By Olympian Jeff Galloway
How can runners, even Boston Qualifiers, run faster by taking walk breaks?
I know, it's counter-intuitive but in numerous surveys I've found that former non-walk-break runners improve an average of more than 13 minutes when they walk early and often.
How does it work?
Those who have a strategy almost always do better than those who just get out there and see what happens. A muscle, etc., that is used constantly will fatigue and break down more quickly. By taking scheduled walk breaks, the muscles stay strong and resilient to the finish. The principle behind walk breaks is “Conservation of energy”.
How can you run a faster marathon with walk breaks?
Almost everyone who runs continuously experiences a slowdown during the last 3-6 miles. Runners who use strategic walk breaks from the beginning tend to either speed up at the end or at least avoid slowing down.
Can you actually set a PR with the run/walk method?
I hear from thousands every year who set Personal Records by using the method.
How does the run/walk method protect you against injury?
Each runner has certain “weak links” that ache more and are common injury sites. Continuous use of the muscle will first cause the muscle to fatigue early, reducing muscle performance. Continuing to run run under increasing fatigue will cause muscle, tendon and joint damage. Walk breaks stop the abuse of a weak link, allowing the tissue to adapt, significantly reducing aches, injuries and recovery time.
How does the run/walk method affect your day-to-day recovery?
Because there is less damage to repair after a run, the legs, knees, etc., feel better, sooner. Many report that by using my run-walk-run method they can run the next day after a marathon. Some injured runners have been able to train for and run marathons while the injury gradually healed. Walk breaks can keep one below the threshold of further irritation.