Jeff Galloway approach to R/W/R London Marathon 2014 -Help!



  • I am also thinking of doing maybe a negative split in my marathon - say 20/40. I am going to do that in my long run this weekend. I did it on the 18 miler I did and felt great afterwards, yes I was slow, (14:30 mins per mile I think) but I want to make sure I finish the marathon in one piece - that is the only thing that matters to me really. 

  • Chicken - JG recommends actually going over distance, but v slowly. He says it stops you hitting the wall. I'll know if it is the right thing to do when I've finished in London. It is near the marathon because things got shifted with my half marathon. JG insists if I do it as a negative ratio there is time to recover before the race. It's a case of watch this space. My chiropractor doesn't seem too worried.

    Mathschick - I agree I just want to enjoy this one.




  • Drat! Just lost a long message.

    My 17 mile r/w last weekend averaged out at 11.30. When I ran continuously it was easy to settle into a regular pace. I just tried to run as slow as possible but know I got carried away at times! 

    This is all so new to me I'm not sure how I am going to know what pace I am running at in London. 

    How do I settle into a pace and know what pace I am running at please? 

  • LMA - I think I am going to vary my ratios (see above) and then just run by feel as I go along. Hopefully my ratios will control things for me, at least that is what I am beginning to think. As long as I have a 5 in the hours column I will be happy. If you can keep up 11:30 m/mi then that would be wonderful as you would finish in about 5hrs, but could you keep that up for another 9 miles. And if not aren't you just better going slower by changing your ratio, say 30/30.

    I am thinking 15/30, then 30/30 and towards the end 30/15..........if I'm still fit for it. I think that would give me somewhere around 5:30 if I'm lucky. I'll do another later in the year and race it for a time.




  • Littlemissactive wrote (see)

    Drat! Just lost a long message.

    My 17 mile r/w last weekend averaged out at 11.30. When I ran continuously it was easy to settle into a regular pace. I just tried to run as slow as possible but know I got carried away at times! 

    This is all so new to me I'm not sure how I am going to know what pace I am running at in London. 

    How do I settle into a pace and know what pace I am running at please? 

    I was going to run at whatever is comfortable, but I am not going for a time, just want to finish upright.

  • I think I might be 6 hours + but it is just finishing for me in a decent enough state to get back to where we are staying and be able to move the next day!

  • ChrissiChrissi ✭✭✭
    Lainey23 wrote (see)

    I was going to run at whatever is comfortable, but I am not going for a time, just want to finish upright.

    I'm with Lainey on this one as long as i finish unbroken i'll be happy

    Taper is starting to get to me one minute i'm confident next i worried sick

  • Okay folks, this is JG’s advice in his Marathon book.

    For the first 3-5 miles

    • Run at marathon pace during the running segments and take walk breaks i.e. not averaging across both bits.
    • For average person, a 1 minute break will only slow you down 10 to 15 secs.
    • A slightly slower pace will allow the legs to warm up before they are pushed into race effort.
    • Remember to adjust your pace for heat, humidity, and hills.

     Between miles 3 and 8

    • Run a bit faster in the running segments but still take walk breaks.
    • You will gradually build up the pace so at 8 miles, you are running at goal pace when you average out with walk breaks and the running segments.
    • If it is a struggle to pick up the pace, maintain a level of effort that is comfortable.
    • Don’t even think about cutting your walk breaks short to speed things up.

    Between 8 and 18 miles

    • Run at marathon goal pace9running faster to compensate for walk breaks).
    • Stay smooth as you ease down into walking and ease back into running.
    • Compute your pace each mile. Uphill miles will be slower, and downhill miles can be faster than your goal pace.

    After 18 miles

    • You can cut out the walk breaks if you’re feeling strong (and want to) or, for several walk breaks, walk for only 30secs, and then eliminate entirely.
    • If you need the breaks but your legs are cramping, shuffle instead of walking (feet low to the ground – light touch).

    After 23 miles

    • You can keep picking up the pace if you feel up to it.

