Hey folks, I found this extract while browsing through "The Lore of Running" by Tim Noakes, and thought you migt like to read it. No doubt many of you will have heard of run-walking, and its a strategy I plan to practice at the Belfast Marathon on Monday.
Including Walk Breaks
Provided all is going well and you are not forced to stop for any of the reasons previously discussed, you may find you have a desire to walk. During the 1970s and 1980s, walking during a marathon was considered taboo. But thanks to the activism of Jeff Galloway and others, walking during marathon running is being advocated increasingly as a virtue. Thus, in the more accepting marathon culture, the real crime is to start walking when you are already exhausted. Start walking sooner than later. Do not wait until you are too exhausted to continue running.
If you are unsure of whether you are able to run the entire marathon or ultramarathon distance, alternate regular running and walking. For example, do 20 to 25 minutes of running, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of walking. By spreading the distance walked over the entire course, instead of only resorting to walking at the end, you have a chance to recover every 20 minutes or so. You will probably find that you will cover the same distance with less discomfort and in a shorter time. Alternatively, you may consider walking 1 minute for every 5 that you run. Another approach is to walk only on the uphills, which is good advice for hilly ultramarathons but does not allow much walking time on a flat marathon course.
Tom Osler (1978), one of the first modern proponents of walking in racing and training, concluded that anyone capable of running 42km can easily run 80km if they alternate regular walking and running in the ratio described previously.