Run-Walk-Run

Run-Walk-Run: It began in 1974

by: Jeff Galloway

I was asked to teach a class in beginning running a few months after opening my specialty running store, Phidippides in 1973. Through this class I saw an opportunity to help non-runners enjoy the benefits of running.  Since business was slow at the store, I also wanted to increase the number of potential customers.

During the class I discovered that none of my students had been running for at least five years.  About one third had never done any regularly scheduled exercise during their lifetime. During the first lap around the track I realized that walk breaks would be crucial if I wanted each class member to finish either a 5K or 10K without injury or exhaustion.

As I ran with each group, I focused on breathing rate. The “huff and puff” rule emerged: when you hear huffing and puffing, take more frequent walk breaks and slow the pace.

Throughout the first class, I adjusted the run-walk-run amounts so that each person felt successful in completing the distance – which gradually increased during one run each week. Most admitted that they started to look forward to each run because of the improved attitude during and afterward.

At the end of the 10 week term was the “exam”: either a 5K or a 10K. Each student finished!  When I polled each at the end I received my best reward: none of them had been injured!

During the next two years, I experimented with various ratios of walk breaks as I worked with beginning runners at my store. In 1976, Galloway Training Program began. I continued to find that walk breaks could almost eliminate injury.

Many of the veteran marathoners refused to take walk breaks at first. As the former beginners moved into longer distance events such as marathons, they continued to adjust to walk breaks and started to record faster times than the veterans. This led to the use of walk breaks in all pace groups.

Principles behind run-walk-run:

• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue

• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue

• Run-walk-run is a form of interval training

• Conservation of resources

• Quicker recovery

• Less stress on the “weak links”

• Ability to enjoy endorphins

• Reduce core body temperature

The Galloway run-walk-run method

• A smart way to run – by giving you congnitive control over each workout.

• Allows you to carry on all of your life activities – even after long runs

• Motivates beginners to get off of the couch and run

• Bestows running joy to non-stop runners who had given up

• Helps improve finish times in all races

• Gives all runners control over fatigue

• Delivers all of the running enhancements without exhaustion or pain

Why do some runners have trouble taking walk breaks?

Research has shown that the lessons in the early school years are powerfully embedded in the subconscious brain. While it is natural to feel anxious and then receive negative hormones when we depart from these hard-wired patterns, concious actions can re-train this ancient brain. The cognitive focus on specific run segments/set amount of walks can hard-wire new patterns into the reflex brain. This gives you control over your attitude as you feel the positive results from using strategic walk breaks. Through the use of mantras and systematic actions, you empower the concious brain to take control. This frontal lobe component can over-ride the subconcious brain and retrain it to accept and embrace run-walk-run.

Walk breaks…

• Speed you up: an average of 7 minutes faster in a 13.1 mile race when non-stop runners

shift to the correct run-walk-run ratio – and more than 13 minutes faster in the marathon

• Give you control over the way you feel during and after

• Erase fatigue

• Push back your wall of exhaustion or soreness

• Allow for endorphins to collect during each walk break

• Break up the distance into manageable units

• Speed recovery

• Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury

• Allow older or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good as in the younger (slimmer) days

• Activate the frontal lobe – maintaining your control over attitude and motivation

How to determine the right run-walk-run ratio? Use the Magic Mile prediction tool.

About Jeff Galloway:

Over a million runners and walkers have read Galloway books, attended his retreats / running schools, received E-coaching or individual consultation or joined his training programs. His doable plans have opened up the life-changing experience of finishing a distance event to almost everyone. His methods have reduced aches, pains and injuries to almost zero. Jeff is in front of an audience motivating and teaching over 200 times a year–helping those of all abilities to enjoy exercise until they are 100!

  • US Olympian, 1972, 10,000 meters (also an alternate on the marathon team)
  • Trained with Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Jack Bacheler
  • Author of North America’s best selling running book: Galloway’s Book on Running
  • Runner’s World monthly columnist
  • Official Training Consultant for runDisney series of races- with video clips and training programs on this site
  • Founder of the Run-Walk-Run® method- opened up running to millions
  • Founder and owner of Phidippides–the oldest running specialty store (since 1973)
  • Producer of the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program in Atlanta- which has enrolled 20,000 participants (2012 – 30th
  • Coached ESPN and MSNBC segments with celebrity runners Sage Steele and Megan Price
  • Jeff has run for over 50 years, over thirty of those without injury.
  • Over 350,000 runners and walkers have reported achieving their goals by using Galloway Training Programs.

– See more at: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/run-walk/#sthash.3s1YkGDb.dpuf