Welcome to the first installment of Run Coach’s Corner. Let me preface this post by stating that I am NOT a physician and any new or modified workout regimen should be vetted by a doctor before commencing. I am, however, a certified Galloway run coach. What this means is that my advice, while applicable to all runners, holds important merit to runners practicing Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run strategy. Let’s get started.
Fatigue is the enemy of endurance. Once it is introduced during a run, it can never be eliminated and only grows. This is why when you step out on your long run or half marathon race, your 8min first mile split grows to 10mins or more by the end of your run/race. Sure, the finishing pace lands in the 9min range, but, wouldn’t it be fulfilling to finish at or near the pace you began? Wouldn’t you like to have the energy to enjoy the finish line party or carry on with the rest of your day, pain-free? This is where regular, planned walk intervals benefit your performance.
I will refrain from calling them “breaks” so as not to upset the runners who hold a stigma for the practice. These short walk intervals allow your muscles to recover to a point that prevents fatigue from taking hold. When allowed to complete each run interval at maximum effort, you nearly eliminate the pace lost at the end of the run due to fatigue. Studies have shown that runners actually IMPROVE their finish times in races by utilizing the Galloway method.
To hold true to the topic of split consistency, we will use a recent 4 mile run I completed. I run my intervals at 2min:30sec (meaning I run for 2 minutes and walk for 30 seconds). I can tell you from experience, had I run those same four miles through, my pace would have been relatively the same but my splits would not have been consistent. My first mile would have been really fast and only trailed off from there. The key benefit was how GREAT I felt when I was finished.
This strategy can be used by runners of all skill levels. You can apply your targeted pace to the applicable run-walk-run strategy using the chart to the right. For an even more accurate estimation of your target, a magic mile drill can be used to determine your expected finish times for all race distances. We will discuss the “magic mile” in a future installment, but you can find the basics at www.jeffgalloway.com.
I hope this piece helps you become a more consistent runner and makes those miles a walk in the park. If there are any questions regarding the Galloway Method or how you can get more information, drop me a message HERE. Don’t forget to click the follow button on the left to be notified of new posts and exciting content!!!
Thanks for reading…