Is it cheating ?

I run just to keep reasoably fit, and can run half marathons in 2hr 15 min, I decided to go for a full marathon. While looking for training plans came across a run walk plan, decided to give it a go , and have found out in training that I can actually run 6 mins and walk 1 minute and cover 13.1 miles slightly quicker than I can run it, and not have any aches and pains afterwards, in fact don't feel I have run anything like the distance I have. Thought I would adopt these tactics in the great north run, but couldn't bring myself to do it and just ran it, felt a bit like cheating what do you think ?



  • depends on what you want.....the point of a race is to get you from A to B as quickly as you if run/walk is quicker for you then go ahead...

     it is a recognised method and there have been some fairly fast times using this method

  • I would suggest that if running/walking every mile is working out better for you, then youre probably running too fast. Run a bit slower and you probably won't need to walk.

    Oh and to address the other issue, yes in my mind its cheating. This is not a slight on you, this is my general view that if youre entering a Half Marathon ..... a full marathon .... whatever, you should run the whole thing. Im not sure I agree with Seren Nos about 'just getting to the end' because anyone can complete a marathon given enough time. Ive only ever done one marathon in my life, and spent the 2nd half just hobbling along because a) I wasnt fit enough and b) I injured myself (see point A). So Im kinda proof that any idiot can complete a marathon. But have I run a marathon? No I havent. But some people in life set the bar kinda low, and if thats what makes them happy, so be it.


    Seren - "it is a recognised method and there have been some fairly fast times using this method"

    You sure about that? not sure I saw Mo using that method in the latest Bupa Run he did.



  • Mr A.when you have ran a marthon then maybe you can make a sensible comment......

    no one on here is in the league of Mo.......

    and I said its about getting to the end as wuickly as you as an individual can......and we are all different..

  • But you just said I dont need to run a marathon, in fact in your own words

    "the point of a race is to get you from A to B as quickly as you can"

    which I did, I got from point A to B in a marathon as quickly as I could ......... but now youre judging me by another set of standards?

    Make up your mind!


  • No it's not cheating. If you can get round faster by running bits then walking bits then you are probably running a bit too fast. 

    Take your finish time for the run/walk and divide that by 13.1 and that will probably be your proper run pace. 

    There's going to be a break even eg walking at 4mph and running at 8mph and doing a 3:1 then you'll cover 6miles in an hour. Run at 6.5mph and you'll be quicker...

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    A half marathon or marathon is about getting from A to B within the rules.  If you can run/walk faster than you can run, then go for it.  It's often used in ironman marathons, I used it myself, and it can stop you smashing your legs too early on and ending up walking for miles.  When I did my first ironman, I aimed for 'Run 9 mins, walk 1 min' although that did go to pot at some point image

  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    Mr A / TimR -- Jeff Galloway wouldn't agree that running the whole thing slightly slower will get you there faster...  See for details.  Personally I'd rather run the whole thing and get there slower but that's just me.

  • killyken.....


    this is an ex olympic athlete who has done alot of work on walk/run as a stratedgy....

    you might find that you prefer to run it all or that as you train more you adapt better and do not want the walk breaks.....but it is an option although it is better to start as a run/walk.than to run until you are knackered and then slowly walk / crawl the rest...image

  • No, it isn't cheating but if it isn't something you feel comfortable with personally then don't do it.

  • " Personally I'd rather run the whole thing and get there slower but that's just me."

    Me and you both.

    I would rather run a 2 hour HM the whole way than say a 1 hour 55m run/walk combo.


  • show me a runner that doesn't walk and a walker that doesn't run.  Just saying.

  • Seren Nos - Well it looks like Me and Mr Galloway will have to agree to disagree then!


  • mikasamikasa ✭✭✭

    I don't think it's cheating. On the other hand, I'm with Taxi Driver, I ran my first and only half mara in a slow 2:20 but I did run every step of the way and that made me proud of myself. I'd prefer to run all my running races but I wouldn't be totally gutted if I had to walk for some reason or another.

