Introduced to Olympian Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Method when I trained for my first half marathon in 1999 with a Galloway Group fell in love with the inverval method. Suggested run walk interval times were based on mile pace and they varied. After my running hiatus, when I took up running again in 2011, the train of thought was to experiment to find a run walk interval that work for you. I started out with a 2 minute run, 1 minute walk. Over the years I have experimented on my run walk ratio and have ended up LOVING 30 sec run, 30 sec walk OR 30 30’s – it is how I got my Personal Records and ended up being faster then my 2/1 times. Recently, Olympian Jeff Galloway introduced a NEW Galloway Run Walk Strategy, the 30 second walk break.
From the folks as Galloway Productions, here’s the train of thought on the 30 second walk break.
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.
It’s always been suggested to find a run walk ratio that works for YOU. I have done more running than walking, less running than walking and the same. I have noticed I prefer the 30 30’s, it’s a comfortable pace for long distance and I don’t tend to lollygag in my walk breaks. As a huge fangirl of Jeff’s, I am grateful for his Run Walk Method, with it this reluctant runner has completed 1 Full Marathon and 10 Half Marathon.
Tell me, what do you think about this new train of thought. I can tell you it definitely works for me! Follow the latest with Jeff on his Facebook page! Join me at the JG 13.1 race in Atlanta in December or run it virtual, sign up here. My 2014 Recap is here.
What is your Run Walk interval? Willing to give 30 second walk break a try?
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I currently do a 2 min run/1 min walk cycle and I do find that by the end of my runs I am struggling. I am going to try the 30/30 tonight and see how I fare. Granted, I am already at a slower pace than most but a slow pace is still better than no pace, right??
Julie @RunWalkRepeat says
EXACTLY!I found when I ran less, I got faster, I know counter intuitive, but it worked for me. The key is getting you run to walk and walk transition down, where its not awkward, barely noticeable and almost natural. With your ratio, you could also drop down to one minute walk, 30 second run which would be the exact same ratio as 2/1. Experiment with the 30 second walk….. sometimes it does take some tweaking.