In November 2013 while training for the Inaugural Dopey Challenge* I met Jeff Galloway at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon expo at Walt Disney World. I had heard the name but didn’t really know what he was about. I learned he was an Olympian in the ’72 Munich games in the 10,000 meter and an alternate in the marathon. He was also a naval officer which gave credence to his message.
Jeff began to tell me about the “run walk run” method he is renowned for. Me, being fresh off my first half marathon and a PR which shall live forever at MO’ Cowbell (1:44:14), arrogantly turned my nose up at the mention of walking during a race. The idea was totally foreign to me. Imagine, me, with my 13.1 miles of race experience, telling an Olympian/run jedi with thousands of miles of racing and even MORE followers that his method was not worthy of my attention. He should have patted me on the butt and said, “Have a nice day…” He didn’t. He convinced me that I should run my last training run before I left for Dopey using the RWR method. I agreed and he wished me well.
I instituted a 4:30/2 ratio which made my 20mile training run a piece of cake. I left for Florida a few days later. My race strategy was to run through on the 5k, 10k and half marathon then use the Galloway method for the marathon, which would be my first. Jeff was excited that I had decided to open my mind. I was blown away by the result! I finished the marathon in 4:23:32. This was after 22 miles the previous 3 days (5k 25:36|10k 52:04|half 2:01:25). SOLD!!! I have raced nearly every mile since (a marathon, over 20 half marathons, 4 ultra relays and countless 10 and 5ks) practicing the strategy utilizing various ratios (currently 2/:30).
I have recently partnered with Jeff and his training group on a program that will bring personalized coaching to individuals looking to incorporate the Galloway run method into their regimen. I work regularly with runners eager to embrace the idea as well as skeptics who find stigma in the idea of walking at any point during a race.
The proof is in the research. Taking scheduled walk breaks early in a race, before fatigue is introduced, enables the muscles to recover allowing for increased endurance throughout the duration of the race. Once fatigue is introduced, it cannot be eliminated and it only grows, which is why you are much slower at the end of a race than you were at the beginning. The splits of runners using the Galloway method tend to be more consistent than runners running through.
If you are interested in more information about Jeff Galloway and his Run Walk Run method, visit www.JeffGalloway.com. There, you can find training schedules, tips and publications that will help guide your training. I am also available to answer questions via DM, email, or social media. My goal is to make the idea palatable to runners of all walks.
It has been an amazing ride. I have looked at Jeff as a mentor for a long time (while he probably looked at me as a stalker). I value the friendship that has grown over the last 3+ years and look forward to bringing his passion to the St. Louis region and beyond. Thanks for reading!!!