How to Use Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk Method

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk training method and the questions made me realize that although I’ve blogged about it before I’ve never described the details of how it works. This post is devoted to the details of run-walk and of course has links to many places on Jeff’s website that can offer even more information.

The Basics

Run-Walk is a training program designed by Jeff Galloway as a way to help people run injury free. It is lower mileage than your usual training program and Jeff boasts an overall 98% success rate at training people for long distance without injury. (I have personally used run-walk to complete 2 marathons with no overuse injuries. I did twist my ankle once, but that was because I like the idea of putting my foot down wrong on the pavement. Go figure?!?!?)

Run-walk, just as the name suggests, is a combination of running and walking. Essentially you run for a set amount of time then you walk for a set amount of time and then you repeat this cycle until you finish your run or race. The exact length of your run interval versus your walk depends on your goal pace. 

This picture shows what your ratio should be based on your pace.

Courtesy: JeffGalloway.com

Check out the Walk Breaks page on Jeff’s site for more details.

Training Plans

5K and 10K

Jeff has 5K and 10K run-walk training plans that will get a complete beginner from start to your goal distance injury free. Seriously, just follow the training plan and you will finish.

He also has Couch to 5K and Couch to 10K iPhone apps that can help you start running and slowly work up to finishing a race. If you don’t know how these apps work, they are pre-programmed apps that tell you when to walk and when to run for each of your workouts. They will also allow you to play motivating music on your iPhone while you run.

Half Marathon

Jeff also has two half marathon training plans: one to get the true beginner across the finish line injury free and one for a more experienced runner to reach a time goal. It is recommended that for your first half marathon you merely run to finish the race with a smile on your face. The idea is to enjoy yourself so you want to run a half marathon again.

To help you on your half marathon journey there is also an iPhone app to walk you through each step. Check it out here.

Marathon

Just like with the half marathon training plans, there are two marathon training plans as well. Again, one to help you finish and one to help you reach a time goal.

It should be noted that the time goal plans are more difficult than the finish plans and there is a higher risk of injury due to more miles and higher intensity. As of now, I know of no run-walk marathon apps, but if I learn of one I will of course share.

Magic Mile

One key piece of the program, the Magic Mile, will help you predict your pace at longer distances. Here’s how it works. You run a mile at a hard pace for you and then use this chart to predict how fast you will run your race.

Courtesy: JeffGalloway.com

Your Magic Mile pace is the per mile pace you can expect to maintain during your race. Check out Jeff’s site here for more info on how to use the Magic Mile method.

Interval Timer

To do run-walk you will need an interval timer. I use the GymBoss interval timer, but there are many other timers and interval timer apps available too.

The GymBoss timer allows me to set 2 timers, one for my run and one for my walk intervals. It allows me to have the timer beep at the transitions or vibrate. I personally like the vibrate better. It can also be set to beep or vibrate for 2 seconds, 5 seconds or 9 seconds. Mine is set to 5 seconds which means it beeps 5 times or vibrates 5 times to let me know it is time to transition.

One interval timer app that I know others have used is RunKeeper. It is available for both the iPhone and the Android. (Sorry Windows phone lovers, but I don’t think there is a version for you yet.) I know there are many more out there so feel free to do some of your own research. Let me know in the comments section what you find so I can share with others in the future.

Resources

My favorite resource about run-walk is truly the Jeff Galloway site. I’ve read through most of it and use it as a reference frequently.  Jeff also has multiple books out there and here are two that I recommend:  Galloway’s Book on Running  and Galloway Training Programs.

Do you have any other resources or information you could share about run-walk?

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4 Responses to How to Use Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk Method

  1. maureen says:

    This is amazing Karen – and now I feel much better about my walking breaks. Perhaps they are useful after all!!

    • Karen says:

      The walk breaks are very useful! They definitely decrease the chance of overuse injuries and they help mentally as well! It’s much easier mentally to run 4 minutes at a time.

  2. Kristen says:

    This is a very helpful post! I do a lot of run-walking now that I’m pregnant. Maybe I should actually follow a pattern like this so I can get through my runs easier.