Sunday, September 18, 2016

Galloway Run-Walk Strategy

I've tried many marathon and ultra training programs. My own (many versions), friend's plans, Coach Jeff (from down the street), Hansons, Maffetone, Mittleman, FIRST, Higdon, and others. Now I'm turning to Jeff Galloway...the dude known for his run-walk plans. I recently bought his "Boston Marathon: How to Qualify" book (used for $1.07). I've had a couple of his other more famous books and found them interesting, particularly "Galloway's Book on Running." As an ultrarunner, I've always embraced the value of walking in both training and racing. But I saved it more for hills (any size!) instead of regular walking in my daily runs. Galloway insists on walking breaks from the beginning to end of your runs (the specific run-walk technique depends on your level of fitness and goals).

This Jeff Galloway "Qualify for Boston" program has several features I'll implement:

  • Acceleration gliders (strides)
  • Long runs (really long, peaking at 29 miles for the marathon)
  • 2-mile intervals (peaking at 7x2-miles)
  • Hill accelerations (hill repeats)
  • Cadence drills (form work, running economy) 
  • Lots of walking breaks (in almost all runs)
And he provides paces for these efforts. Paces are based on your "magic mile" test runs (after warming up and doing strides, run 1 mile really hard). He has you repeat these throughout training--about once every 3 weeks. This 1-mile time will predict your marathon pace (x 1.3) and determine speed and long runs paces too. Your long runs will be VERY slow (2 minutes slower than goal marathon pace). My goal time to qualify for Boston is 3:30. My long runs are meant to be at about 10:00 pace. My magic mile test should be 6:05 if I want to run a 3:30 marathon. 

His 30-week program incorporates 4 runs/week. Little or no cross-training. Little or no weights. Virtually no stretching. Foam rolling is good. Galloway really stresses full recovery between all runs. If you reduce injuries (by frequent walking breaks and rest days) then you become a more consistent and better runner. I think this program will allow me to do really long runs (and even a marathon or 50K race) while still including some speed and other efficiency work (hills, strides, cadence drills). Will this get me to Boston? I don't know. It will provide structure and a new strategy. Walking is no longer bad. Or the sign of a weak runner. Walking is required in my new Galloway program! I believe this will get me ready for a marathon...and almost any ultra. We shall see.


jeff said...

I ran my best 50 miler (8h 39m) doing 15min run/5 min walk (3:1). I did 3 - 30 mile runs, ran hill repeats and did fast barefoot strides weekly. The plan works as long as you do it.....what is your plan for Tunnel Hill??

Chris Ⓥ said...

Plan for Tunnel Hill???? No plan. Just run. I'll incorporate Galloway principles in my next 6 weeks, but not enough time to really train.