Run-Walk-Run Your Way to a Marathon

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about my training method- Run-Walk-Run so I thought it was time to blog about it again.

Run-Walk-Run is a method conceived by Jeff Galloway that helps you run longer distances and run them faster.  It greatly reduces the risk of injury, allows for faster recovery and also gives the runner shorter milestones to focus on.  When using this method the runner runs for a set amount of time (say 4 minutes) and then walks for a set amount of time (say 1 minute). The exact intervals are not set in stoned, but should be adjusted based on you training pace and what works for you on any given day. If you are running 4 minutes and then walking 1 as your run-walk ratio then you merely repeat this pattern over and over until you finish your run.

You may be asking, “How the heck do walk breaks make you faster.” The answer is that the walk breaks allow you to not slow down in the last few miles of a race such as a marathon. Run-walkers will often be able to speed up towards the end of the race while others are slowing down.

Now, I’m not the faster marathoner in the pack, but I have finished two marathons now and trained injury free for both of them. My recovery time is also getting better and better as I run-walk for a longer period of time. I’d say that in my last marathon the day after I was quite stiff, but the second and third recovery days were really pretty darn good.  I could walk like a normal person and stairs weren’t an issue.

If you’re interested in this method then check out Jeff Galloway’s website or perhaps read one of his many running books. I read his book, Training Programs, before my first marathon and used his training program in it. I have now used it twice and was able to shave over 21 minutes off my marathon time.

If you have used the run-walk-run method let me know in the comments section how it worked for you.

This entry was posted in Training. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Run-Walk-Run Your Way to a Marathon

  1. Maureen says:

    Karen, every time I read your blog I feel like running! Thank you!

  2. Louisa says:

    Thanks for posting your training method. I always feel weird when I walk and people around me are all running!

  3. Tina Wasserbauer says:

    Karen, I read your most recent post about NYC. This is the first time I’ve read your blog, congrats on your NYC lottery win! Your next post regarding your training gave me goose bumps, I’ve been using the Galloway method since this January. I have never been a runner and at 40 am training for my first half in February 2013. I have signed up for several smaller runs throughout this year and my long runs are about 7.5 miles. I’m inspired that you have used Galloway and have had such great success with it! Wishing you all the best in NYC!!!

    • Karen says:

      Tina- Way to go! I am living proof that the Galloway Run-Walk method works! I started running at 36 and finished my first marathon at 38 using Run-Walk.

      I have been injury free and have now hooked 2 friends on Run-Walk.

      Keep up the running! You will love completing your first half. Your long runs are already over half the distance of a half marathon. Have fun!

      I am touched that my blog helped you in even a small way. I hope my experience can help you enjoy running as much as I do now. It took a while, but now I think of myself as a runner.

      Take care!