    You know, it felt really good writing this out as I understood all the nuances of what Jeff said by doing so, like I missed the "don't even think about cutting your walk breaks short to speed things up." I missed that completely when I skim read this section of the book (p97).

    I shall work out what this means for my race tomorrow, having pondered on it.

  • OMG we are all in the same state!!

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    Hello! I'm completely new to this strategy, but am feeling very inspired by everything I've read image 

    I say completely new - I did an ultra marathon last year which was run/walk/run/limp/limp/stagger. Massive injury afterwards and I've only just got back up to any decent (to my mind!) distance. I've got a marathon coming up and am planning on using this strategy. I'd like to go sub-6 hrs if I can, but my main goal is to finish in one piece and not need the attention of St. John's at the finish line! 

    Thanks for the post above Chris - makes a lot of sense to me and I plan on using it image

  • UB - Welcome to the group. I'm considering moving up to Ultra as well next year. My son-in-law is doing the Hard Moor (110?) in May having done the 55 mile one last weekend. He says this is exactly the right approach for Ultra's.

    Which marathon are you down to do?


  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    I'm off to that there London image 

    I think most people use run/walk for ultras, unless they're some kind of athletic god! I did the Grim Reaper and can thoroughly recommend it. It's a lovely course, very well organised and done in 10 mile loops so you keep coming back through the race HQ/camp site - excellent for not having to carry too much with you! (plus the medal is ace!)

    The issue I have with run/walk is a complete lack of discipline - when I'm feeling fresh I'm so tempted to just run. 

    A question - is there ever a circumstance when you should ignore the run/walk pattern? For example, if the course is hilly - if you 'should' be running, but are going up a hill, or should be walking, but are on a downward?

  • just wanted to say a massive thank you to Chris and everyone else for your posts about your regimes.  This has been the most enjoyable informative thread I've read And it's keeping my spirits up while I'm unable to Run.  

    Can't wait to hear how all of you get on in your marathons image

  • ChrissiChrissi ✭✭✭

    Chris - i'm hoping to do my first ultra next year as well from what i've seen the way to go is walk up hill (while eating image) and run the down and flats ?????? not sure will need practice me thinks

    I'm going to try the shorter R/W segments when i'm getting ready for Trail Marathon Wales and hitting the forest trails again going to stick to the 5/1 for Manchester as it worked quite well on my long run not sure if i'll be able to drop the walks but hope i won;t have to increase them

  • UB - I think this is supposed to be a practical, common sense approach, so walking up the hills and making up the time running down is I'm sure a good idea, as is running a little more coming into a drink station and walking longer on the way out whilst you are drinking. 

    I had the beginnings of cramp in a calf in my 20 miler (at about 10 miles) and again in my 24 miler (at about mile 18 this time). In both cases I walked about 5 mins or slightly longer, and both times it eased and I ran my usual ratio from there to the end with no problem. Again just common sense. 

    Minnie - I'm hoping everyone will do a full race report with ratios, times issues etc after their marathons so we can actually learn from our collective experience. I think it is particularly important if things go wrong, as they are the best learning experiences. Fingers crossed everyone will agree to this.


  • Hi everyone! Thought I'd gatecrash after watching on quietly for some time :0) I'm supposed to be running Brighton on April 6th but I got up to 14 miles in training before getting knocked down by flu image That cost me 3 weeks training, then I got a foot injury, then a snotty cold & now an awful cough that I can't shift.

    I was hoping to use RWR to get me through it, although I'm still coughing up gunk & have missed so much training that the 'defer' button is looking like the more likely option. I also have small children & work 5 days a week, so I think perhaps this is the wrong time in my life to attempt marathons!! No rest!

    Anyway, it's a very interesting thread & concept so I'll be looking forward to reading how you all get on in your various events! Good luck!
  • Hi

    Chris - yes, I'll definitely do a race report with ratios/times etc

    did my last long run today, always knew it would be tough today after last week's half etc and just general tiredness, but got up early and set out at 5 with the aim of covering 20 miles even if I walked the majority of it. Walked the first mile, then did 20/40, doing loops round town using my house as an aid station for toilet stops/refilling my water bottle! Walked about a mile in the middle and the last half mile home. averaged about 15 min miles, which isn't bad considering I really just wanted to stay in bed, and I did feel like I had walked great chunks of it. Didn't feel as great as the 18 miler 2 weeks ago, but this is because of the general fatigue I have I think!

    bookie - if you get chance, then try out running with the short run/walk ratios and see how you get on, I have definitely found it has helped me, and to be honest is no slower than if I ran the whole way

  • Hi all.  Sorry for falling off the radar, but I am still here - I just forgot about this thread!!

