run or run/walk?

I started running 4 months ago on a run/walk schedule.  After 12 weeks, I successfully stopped the walking breaks and since then I have gradually built up to a distance of 9 miles on my long runs, with 2 short runs in the week.

I have taken part in 2 races: a 10k (1hr 5 mins) and a hilly 8 miler (1hr 28 mins) - so you can see I am a very slow runner!  (But I didn't walk!!)

I think I fall between 2 marathon training schedules: the sub-4.30 one and the get-you-round schedule. The sub-4.30 seems to be beyond my body's capabilities at the moment (tried it last week and am paying for it this week!!) but the get-you-round seems to be taking a big step backwards - especially with the walk/run approach.

 Should I be so hung up on running instead of walk/running and go for an inbetween training schedule, or should I just revert to the beginners get-you-round schedule and be happy just to finish, whatever my time and however I do it?  My main aim is to complete, injury-free to raise money for my chosen charity, Macmillan.  However, I would like to achieve sub-5 hours if I can do so realistically.


  • Have you tried looking at the RW smartcoach?  That might fall in between the two for you.

    Good luck

  • Hi Caroline,

    Nothing wrong with adapting a plan to suit your own capabilities.

    My plan for last year's FLM was a 12/1 run/walk.  It all went to hell on the day because of the heat but it  would have got me in between around the 5 hour mark had it been cooler.

  • Screamapillar, what training schedule did you use?

    Minardi, thanks for the suggestion of using Smartcoach.  I inputed my times and that has resulted in a schedule of slow running rather than run/walk.  Still unsure whether sticking to running in my training and for the race is daunting/unrealistic or the better way to go.

    Thank you both for your replies.

  • I am a slow runner and the only RW schedule that looked useable to me is the 3 day a week one. I actually use it as a base and add a recovery run. 4.30 is too fast, and walk breaks make it harder for me to complete a run.

    Good luck anyway. Nothing wrong with walk breaks and they can help you finish faster and stronger if they work for you I understand.


  • I don't think it was a RW one Caroline but I couldn't stick to it properly anyway because of injury and generally being too old and slow to recover enough to get all the runs in.

    The weekly LSRs are the most important though. If you can do those you'll get round, even if it isn't in the time you were hoping for.

  • I'm doing New York in November and due to an ankle break earlier in the year probably fall between the 4:30 and Get you Round schedules.

    How would the run/walk program work in a real marathon situation - surely it must be hard to start walking after 4 or  minutes when runners around you are trying to find their pace?

    Anyone know if NY will have a run/walk pacemaker?


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