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Old 10-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
Cruz91
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Run-Walk versus Slow-n-steady

Hi All...

I finished my first marathon at last year's Disney marathon weekend in just under 7 hours (6:49). I was doing great at the half-way point on pace for about a 5:00 or less race, then the wheels fell off (so to speak). I was basically trying to do a slow, steady race and went out too fast.

Now I'm training again and just did a nice long run of 13 miles last weekend at under a 13 minute average. My long-winded question is.... For those who have done both the slow-n-steady race versus the run-walk approach, which do you think you can make a better time? I've never tried the run-walk, but generally find when I do slow down (like at water stops), it's harder for me to get it back in gear - especially as I get up in the miles. Appreciate any advice from you sage runners!!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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Well, I can't say I've tried all these, but I do have some thoughts.

Fastest: run, run, run
Next Fastest: run, walk, run (repeat as needed)
Slowest: walk

Note I didn't say easiest, I said fastest. I think doing a marathon at 15 min/mile would be a huge challenge for me. That is a long time to be on your feet.

I think the Gallowwalking plan is great for some people--but it doesn't work for me. Like you, if I slow down for a walk, even for 20-30 seconds, I just can't get going again easily. Some people can start up again after walking, my body just doesn't work well that way (I have tried it a few times).

Test which works best for you. But there is nothing wrong with a slow and steady run. Just make sure you slowly jog the first couple miles. As you found out the loss of a minute or so at the beginning will keep you from loosing an hour or so later in the race.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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I asked this exact same question a few months ago! For me, it's also hard to get going again after walk breaks. The answer I got was mainly that it's a personal preference for each person. After a lot of trial and error, I found what works best for me is to run continuously between water stations and time my "walk" breaks with water stops. I've finally found that what works for me for a long run is to average around 3 min per quarter mile and 3:30 min per quarter mile with a walk break (during those miles with water breaks as noted on the W&D map). For fueling breaks, I give myself another 30 seconds. For me, this was much easier for me than doing a run 4 min, walk 1 min continuously or some other interval. I liked having destinations and pacing it this way to say, "ok, just make it to Animal Kingdom" or "run through those osborne lights" or whatever. I also make sure not to go out too fast in the beginning by telling myself that I can speed up at the end if I feel I can (and I usually do). I forgot that rule last night and boy was that last mile brutal.

But it's definitely a personal preference so just do what works best for you!
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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Although I've never done a race longer than a 5k using anything other than run/walk, I have done a half using run/walk and did that for over a year on long runs.

I recently abandoned the run/walk method after some tough practice runs. I was originally using a 9:1 ratio at about a 9mm when training for my half. When I started training for my full, I went with a 4:1 ration at a 10mm. I noticed I kept hitting the wall after 13-16 miles and my times kept getting slower and slower, I never wanted to start back running after that short break and my legs were more tired and I cramped more severely.

Personally, I felt like I could never settle into a rythmn so I decided to retrain my body to quit the run/walk method. Using the run/walk had also made me lazy on even short runs. I felt like I needed to walk even during 5k's.

I recently slowed my pace down a little on my long runs and have been logging 10-12 miles without any walking at a 9:30mm pace. While I hope to make it the full 26.2 without any walking, I plan to only take a short walk break when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I feel like I'm better off maintaining my rythmn that I seem to settle into after 5 miles or so.

I think run/walk works for a lot of people. It did for me for a long time, but I feel like it's not for me where I am now as a runner and where I want to be. I'm not fast, nor am I a lean, mean running machine. I'm a regular guy at 210lbs. that has only been running for about 2 years.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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I've always been the slow and steady walker who plays leap frog with the slower run/walk/run participants. I walked 2 marathons right around the 7 hour mark, one just over and the other just under. My best 1/2 time is 3:11 which is about 14:27 pace, all walking except for one down hill jog.

I just joined a Galloway training group and although I'm not ready to try it for the whole Wine & Dine 1/2 marathon, I hope to be ready to try by Tinkerbell.

