Jeff Galloway Might Be Onto Somethin’

Yesterday we (TNT team) had our 18 mile run scheduled for Big Sur training.  Part of my job as a mentor is to switch things up and run at different paces with different people.  Lisa, our coach, is very big on this.  This week I happened to be in the back.  I will be honest, I knew this would be tough for me.  I am used to being able to run at my pace but I knew that this would be something I would eventually have to do when I was chosen to be mentor.

Katie B. is one of my awesome teammates and she is a run/walker.  I have never tried this in my life.  Well, I take that back.  Before I really got into running and I was trying to lose weight (right after college) I would run till I needed to walk, take a walk break and then start back.  Not really a formal run/walk because I didn’t know there was something to it.  Eventually I got to the point where I could just run.  And of course now I am able to run comfortably for miles and miles.  I didn’t think this would be something that I would “need” or “want to do” at this point.  But yesterday, I was proven wrong.

I had asked Katie to explain how she does it.  She told me she is currently on a 4:2.  Run for 4 minutes, walk for 2.  She said she had tried longer running periods like a 9:1, but they don’t work for her yet.  She uses the RunKeeper app on her iphone and there is a voice that tells you to run now, walk now.  I asked her how she started and she told me that the first time to tried to run she just ran a mile to see how she would do.  She said it was terrible and then started with a basic 1:1 and slowly increased her running as she got comfortable.  I think this a great way to explain how to get started with running to someone who is new to it.  How easy right?  Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute.  Anyone can do that.  I am actually going to suggest this to my friend Anna who is trying to lose weight and get in shape and has put the Rock ’n’ Roll Savannah 1/2 marathon as her goal.

So, I did it. I did a 4:2 run/walk for 18 miles.  It was mentally tough for me to do.  Partly because the run pace that Katie is on is a little slower than my pace and because I am just not used to walking.  Oh, and it rained in the very middle of the run.  Walking in the rain wasn’t exactly cool.  Otherwise it was fine.  There were a few times I would go ahead of her and run the hills and wait for her at the top and she didn’t mind.  The coolest thing about it?  When we finished, I could’ve have probably run another 10 miles or so.  I felt great.  Sure a little piriformis pain (glutes) but that has been hurting since the 1/2 and I am planning on getting a massage on Monday.  And, the bottoms of my feet were sore but I knew they would be-I needed to switch out to a new pair of shoes but I didn’t want to wear them in the rain so I put the miles on my old pair.

I looked into the Jeff Galloway program (RUN-WALK_RUN) when I got home yesterday.  He says that most runners will have significantly faster times when they take walk breaks because they don’t slow down at the end of a long run-they have saved up energy.  I’m the bad runner who doesn’t even walk water stations.  He also goes on to say that the earlier the walk breaks the better and that walk breaks will help your muscles not fatigue.  You can read more here.

Is it totally for me?  I don’t think so.  Not all of the time.  Will i consider walking water stations?  Hopefully Yes.  This would be a great plan, I think, if you were going to do a back to back race (i.e. Goofy).

I had hoped to share my Garmin data with you to show the difference in my heart rate but for some reason it won’t upload.  I went back and looked at the watch and was surprised to see how low my heart rate was the entire time.  It stayed between the 130-150 range for all but the first mile (my first mile on any run is always super high).  This is why I still had so much energy. 🙂

Do you use the Galloway method and run/walk?  If so, do you use it all the time or for certain runs?  

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  • When I run a half marathon or less, I'll run the whole thing. But when I was training for the marathon in January I trained using the run/walk method where I'd run a mile, walk a minute. Kind of to simulate water stops. During the race I only walked during water stops and it worked great. I'll definitely keep doing that for Goofy next year.

  • So, I do the opposite. My group trains to run 7 and 1s, but I run my races straight, even the marathon. However, doing 7 and 1s did take 17 minutes off my half time.

  • I used the Galloway method for my first marathon and loved it! I ran 1 mile and walked 1 minute. It really helps to feel strong longer and also it breaks a long run in smaller pieces, which was the best for me 🙂

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