Jul 1, 2015

New Run / Walk Strategy - Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips

I am one of the biggest supports for Jeff Galloway's Run Walk Run Method. It's how I run, it's how I completed my first half marathon and it's how I'll complete all my future ones. I'll gladly sit down and talk to anyone about it any time. This week's tips are about just that; Jeff is introducing a new run / walk strategy. Well, it may be new to some, but it is actually the walk break I myself use.

The 30-second Walk Break

By Olympian Jeff Galloway

Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run method was revolutionary for three reasons:
  1. Run/Walk/Runners felt better throughout the long run.
  2. Run/Walk/Runners recovered faster and got injured less often.
  3. Run/Walk/Runners went faster with the breaks than without.

Since his introduction of walk breaks in 1974, Jeff he has received feedback from hundreds of thousands of runners, allowing him to fine tune Run/Walk/Run to keep people feeling better, staying healthy, and running faster.

The greatest benefit of the walk break comes in the first 30 sec.

Our heart rates come down, the running muscles relax, we catch our breaths, and the fatigue melts away.

After 30 seconds of walking, we tend to slow down.

Here is a typical example of what happens with a 1-minute walk break:

A run/walk/runner averaging 10-minute pace in a marathon using 3 min/1min might walk at a 15-minute mile pace for the first part of the race.
As fatigue sets in, that walk gets slower, and by halfway, the runner may be walking at 18 min/mi.

This means faster running is needed to stay on pace, which creates more fatigue at the end of each running segment, so the walk will get slower, and so goes the downward spiral at the end of the race.

Avoiding the Slow-down

Compared to running constantly, the 1-minute walk break still results in runners feeling better, staying healthier, and going faster, but it can get even better! Limiting walk breaks to 30 seconds, or in some cases even less, while cutting the run time accordingly, gives all the same benefits, with even less fatigue and even faster times.

The Bottom Line

If you are in already using a 30-second walk break or less, you don't need to adjust. If you are using an interval that takes a 1-minute walk break, keep the same ratio but cut your walk and run times in half. For example, a 1-minute/1-minute interval now becomes a 30-sec./30-sec. interval. It's that simple.

Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached over a million runners to their goals through his clinics, wonderful retreats, training programs, books and e-coaching.  Sign up for his free newsletter at www.JeffGalloway.com.

Do you use run / walk? What interval do you use?

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  1. I've always used the Galloway run-walk-run method. Currently I use a 40-30 run to walk interval.

    1. It's a great method for when I want to go fast or take it easy.

  2. I really need to try the shorter breaks. Since it's so hot here in Vegas and I'm trying to adjust to be sure I'm staying healthy now that I'm pregnant, run/walk has become my go-to. I was doing a 3/1, but maybe this weekend I'll try the 1:30/30 and see how that feels. I love run/walk, especially for the marathon! I cut 26+ minutes off my marathon PR last year (as part of Dopey) by using Jeff's methods.

    1. That's an amazing improvement. It's the sort of thing I always try to tell people when I talk about the method. I started with a 30/30 and was looking to build both further, but due to inconsistent training over the winter I kept the 30 second walk and just extended the run, and it has always worked out really well for me

  3. Yes! It makes a big difference in how much better I feel afterward.

  4. I sure wish the Jeff Galloway iPhone app would be updated to allow custom intervals. There are exactly two intervals available with a 30 second walk on the app. A 30 second run or a 4:30 run.

    Before I read this article, I'd have been about ready ready to move up to a 1:30:1 ratio. Not an option on the app. So then, reading this, I should really make that 45:30. Right, can't do that either.

    I know there are other interval apps, stand alone interval timers, watches, etc. But the official app is great in other ways (speeds up and slows down music, includes some Jeff coaching, etc.). If it would allow custom intervals, it would be almost perfect.

    1. That's a bummer to hear and surprising. All of his stuff talks about customizing the run walk intervals to be exactly what you need. I run Android, so have never actually been able to use his app, and have use 3rd party apps or physical timers. I would suggesting leaving them some feedback in a review.