A few weeks ago, I went on a 10 mile run with a friend, I finished it with 13 but she had to head off at 10.
She was following the Jeff Galloway half marathon programme which included running for 2 minutes and walking for 1 minute. In all my previous sessions I had just set out to run for the full distance, something I didn’t know my body was capable of and sometimes it was but other times my legs couldn’t keep up.
Every time we ran if I’m being honest I was looking forward to the 1 minute walk break, we ran at a casual conversational pace for the 2 minutes and then walked at a fast paced for the 1 minute. It was a nice change to my usual running routines of running until my legs hurt and then slowing down because my legs hurt! We finished the 10 miles still continuing on the walk run technique and I wasn’t hurting towards the end of it, I felt like I could happily run the last 3 miles to make it to 13 miles (as per training plan). My splits were pretty good from the run and I hadn’t actually impacted my times with the walk run, maybe a few minutes off my last half time. My legs the next day weren’t suffering as bad as they had before, I felt comfortable and happy with the run. I thought I would keep trying it out, I decided on my long runs I would try this technique out in order to keep adding the distance as I go.
Admittedly my next long run was a half marathon race (Worthing) and hearing it was a flat course I wanted to test out getting a PB so didn’t do the run walk technique but when I attempted my 15miler I tried the technique.
According to the Jeff Galloway website, the run walk technique aims for:
• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue
• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue
• Run Walk Run is a form of interval training
• Conservation of resources
• Quicker recovery
• Ability to enjoy endorphins
A big thing for me was never walking, I felt like if I walked during a run like that I wasn’t a runner. I felt like I had cheated myself but after trying it again on my 15 miler yesterday I definitely feel like a runner. I didn’t find it as hard to do the distance and the walking breaks were lovely to have. I had always aimed to never walk during a race and I think up to half marathon’s I won’t, I know I can run that distance but with further distances I think I’m going to give my legs a fighting chance and practise run/walk. The walk breaks actually give you a chance to catch your breath, to give your body a little bit of a rest. During yesterdays 15 miles I ran 5 minutes and walked 2 minutes but over the next 2 months before my 20 mile race I will practise different times.
I feel like there is a bit of a stigma against those who walk during their races, when I met with my running group before our half a lot of them said “as long as I run the whole thing I will be happy”, who says taking a little bit of a walk during your run is bad?
Admittedly I have had a bug bare with some walkers, as in my previous post I call them sprint targets, where they aren’t following a particular pattern with their walking but with using you as their target. They would wait until you come near them or you’re just about to overtaking them and then they would sprint off essentially cutting you off, and then stop after a few metres because they were out of breath from running so fast – in terms of that type of walk running, that is where I want to say no. Do not make it obvious you are using the person who is overtaking you as your sprint target, wait until you have caught your breath enough or slow your run down in between your walks. Don’t use the same person again and again and again and annoy them because whenever they catch up to you, you sprint off and then stop again.
It has been said that run/walking gives you control over your attitude as you feel the positive results from using strategic walk breaks.
Part of your walk breaks:
• Speed you up: an average of 7 minutes faster in a 13.1 mile race when non-stop runners
shift to the correct Run Walk Run ratio – and more than 13 minutes faster in the marathon
• Give you control over the way you feel during and after
• Erase fatigue
• Push back your wall of exhaustion or soreness
• Break up the distance into manageable units
• Speed recovery
• Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury
• Allow older or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good as in the younger (slimmer) days
The walk run technique is alternating running with walking decreases the amount of impact on your body and allows you to go farther with less stress. The key is to run at a conversational effort and walk with a purpose. Again, this is something I would like to continue using this technique, maybe try 10 mins run, 2 mins walk?
After the long run I got out and did 5 miles today to keep my legs going and after doing the technique, my legs don’t feel as bad, I didn’t hurt so much when I was running.
I also had Amber pulling me along with the run, I think she enjoyed it 😆
But all in all, who cares if you walk during your runs, if you do it with a good technique then that is fine, you’re going to recover better than us most likely!
Has anyone else tried this? What do you think of it?