  • i think the main thing is to respect the distance and train for it.........whatever pace or method you decide on....

  • Interesting debate, still sitting on the fence here, as I am quite happy to walk run in training, but haven't magaged to bring myself to do it in a race. But when I have tried it at other distance like 5 and 10k I have had the same results, can't decide if its just me not trying hard enough when just running

  • " and a walker that doesn't run."

    They tend to get disqualified in the Olympics for doing that.


  • Taxi Driver - Galloway agrees with some of what I have written. His table goes down to 8min miles. Faster than that is the break even point.

    There comes a point where slowing down isn't going to help and walking is a better strategy. Sub 8min miles you'll lose so much time walking when you're obviously fit enough to run at 9s all the way.

  • Just my opinion, but, I would say it's not cheating but taking the easy way out. Granted you may do it quicker using the walk/run method, but isn't the purpose to acheive a sustained, even paced effort (or negative split depending on your level) over a long distance? I think the sense of satisfaction is greater if you run the entire distance, and it's somewhat sullied if you use the run/walk method. I think most runners would agree.  I think the physiological benefits may be slightly higher if you follow a training plan to enable you to run all the way too.  I've had times in races where I have come across people walking, then minutes later overtaking, then again walking, then a few minutes later overtaking and they get marked out "Oh, so you're doing it that way..."

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    "Granted you may do it quicker using the walk/run method, but isn't the purpose to acheive a sustained, even paced effort (or negative split depending on your level) over a long distance?"

    No, the purpose (in a race) is to get from A to B as quickly as possible, even if this involves a walk/run/poo strategy (cf. Paula Radcliffe).  I've got no problem with someone doing walk/run if that's what they're comfortable with, but if you're even talking about 5k/10k distance clearly there are some psychological issues involved as well as physiological.  Simply put, if you think that run/walk is quicker than running, you're just not trying hard enough when you're attempting to run all the way, and I would recommend you start gearing your training towards lengthening the running sections until you get used to running continuously for as long as possible.  You will start improving your race times by running all the way.

    ...and if you do find yourself struggling in a marathon, or you want the psychological crutch of knowing that you'll be breaking into a walk at the water station every three miles or whatever, then that's also fine.

  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    TimR -- Fair point...  I must admit that because I've never been interested in the run/walk strategy I've never read JG's article that carefully...  But if the cut off point is 8 min/mile then it's not really that relevant to me anyway image

  • What Phil Pub said

    It's not too unlike the F1 motor racing strategy and worth repeating again;

    it is a race, you're not going to win with a walk run approach but you might get your best position.

    So not cheating

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    I assume that those who think walking is 'cheating' or a cop out, have never done a mountain or fell marathon?
    I would doubt anyone has run the whole of the Mont Blanc marathon.

  • It all depends on what your personal goal is.  If you are happy run/walking then go for it.  At the end of the day most of us mere mortals are just competing against ourselves anyway.

  • seren says "no one on here is in the league of Mo......."  

    Is she overlooking the guy on the Team GB thread who is going to run a sub 2 hour marathon.?

  • 2:50 PB in this article with a further mention of a 2:28, so 8 min/miling not the top end.

  • It wasn't a PB, but was pleased with 2:54 at Robin Hood Marathon. The strategy was run-puke-run-walk-poo-run-walk-poo-run. Watch out for details in next months Runners World Article on racing strategies

    I didn't feel I had cheated myself, and it was within the rules.

  • Sorry Also Ran ........ doesnt count.

    Anyone else?


  • back to that again Mr A....can't you just dig out your old thread and bring it on to the fiorum to prevent you repeating yourself.......

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    "Sorry Also Ran ........ doesnt count."

    I think your personal opinion might be over-ruled by a race director's decision, if we were to have an inquiry.  Which technically means that - in a very black and white, non-ambiguous sense - it is definitely not cheating.

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