I feel like this is a question a lot of people ask. To a newer runner, the thought of running 13.1 or 26.2 miles is daunting, and I understand the concern. I have personally used both methods (straight run and Jeff Galloway run/walk) and have PR’ed both ways. Let’s take a look at what Jeff Galloway himself has to say on the matter:
“How can runners, even Boston Qualifiers, run faster by taking walk breaks? I know, it’s counter-intuitive but in numerous surveys I’ve found that former non-walk-break runners improve an average of more than 13 minutes when they walk early and often.
How does it work? 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”.
PR doing a straight run at Princess Half marathon
How can you run a faster marathon with walk breaks? 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.
Can you actually set a PR with the run/walk method? I hear from thousands every year who set Personal Records by using the method.
How does the run/walk method protect you against injury? Each runner has certain “weak links” that ache more and are common injury sites. Continuous use of the muscle will first cause the muscle to fatigue early, reducing muscle performance. Continuing to run 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 recovery time.
How does the run/walk method affect your day-to-day recovery? Because there is less damage to repair after a run, the legs, knees, etc., feel better, sooner. Many report that by using my run-walk-run method they can run the next day after a marathon. Some injured runners have been able to train for and run marathons while the injury gradually healed. Walk breaks can keep one below the threshold of further irritation. “
PR doing a run/walk/run LA marathon
I can attest that when I run/walk, I recover faster and am less sore after the race. It’s a lower risk of injury for me, and it makes the distance not seem so impossible. My full marathon PR is from a run/walk, and my half marathon PR is from a straight run. I have never tried to PR with a run/walk in the half, but am curious as to what my results would be!
Don’t forget you can still register for the Jeff Galloway virtual race!
QOTD: Do you run/walk? Have you ever PR’ed doin’ the Galloway method?
As a Jeff Galloway blogger I am provided with tips to share with my readers.
I think it’s definitely doable! I loved using his run/walk method for running while pregnant!
Faith Dority says
Love this topic, Heather! As a convert to the Galloway method, I can attest to its PR power. My straight run half PR is 2:09 and my run/walk/run half PR is 2:04. The hard part is figuring out what ratio works best for your running style and then sticking to it come race day. You’re also soooo right about the recovery. My 2:09 straight run left me sore and walking gingerly (and that’s not that fast of a half), my 2:04 run/walk had me in my resort hotel room refreshed, refused, recovered and on my way to a theme park within the hour!
Great testimony for the case of run/walk/run!
I ran a Half Marathon a year ago (Philadelphia) where I PR’d every distance on the way to the finish. 5K, 10K and of course half. I don’t think I would have done that running the entire way there. I also would not have completed the Goofy Challenge without it. So I guess you could call me a believer.
I’m walking another half marathon this weekend – – but I do think I’m going to give the Galloway method a shot for my next one.
Mostly because the amount of time the race would I hope take 🙂 would be shortened I don’t mind as the hours progress but when I start it’s pretty damn cold and I would not be bothered with some running running running to warm up
Yes! I run fastest in the cold so I can get DONE!
Yup. My half PR of 2:12 on a very hilly course was using 4:1!
I may try a 4:1 at RnR NOLA
Any tips on finding the right r/w ratio? I’ve been experimenting, but would love to hear from those of you who have done it before!
Start with a smaller gap then experiment with making it longer. For a full marathon I did a shorter ratio but for a half I would do a 4:1 probably.
Mindy (Road Runner Girl) says
If I ever decide to run another marathon I think I will use the run/walk method!
It really made it seem like a shorter distance!
Kate @KateMovingForward says
I think my next half I’m going to focus on doing this more concretely. A 4:1 ratio would be 4 minutes running, one walking correct?
Ever since i’ve struggled with IT Band issues this is the method I use. I know I could run longer without the walk break but I am afraid to see what the consequence ( to my IT band) would be afterwards…lol
I hate IT band issues! Mine has flared up on and off for 5 years 🙁
This is so interesting! I came down with a stupid hip/butt injury (my sciatic nerve) last October and I’m still doing run/walk intervals as I recover from it. I’m hoping to do my first marathon in November and my doctor says that if I keep up with cross training and strength training I should be able to do it with no more injuries, but I’ve been thinking about using walk breaks for the marathon to help keep me from overdoing it. This post makes me feel like it’s possible to use intervals and not come in last place! Thanks so much for sharing how this has worked for you!
So possible! I PR’ed at the LA marathon last year doing a 2:1!
I guess you could say I PR’d with this method because I completed what seemed impossible. I started running at 55 and did my first half marathon using the Galloway method. I just completed my second and I’m signed up for two more this year. I’m planning on a full in 2017. My time is slow BUT I’m doing it and loving it thanks to the RWR method!
That’s awesome, congrats!