Thursday, November 4, 2010

Training Tips Thursday - Run/Walk

I just thought I'd mention the run/walk method.  It's a widely used training method, most popularized by Jeff Galloway.  I don't use it regularly, but for certain specific training, I found it to be valuable.  Here is a link to a good article on Galloway's Run Injury Free with Jeff Galloway page.  The article does a good job of explaining the details and recommending different run/walk ratios based on pace.  Galloway defines a method for running a marathon, taking scheduled walk breaks through the first 18 miles.  I didn't use the method in my first marathon, but I did take a few short unscheduled walk breaks.  Perhaps I would have run a better marathon if I'd taken scheduled breaks.  For my next marathon, my goal has been to strengthen my overall training enough that I don't have to walk at all.

However, I did find this method very useful in the distance-increasing phase of my first marathon training.  When faced with running 16, 18, and 20 miles the first time, I took scheduled walk breaks.  Here's how I did it.  For example, when I first wanted to run 16 miles, on my first attempt, I alternated two minutes of walking with every eight minutes of running.   I found that it really helped me make the distance the first time.  The second time I ran 16 miles, I reduced the walking by about half, alternating one minute of walking with every nine minutes of running.   By the third time I ran the new distance, I found that I could run the entire distance.  I repeated this as I came to each new distance milestone up to 20 miles, and it helped a lot.

7 comments:

Brittany said...

When I first started running, I couldn't even run a block without feeling like I was going to pass out. I started training by walking/running every minute than two minute run 1 minute walk, and so on. I really helped me be able to run farther without over pushing myself!

Vern said...

Brittany,
Good point! Walk/run works for any distance that we're not used to. When I first started running, I was already a daily walker. I taught myself to run by running a little at a time during my walks, by the same method you describe. The popular "Couch to 5K" training progam works the same way, but I'd never heard of it when I first started running!

Keith Peters said...

Sounds like an interesting plan. I've avoided the run/walk routine because I know I can run distances and want to be able to do so without walking. But I like the idea of building up to a new distance with reduced amounts of walking. May try that.

Suzanad said...

I'm a huge fan of run/walking!
I feel it's the best way to increase mileage, especially if you're not physically able to run the whole way without breaks.
I know I walk when I can't run anymore because I'm of the mindset that walking > stopping. And after a little walking break, I can just start back up :)

♥ Callah said...

i always take unscheduled breaks when i run... i think i should try a more set run/walk schedule for the next training and see what happens!

Patrick said...

I don't regularly use the run/walk method but I will throw in the occasional walk break if I feel I am pushing too hard on one of my training runs.

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