tons of joggers and bicyclists went by, chatting amiably and keeping hydrated. At Roosevelt Island we turned around at the midway point to return. Next week we will walk eastbound into the District over the Potomac bridges and introduce running to these non-runners, running a minute then resuming walking for five minutes.
A few months hence this ratio will be reversed and we will be running five minutes and walking one minute for recovery. Along the way everyone is supposed to do an actual 5K race, for the experience of it, at the then-achieved walk/run ratio.
It's the same program I used to return to running last year after a year layoff due to injury. It was good to be out there and coaching again as part of an organization, the Marathon Charity Cooperation (MCC), that is dedicated to inclusion and encouraging novices to participate in activity sports. (Right: Coach John, director of the MCC's Walk-To-Run 5K Program.)