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Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:09 pm
by 5km
I haven’t posted since July of last year because I have not been running much the last couple of years due to recurring health issues as a result of complications from kidney stones. I’ve tried to get back to it a few times but was unable to sustain my efforts.

Since I started running in 1977, my approach to running has always been one of “run as far as you can as fast as you can and repeat.” It was not quite that simple but essentially that was it. Like a lot of people, I thought that real runners do not take walk breaks. However, that approach is not working for me right now. I cannot sustain continuous running as I have done, even in the recent past.

Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run method has been around for many years but I had chosen to ignore it because it didn’t fit with my usual approach to running and training. Circumstances have now changed and in order to be able to run longer distances and increase the time spent running, I have decided to use this method.

I started running this way in mid-December and have been able to increase my running distance to 5 kilometres with an average pace of about 7 minutes per kilometre using a 3:30/1:00 run/walk interval. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the results I’ve been able to achieve using this approach. I plan to continue in this fashion for a while and see how things develop. I hope to return to continuous running at some time in the future but I am just pleased to be running again.

I’d be interested to know if any other forum members have tried Jeff Galloway’s method and what they thought of it.

Re: Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:29 pm
by Nicholas
Well, anyone using the Running Room approach will be using a very restricted version of "Gallowalking", following their 10 & 1 dogma. I know some ultra runners use walk breaks to extend their long runs and even use it during those long races.
I started using a variation of the None to Run plan in December, 3 months after getting my bionic hip. I only plan to go to 5K as a max and am now up to 2 times 10 & 3 inside a 6-8K walk. Strangely, that is also at your 7 min/km pace.
I have also taken a few 30 second walk breaks in the last 10K of a marathon when I started too fast and ran out of gas. Other than those experiences, I have been a continuous runner, without walk breaks.But there is nothing wrong with taking walk breaks during a long run or a race...if you need them, you need them.

Re: Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:01 pm
by Spirit Unleashed
If you add in some walking, you simply get to spend more time outside doing distance. Super!

Re: Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:18 am
by Dstew
The both times I qualified for Boston in what seems like a million years ago, I did 15/30: 15 minutes of running and 30 seconds of walking or even a full stop at an aid station. For a 5 and 10 K race, "stop" at an aid station half way through to gulp some water. Now, I am 7 and 1: 7 minutes of jogging and 1 minute of walking. To do anything else for the last few years is playing injury roulette: Some chronic injury will flare up and it was only a matter of what one or ones and for how long. With the jog/ walk method, no such issues. It is working so well I just bought some ice studs to attach to my trail shoes as in fat biking, found some trails I would like to "jog".

All "training" can be broken down to pace/ intensity; duraton and frequency. After inflicting as much pain as I have over the years, I started to even despise the thought of running so decided to give up considering any of these three with one caveat. That is pace and to that end, I have to make sure I am not going too fast and/or for too long for any one stretch. I am even getting smart enough to overcome the Pavlovian instinct built into my psyche from training and will actually take an early or extended walk break rather than wait for the beep from my watch. My watch is merely for the walk breaks and to ensure my heart rate is not too high and for months have not downloaded any data. As noted, I now actually look forward to this activity and do not see a single reason to return to continious running.

If you NEVER are able to run a continious 5 K or even a mile, that will not make one wit of difference in the universe. No one is going to care whether you continue with doing what you doing if even the total distance covered is 2 K. I see there is an attempt to justify or rationalize the method to spend more time running or go longer but that is poppycock. I have used that method on a quick 2 K jog before breakfast. The longest "run" have done in the last six months of 8 K. I find I enjoy taking the time to slow down and smell the roses as it were. And even more importantly, my body does to rebell or punish me for doing too much. If this gets you out and you can enjoy doing an healthy activity, there is no further analysis or explanation required.

The Gallowalking term has always bothered me. I remember back in the old days when Runners World was the only forum. Those people were true fanatics and scary devoted to the dogma of being a "real" runner or marathoner. I bought into that crap until I started to read the race reports. How the morons who refused to even slow down going through an aid station would be proud and hailed as heros as in doing so, ended up in the medical tent before crossing the finish line. These were middle of the pack of so runners and the only thing they seemed to prove was the Dr. Sheehan ideal that somehow self inflicted torture was a noble pursuit akin to a religious quest. For me, run to your abilities and what is a healthy option or at least at a certain point in time in your life. There is nothing to prove, no prestige or recognition worth an injury that flares up all of the time. You are the one who has to pay the price and I have finally figured out there is a cost. Payment may not be today or tomorrow but you will pay so ignore anyone who tells you othewise.

