Training for a half marathon or full marathon takes courage especially for new runners. And let's face it, no matter how many marathons you may have run, the training is long and hard if you want to step up to the starting line on race day with a chance of beating your personal best. My best marathon (a PR and a BQ!) was trained and run using the Jeff Galloway run-walk principle of running for a certain length of time followed by walking for a set time.
The intervals that work best for me are running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute. After playing around with different intervals, this one was the sweet spot of running and walking during my long runs. It is handy to have an interval timer too and the Gymboss (review here) is one that I use and love.
One thing that I noticed during my first two marathons was the amazing second of the half I could have still with plenty of energy to finish strong. Personally, the intervals make me far less tired than straight running and are especially helpful when the weather is not the best on race day. The walking portion is also the perfect time to take your gels or other nutrition that you brought on your run without having to stop and take a break.
|Telling my other running half about my race! (Quinitles Marathon 2014)|
Now here is some of the information that I found most helpful in the recent information for Galloway bloggers:
1. Those who have a strategy almost always do better than those who just get out there and see what happens. A muscle, etc. that is used constantly will fatigue and break down more quickly. By taking scheduled walk breaks, the muscles stay strong and resilient to the finish. The principle behind walk breaks is "conservation of energy."
2. Almost everyone who runs continuously experiences a slowdown during the last 3-6 miles. Runners who use strategic walk breaks from the beginning tend to either speed up at the end or at least avoid slowing down.
3. Each runner has certain "weak links" that ache more and are more common injury sites. Continuous use of the muscle will first cause the muscle to fatigue early, reducing muscle performance. Continuing to run under increasing fatigue will cause muscle, tendon, and joint damage. Walk breaks stop the abuse of a weak link, allowing the tissue to adapt, significantly reducing aches, injuries, and recover time.
One of the reasons for my recent IT band issue could have been the speed of my long runs (they were usually close to race pace...not a good thing) and the lack of good recovery. Lessons have been learned and training for my next big race will include lots more time taking care of my body pre- and post-run, including the run-walk method for my longer runs.
Here are a few more posts on the Galloway method:
- The importance of a training plan with tips from Jeff Galloway
- Tips from Jeff Galloway on the run-walk-run strategy
- Training to get faster with tips from Jeff Galloway
- Do you run-walk your races?
Many runners love the Galloway method. Has it helped you earn a personal record after being a consistent straight run only runner?