January 30, 2014

Do you run/walk your races?

Many people have been surprised to learn that Christine and I use the run/walk method for our marathons.  We are still relatively new at marathon racing with both of us completing just our second on January 12th.  Both of my races were run at Walt Disney World, the first as part of Goofy Challenge in 2013 and the second several weeks ago as the final leg of the Dopey Challenge.

Training for a marathon takes many months of preparation and for my first, I followed Jeff Galloway's training plan for the Goofy Challenge that recommended using the run/walk method.  Trying various intervals, I found that a 4/1, four minutes running, one minute walking worked best for me.  Coincidentally, Christine trained with the same ratio, so this worked out perfectly when we raced our half and full marathons earlier this month.  When we did our simulation for the Dopey Challenge, both the 12 and 24 mile training runs were completed using this method.

There are several factors that make this method good for long distance running, most of all conserving energy for the last half of the race.  Recently, Jeff Galloway qualified for the Boston Marathon using run/walk intervals and he adjusted them during his race, the Space Coast Marathon in December when necessary. His most recent newsletter talks about his fall marathon results and the culmination of a lot of hard work, not to mention his thrill of qualifying for Boston. You can read all the details here.

The real reason for this post is to let runners know that you can do great things on the race course without running an entire race. Walking through water stops, taking a bathroom break and/or using a run/walk method can still help you achieve the goal you are after. I am hoping to qualify for Boston this year, and my next marathon will be just like the other two with four minutes of running and one minute of walking.  Hopefully, I will be toeing the starting line in Hopkinton, MA in April, 2015 and Mom will be in Wellesley cheering for me!
Mom cheered on the runners in 2013!
Have you used the Galloway run/walk method for running? Will you be running Boston this year or in 2015?
(Pam)

39 comments:

  1. Love the run/walk method! I've been using 3/1 intervals but am going to start using 4/1 intervals for my upcoming races in the spring. I've found that it really helps with my knees.
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Karen, Since we only use a regular Garmin watch, the 4/1 worked best because of simple math! I never thought about the ease on body parts, but it makes sense.

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  2. I truly believe that Jeff Galloway's run-walk method is the only reason I was able to complete my first half marathon and still be able to walk the next day. We used 2/1 intervals and as I become a more experienced runner I hope that I can increase the time of my run intervals.

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    1. Nice job completing your first half. You will get stronger both mentally and physically and changing your intervals will make you faster as well. It is a great way for non runners to start!

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  3. I've run most of my races with run/walk. Everything from 5/1 to 3/1 and I've loved that it gave me a mental and physical break to look forward to during hours of racing. I am hoping to run my fall half without them (more of a mental confidence booster than anything) but we'll see. I'm also going to try spring training for my spring half with a 9/1 interval to try to get a big PR. Again, we'll see how training goes :)

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    1. Every day is different Cyanne, but I wish you great training for your big spring race! It sounds like alot of runners have PR's in their minds (and hopefully futures!)

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  4. I don't use the run/walk method - I prefer to just run and use my walk breaks at water stations. I can't seem to master the ability to run and drink water at the same time!

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    1. Lauren, I am really good at spilling water everywhere, but once I learned to bend the cup, I have better results!

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  5. I use run/walk all the time, and I love how it's let me go much further than I ever thought I would. There's no pressure to have to run every step, and I have more fun this way too.

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    1. Agree Lesley, no one dictates how we run our races. It is great just to be out ther!

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  6. I haven't but I am leaning towards that method when I finally decide to run my first marathon! I am hoping it will be Disney Race too!

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    1. Betsy, the Disney race is magical and a perfect first marathon with all the entertainment and on course support!

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  7. Yup, I think the walk intervals really help me finish full marathons feeling great! I trained with 4:1 like you guys, but was somehow convinced to try 10:1 during the marathon (which I know isn't technically Galloway). I know I shouldn't have tried something new that I didn't train with (I have such a bad habit of doing that!), but it worked out fine and I still felt good!

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    1. You seem to have the confidence and natural ability to "wing it" during races and still come out with fantastic results. Hopefully we will see you sometime before Wine and Dine!

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  8. I'll admit it, I was dead-set AGAINST run/walk when I first started running. However, I am realizing the benefits more and more as my running journey continues! During Dopey I did a run/walk interval and felt fantastic afterwards. Clearly my legs like the break!

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    1. Same here, Megan! I had trained for my first marathon with straight running and felt horrible. At Dopey, I mixed it up and loved it. I will use this method from now on. How do you experiment with the right run pace/run speed? Amy

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    2. Me too Megan. I did not think "real" runners would walk during races. However, my ability to qualify for Boston depends on this run?walk method and so I am quite happy using it. Normally we just run our halves though, unless they are part of a challenge.