I'm curious how I will feel after the race by incorporating running into the time, and how my final time may change.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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I an not an expert, just a recreational runner that reads too much.
OP my first marathon was in January and my goal was to run in under 5 hours and I had run up to 24 miles in 4.5 hours during training,but race day was not good to me. In the excitement, I'm sure I went too fast. And by mile 15 I was hot (I thought it was hot, sunny, no wind, no shade) and done with the race and from there on out I would walk, run and almost crawl. I did finish in 5:05 and said never again.
Fast forward, I am doing it again and have just completed two runs using the walk, run method. And it has been good. First was 14 miles and I screwed up my watch and I can't see without my glasses, but it went fine. This past week 12 miles using a 3 run/2 walk and finished with all miles within 10 seconds of each other, with an average pace of 10:15. I have felt good after these long runs not "spent" and in fact had gone on a 9 mile mountain hike two days before the 12 mile run. This week is 14 miles and I will use the walk/run again. I was also thinking that if I start feeling worn I can just switch to 2run/3walk. I am also doing two other runs each week, one speed and one tempo and try to push hard.
I would say go out and try a couple LRs. I thought it wouldn't be for me, but I think I understand the concept of not letting the heart rate stay high for too long and how it helps for long distances.
Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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I've done some of both. Although much more run/walk instead of straight running. For me, I'm generally faster with walk breaks than without walk break. Racing, I've only done a couple of 5K's straight running. I'm not up to being able to do longer races straight. When I run/walk, I find i easier to start running again when I use a fairly short run/walk interval. Something line 1/1 or 2/1 in longer runs and 4/:30 for things like a 5K. With the shorter intervals I'm not tired when I start my walk so it makes it easier to start running again. That's not to say it's alway easy to start running again. I bonked in mile 10 at Disneyland and walked for 2 miles before starting to run/walk again.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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I find I have about the same time, rather running continuously/minimal walk breaks vs. steady run/walk intervals. I think I purposely slow down when running constantly so I can sustain that pace whereas with run /walk I run faster on the running portions so it evens out pace-wise. However, with run/walk I FEEL much better after long runs and am able to keep a very consistent pace with long runs (10 +). So run walk will definitely be my strategy for my first marathon. After that, I want to try improving and running continuously if I can. Just a personal goal.

My husband on the other hand says it is too difficult to start up after walk breaks as others have mentioned. That is his way and it works well for him. If he walked more his time would be slower. Maybe he'll change his mind when he bonks at mile 20 and I run/ walk right past him...LOL. Nah, he'll do great.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
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I've always been a run/walker, but for Goofy I've started the Galloway (since it worked so well at Tink when I ran with a friend who was doing 2.5/1 and I was untrained). I am training 4/1 and it is absolutely perfect for me. I did my last LR of 15 miles and was pretty consistent throughout. I am not expecting to maintain that through Goofy since I am running with my friend and we will be just aiming to finish, but I'm hoping it will take me to a PR at Tink the following weekend (despite having just gone goofy!).
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryssi View Post
I've always been a run/walker, but for Goofy I've started the Galloway (since it worked so well at Tink when I ran with a friend who was doing 2.5/1 and I was untrained). I am training 4/1 and it is absolutely perfect for me. I did my last LR of 15 miles and was pretty consistent throughout. I am not expecting to maintain that through Goofy since I am running with my friend and we will be just aiming to finish, but I'm hoping it will take me to a PR at Tink the following weekend (despite having just gone goofy!).
I have been reading a lot about the Galloway method. How do you choose your interval, is it just trial and error? I have seen the breakdowns according to pace, but I am a beginner and I have no idea what my pace should be. Also, I will be using a treadmill for most of my runs, I can't imagine running 10 seconds, walking 45 sec. intervals on a treadmill. Any advice?
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:20 AM   #11
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Great feedback!

Thanks for all the feedback, folks! I think given the general crappiness (yes, that's a technical running term) that I feel when I re-start after walk breaks, I'm going to stick with the straight slow running. I'm doing Hal Higdon's training plan, which is what I used for my first marathon and it at least got me through. I'm finding that this time around, I'm doing a little better on my long runs with respect to time - so I'm really hoping to hit the 5 hour mark in January. I guess if I'm able to improve my time by over 90 minutes from the first marathon, that would be a good thing. :-)

Happy training, everyone!
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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I hope you don't mind me chiming in late. One thing I didn't see mentioned is that some of it may depend on your cadence. If your slow pace is much less than 180 foot-strikes per minute, you are using extra energy and that could contribute to your fatigue.
I used to be faster and more efficient doing run/walk (3:1, then 4:1, then 5:1 as I got in better shape) because that was the only way I could maintain an efficient cadence during the running part. The walk breaks are supposed to happen before you get tired, so that it's not hard to start back up with a run.

Anyways - just a thought. I'm definitely not an expert - just someone who has read a lot about running and done a handful of half-marathons.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpeamd View Post
I have been reading a lot about the Galloway method. How do you choose your interval, is it just trial and error? I have seen the breakdowns according to pace, but I am a beginner and I have no idea what my pace should be. Also, I will be using a treadmill for most of my runs, I can't imagine running 10 seconds, walking 45 sec. intervals on a treadmill. Any advice?
I just started Galloway myself, but I started with a basic C25K first. After you can run 20 minutes straight, Galloway is pretty easy. (at least in the beginning! )
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raenstoirm View Post
I just started Galloway myself, but I started with a basic C25K first. After you can run 20 minutes straight, Galloway is pretty easy. (at least in the beginning! )
Same here! Started with C25K, and I couldn't make it past a certain point. When I started Galloway, I felt like it was a breeze! The long runs can still be difficult, but I would say I still have an easier time doing those than I did with straight running with C25K.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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Same here! Started with C25K, and I couldn't make it past a certain point. When I started Galloway, I felt like it was a breeze! The long runs can still be difficult, but I would say I still have an easier time doing those than I did with straight running with C25K.
I'm with you. I have tried the C25K program several times and I always get hung up around wk 4 or 5. Then I give up. It's very frustrating. Did you incorporate Galloway into the C25K? How did you start Galloway?
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