How important is it to be able to run continuously when you're doing a longer running event? I've got a 10K coming up, and while I can comfortably do this distance with a short walking break every 20 minutes or so, the longest I've ever managed continuously is around 7K.
I obviously mean to train to increase this between now and the race, but I wondered if other people tend to take short breaks when they're doing 10K or a half marathon, or is "frowned upon" by the organisers or more serious runners?
My competitive dh would not dream of taking a walking break but I do - always. I have done several long races and one half marathon and in all I took a walking break or three I am training for another half now and upping my mileage I have to stop every so often. In training my goal is that I will need to take fewer breaks on say a 10 mile run the closer to the half I get.
In my experience it's not frowned on at all, and you'll see a lot of people taking walk breaks, especially in bigger events. Just make sure you stay to the side when walking so that people can overtake you if they need to. And be aware that if it's a well-supported event the people watching may call encouraging but not necessarily helpful things if they see you walking.
Hmm, I think I understand what you mean about comments from the crowd! In the last race I did, marshals were handing out cups of water at various places, I thought that might provide a good opportunity for a sneaky walk while drinking without getting heckled!
Yes, a good idea to time your walk breaks for the drink stations.
People who understand about running will not do the unhelpful (however well-meant) heckling. Nearly all race supporters will say simple positive things like 'keep going', 'you're doing great' etc, whether you're walking or running. But if you're on a walk break and someone urges you to run instead, don't let it put you off, stick to your plan.
I took part in a very big event a few years ago, and had timed walk breaks in the last few miles. There were several others around who were doing the same thing. One guy shouted at me while I was walking, saying (of a woman who was running nearby) - 'She'll be able to say that she ran the whole thing, and you won't.' Had he been watching a few hundred yards before, he'd have seen me running and her walking!
I cant drink and run, so water stations is a good time to have a 30 second recovery walk. Depending on the course, I've been known to march up the steep hills rather than run them (speed isnt much different to be honest!)