Re: Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:35 pm
by 5km
I started running in the days of Runners World and George Sheehan (I actually met him once.) and in a sense I am a product of that school of thought.

It isn’t easy to teach a stubborn old dog new tricks but sometimes life forces change upon us. I have to keep telling myself that at my age, 72, it is more important that I stay healthy and work to retain my fitness than to try and run in a way that is currently not feasible. So I will keep on with my current method and see how things develop.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Re: Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Method

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:23 am
by Dstew
5km wrote:It isn’t easy to teach a stubborn old dog new tricks but sometimes life forces change upon us. I have to keep telling myself that at my age, 72, it is more important that I stay healthy and work to retain my fitness than to try and run in a way that is currently not feasible. So I will keep on with my current method and see how things develop.


I hear you about new ways. Last winter, I was thrilled to find a new challenge - fat biking. I figured I had at least a couple of years of pushing too hard, finding my limits and then ease off into something more "fun" and relaxing. But as it turns out, trying to climb hills I should not have tackled at my age, 55, I torn a ligament in my shoulder. A warning shot across my brow as it really was not much of an issue until I started to do over head weight lifting in the fall. Physio and the shoulder is better. So to be safe, I spend $400 on studded tires. And in December, just as the shoulder is getting better, I forget I lack certain mountian/ fat bike skills and go beyond my abilities. Ten years ago, no problem. Now, a problem. Going way too fast, corner at the bottom of a hill, hit the ice and some fractured ribs. Ribs have healed. Shoulder has healed so now time to tackle a long, for fat biking, 30 K ride. I knew I should not have tackle this challenge but ... old habits. I am a little tired, day dreaming and slid off the path. No problem, I see a nice snow bank to jump into and everthing will be fine. Problem is, it was not a mound of snow but a mound of rocks with a very light cover of snow. The knee and leg was ripped up. By the evening, swollen and sore as well as the hand I landed on. Six days later, only a slight limp but I cannot go on my knees without severe pain so once again, back to the physio.

I went so far as to take photos of my bike so that I could sell the damn thing but for 95% of the rides, it is that sweet combinaton of reward and fun where it is tough, I get a great workout in incredible scenery of the Rocky Mountains and there pleasure in the activity. Healthy for my body, mind and spirit. And it is not the bike - it is a very high end bike but rather operator error. As with just about anything, at a certain point just because one can does not mean one should. My fat bike is actually meant for racing and at times, I can tap into some of its true potential. But I have come to the realization that I need to be careful given my lack of skill and ability. That attacking everything I do at 100 mph is not always the right thing to do. To find the steepest climb or with endless challenges. I suppose one way to look at this is I have, for lack of a better term, "earned" the right to ride when it is not too cold. When a number of younger rides have nicely packed the snow down on the trail. And to have a few climbs but cut the ride short or leave some of the most challenging sections to others.

There was a part of me always on automatic. With running, that resulted in a bad hip, back and left calf. To the point I can only jog and even then, I need walk breaks. Now with biking, a shoulder, ribs and a knee, I have to face reality and accept the limitations I have. My fear was that if I did not do things as I once did, they would not be worth doing. I will admit there was a great deal of ego and vanity involved - as if to be a "real" runner or fat biking or [fill in the blank], one had to do things at a certain intensity, duration and freuquency. Or I would just be, gasp, ordinary, average and a faceless, nameless member of the unwashed masses that just did everything for fun. What prestige and recognition is there if you are not training for something, there is no medal or journal or logs to fill out at the end of the day. And as such, I am "less" - a part of my identity, my being is lost. But in a way I am lucky is that I have also experience not having the function, the ability to even go for a walk, make one's way down the stairs without agonizing pain. There are much worse alternatives to just doing or being activity or god forbid, just having some fun going for a jog or a walk or a ride.