June 24, 2015

Jeff Galloway offers new tips for his run walk run strategy

Disclosure:  We are Galloway bloggers and receive tips to share with our readers.  There is no compensation received for this post.

We have been Jeff Galloway interval runners at many different times during our run training and race. Since my first marathon was part of the Goofy Challenge running a half one day and a full marathon the next, I used the run walk run plan for my training and race day.  And guess what?  You can do races on consecutive days and finish with a smile on your face.  Having a good race strategy is helpful and Jeff's strategy, especially for new runners works very well.

Recently we received some new running strategy tips from Jeff that we want to share with you.  With more research, Jeff has found that a shorter walk break will aid runners in keeping their pace consistent, yet achieving a stronger race with less fatigue.  Here is why:
Avoiding the Slow-down
Compared to running constantly, the 1-minute walk break still results in runners feeling better, staying healthier, and going faster, but it can get even better! Limiting walk breaks to 30 seconds, or in some cases even less, while cutting the run time accordingly, gives all the same benefits, with even less fatigue and even faster times.
The Bottom Line
If you are in already using a 30-second walk break or less, you don't need to adjust. If you are using an interval that takes a 1-minute walk break, keep the same ratio but cut your walk and run times in half. For example, a 1-minute/1-minute interval now becomes a 30-sec./30-sec. interval. It's that simple.

The 30-second Walk Break
 Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run method was revolutionary for three reasons:
1 - Run/Walk/Runners felt better throughout the long run.
2 - Run/Walk/Runners recovered faster and got injured less often.
3 - Run/Walk/Runners went faster with the breaks than without.
Since his introduction of walk breaks in 1974, Jeff he has received feedback from hundreds of thousands of runners, allowing him to fine tune Run/Walk/Run to keep people feeling better, staying healthy, and running faster.
The greatest benefit of the walk break comes in the first 30 sec.
Our heart rates come down, the running muscles relax, we catch our breaths, and the fatigue melts away. After 30 seconds of walking, we tend to slow down. Here is a typical example of what happens with a 1-minute walk break:  A run/walk/runner averaging 10-minute pace in a marathon using 3 min/1min might walk at a 15-minute mile pace for the first part of the race.
As fatigue sets in, that walk gets slower, and by halfway, the runner may be walking at 18 min/mi. This means faster running is needed to stay on pace, which creates more fatigue at the end of each running segment, so the walk will get slower, and so goes the downward spiral at the end of the race.
Avoiding the Slow-down
Compared to running constantly, the 1-minute walk break still results in runners feeling better, staying healthier, and going faster, but it can get even better! Limiting walk breaks to 30 seconds, or in some cases even less, while cutting the run time accordingly, gives all the same benefits, with even less fatigue and even faster times.
In Summary
If you are in already using a 30-second walk break or less, you don't need to adjust. If you are using an interval that takes a 1-minute walk break, keep the same ratio but cut your walk and run times in half. For example, a 1-minute/1-minute interval now becomes a 30-sec./30-sec. interval. It's that simple.
When I ran Princess 2014 with Jeff and Barbara, we used a 30 second run, 30 second walk break interval for the entire race. And I will tell you that I was not one bit tired when I finished that race. It really does give you more energy to use run walk and I think you can achieve better time results with this method. If you use his method, do give this interval a test during your next long run.  You may be surprised at how well it works!

Thanks as always to Jeff for sharing his tips.
{Pam}

18 comments:

  1. I loved this set of tips! Jeff is awesome! :)

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    1. Me too Karen. I was so lucky to run Princess with he and Barbara last year.

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  2. I ran some of my best races doing a 3 min run / 30 second walk. Since my injury I've been doing a Walk-run rather then a Run-walk!..lol

    Do you think it is more beneficial to have the run and walk intervals be the same length? -M

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    1. I really don't know Meranda, but this summer, while training for NYC Marathon, I plan to test them both out.

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  3. Don't you get "tired" of that quick and constant change between running and walking? 30 seconds doesn't seem like a very long time. I would think it could get annoying to have to switch gears so quickly and so often. Just wondering.......

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    1. Actually, since I was running with a group and Jeff was keeping the intervals, it did not seem like a problem at all to me. I will be trying this on my own this fall and wonder how it will go when I have to keep track.

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  4. Interesting I have used a timer and have it set 4 X 1, someone suggested to me to try changing it to 3 x 1 because she thought it would help with the fatigue in the heat. I had never even thought about cutting the walk break to 30 seconds. I guess I need to play around with it and see what works :)

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    1. I actually think during the hot summer long runs, a shorter run and walk break would be really beneficial for fatigue. I'll be trying it out once I am back to running.

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  5. Funny you posted this! I just talked about incorporating his method back into my slow running training again after being on running restriction for almost two months on my blog... I love the new tip!

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  6. Does it have to be 30 seconds run/30 seconds walk? Meaning - do the intervals have to be equal? Would it work as well if I did 1 minute run/30 second walk? Or 2 minute run/30 second walk?
    Thanks! Running my first Disney Half in January and I am SO EXCITED!!!

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  7. I really want to try this for my next half. I typically run 2 min/1 min or 2:30/1 intervals. At my last half, I stayed ahead of the pacer, who was running 1 min/30 sec, for the first half of the race, but then she passed me and finished well ahead of me.

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  8. Interesting! I've been running with 4/1 intervals but I was thinking of changing it to 2 minutes/30 seconds for the Summer. I may just go ahead and give that a try to see how it goes.

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  9. i switched to 30 sec walk breaks about 18-24 months ago when I realized that the minute was just taking too long and I love it! I was trying to build up to a higher run (I was doing like 2:45 to 30) and I talked to Jeff and he suggested going down to 1:30 or 2 min. 1:30 was too much stop and go for me but I LOVE 2 min/30 sec. I am even faster than when I was doing longer run intervals

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  10. Great review! I'm actually not a fan of the run/walk training programs, but its just a personal opinion. However, I think they are great for those who probably wouldn't be running if they didn't use them. In fact many marathons across the country because of these run/walk plans even extended their times because over the past 10 years it's really brought far more run/walkers into the mix of participants that hadn't really been seen at races before.
    I will say though, for walking breaks 30 seconds or less is pretty perfect, that way a person's heart doesn't slow down too much inbetween and it's easier for a runner to get back into it.

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  11. Very cool info. I personally don't stop to walk, because I find I cannot start back up again, but I am alllows interested to find out about other methods.

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  12. I like the idea of a shorter walk interval. I find that if I walk too long, I can't seem to get back into a groove.

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  13. Thanks for this! I'm a big fan of the 30 sec walk break. I find it really helps me on long runs, both mentally and physically!

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