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  9. I usually just run it all, very slowly. For em it is hard to start running again once I stop and walk.

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    1. I've heard other runners say the same thing Abby, that it is hard for them to start back up. So far, it has worked well for me, but in fairness, I almost always run only for any race that is a half marathon or lower mileage.

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  10. The run/walk method makes tackling a half or full much more manageable for us beginners! I can't imagine the transition of non-runner to half marathoner without the run/walk method.

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    1. Agree Lauren, and it is fantastic to see so many people enjoying the sport of running, whether they walk or run their races.

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  12. I'm a new runner, I've done the Wine and Dine twice and used a 30/30 ratio. I know it's slow, and in all honesty, I didn't always keep to it. But I finished both races and was fine the next day. I'm trying to increase my ratio so I can get faster but it's been difficult. I love reading your posts and find them so inspiring! Thank you!!

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    1. Thanks so much Jodi. We are so happy for everyone that enjoys the sport that we love so much however they get to the finish line!

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  13. I've actually been thinking more and more about trying the run/walk method especially with all the injury I've had recently. I've done two full marathons and if I do another full I will most likely do this method.

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    1. I have been surprised at the speed we can maintain for the longer races adding in the walk breaks....Jeff Galloway sure knows what he is talking about! :)

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  14. Hi! I just found your blog and LOVE IT! I am starting to train for a half where I will end up mostly walking. My big goal is the Princess Half next year. I just started using a run/walk on my five mile and what a difference it made. I felt like I could keep going. I just have to remember to keep a good pace when I walk.

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    1. Glad you found us Amanda! Our first half marathon was the Princess in 2012. It is such a fun race, you will love it!

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  15. I'm a convert to the walk/run method. I did my first half in 2012 and ran my training runs and ran the whole race. Afterward I could barely walk to the car. It was so painful and hard that I said I would never do another half again. And now a year and a half later I just completed Tinkerbell and had the most fun doing it. Even though I am coming off of a knee injury and didn't train as much as I did for the one in 2012, I had no lingering pain during the race and felt great afterward. When I think I can't run anymore I have my walk break to look forward to and it keeps me running. I am now even thinking about a marathon.....
    @heatherlas

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    1. Heather, I think the hardest part of a marathon is the lonely training runs. If you can find a training partner it helps tremendously. Good luck!

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  16. I had actually used the 4/1 run/walk method for the Disneyland Half when my training didn't really allow for me to get as much running in as I like, but it worked out really really well! I definitely plan to do it for the Goofy (my first marathon) next year. It's really comforting/reassuring/all those other positive things to find out that other (significantly faster) people do it too! Thanks! :)

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    1. Kellie, If you read my Goofy recap from last year, you know that I did the run/walk for that and it worked out beautifully. I will say that I trained really hard and kept to Jeff Galloway's training plan that gave me alot of confidence going into the race weekend.

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  17. I'm a huge advocate for the run/walk method! If I'm doing lower mileage I will typically just run but if I'm going for distance, I use a 3:1 ratio.

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    1. Kristen, we chose the 4/1 ratio because it is easier with the math and our Garmin watches, or at least I did (Pam)

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  18. I use the run/walk method for anything over a 10K and it world for me. I have been doing 3:30 run and :30 walk but will be adjusting it for PHM with more walk time. When Lacey completed Boston I asked her if she took any walk breaks and I was amazed to hear that she ran the entire 26.2 miles! I couldn't even imagine that! I am so rooting for you to get to Boston Pam!

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    1. Meranda, you are a sweetheart and I appreciate all your encouragement. That is incredible that Lacey did not take any walk breaks! She is an awesome runner! I hope to see you at the Princess Half or 10K!

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  19. The run/walk method was the only reason I ever considered running a half marathon to begin with! 13.1 miles is overwhelming to me if I felt I had to run the whole thing straight. The walk breaks makes it obtainable and now I am toying with the idea of doing a full too.

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  20. At first, I thought using the run/walk method would make me less of a "runner." But I've run 5 half marathons so far, and the 2 I used run/walk with were my fastest. I'm sold and know that using run/walk is the only realistic way I'll ever complete a marathon.

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  21. I have used the Galloway method in both half marathongs I've run, and it works best for me. I have some knee issues, and this allows me to run far! I used 3:30/1 run/walk in both. Lately, I've also been doing 4/1, and recently changed to 4 min run/30 sec walk. It's working so far, but may need to change back to 4/1 when I get longer in my runs.

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