    After I was last on here I managed to pick up a knee injury - physio thinks it's a torn meniscus.  However, after a bit of rest, and with special magic kinesio tape in place, I can still run - although very slowly.  A week ago yesterday I did 17 miles of mostly 30/30, in 4:08.  My last long run is planned for Monday.  I want to do at least 18 miles, 20 if I can, but I don't want to spend more than 4 1/2 hours out there!!

    I mostly do 30/30, but when I've had niggles from my injuries, I slow down or walk more.  So far, that has always enabled me to keep going.

    Only two weeks to go - eek!!

  • happy to do a race report.  The main problem I fear will be my brain may not remember everything that has gone on-it may try to protect meimage!  Seriously will be happy to scribe some jottings down.

  • I ran 5 miles on Friday. Unfortunately my Garmin was chaotic from when I had last used it and wasn't set as I had thought. Anyway I did 4/1, with a few 2/30 and a few ad hoc very short ratios. My knee hurt and also a niggle on right calf. So all in all not an enjoyable relaxed run.

    Today I ran a 10k race in 59.55. Overall I ran most of it other than a walk up a long steep hill. Didn't do run / walk today.

    i will try some shorter ratios over the next week or so and feedback.

    i agree Marathon Minnie.....many thanks to all those who have given their advice, knowledge and shared their experiences.

    i am very happy to share my stats after London and report how it felt.

    its getting close now. Exciting and frightening. 



    The Stressed Ramblings of a Panic Stricken London Marathon Newby

    Great that everyone is willing to do a race report after London.

    I did an excruciating 26 miles on Saturday. I knew before I got to the end of the street that it wasn't going to be a happy run. I think having done a 20 miler followed by a 13 mile race (Blackpool Half), then a 16, 24 and 26 miler over the last 8 weeks has wiped me out. My training over the next 2 weeks needs to be v low mileage withs of sleep I think; and perhaps some good healthy eating, if I can find the time and energy to do it.

    26 mile run on Saturday:

    I was tired from the start and even more tired as I struggled back on the return leg. I suppose it was good mental training, as I still completed the run. My left leg started to tighten up again at around 21-22 miles and I had to walk it out. I have tightened up later on each successive run so I suppose that is good (at 10 mile on the 16 mile run; 17-18 on the 24 mile run and now 21-22), so maybe if it recovers enough I will make it to the end of the race in one piece. Who knows?!?!

    I was on my last legs when I got home, despite the conservative ratio (20/30). To be honest, I think it was just the sheer length of time on my feet. I had to stretch and massage out my left calf and foot before my cold bath as they kept threatening to cramp up.

    However, there is a good end to this tale, because after a night's sleep and probably more importantly fuelling up, I pretty much felt back to normal. And 2 days later, I have a bit of tightness around the place and my left calf was stiff as I started out to walk to the shop (but eased off after about 100 yards), but nothing worse than that. I do need to rest big time now though so I can do a good effort on the day.


    Analysis of Long runs and ratios

    My runs up to and including 20 miles were done in 13:30 m/mi or less.

    Long run average pace and ratios:

    20 mile run was in 13:13m/mi in 30/30

    13.1 miles half marathon in v windy conditions was done in 11:43m/mi in 60/30

    16 mile run (5 days after half marathon in 13:34 m/mi in 30/30 (but within this I walked last mile at 18:47 pace)

    24 mile run, deliberately slow in 14:20m/mi (but with an additional 6 min loo break not included) in 20/40

    26 mile run (25.82 miles to be precise) in 14:12m/mi at 20/30 (by accident, as meant to set timer at 20/40). This mile rate included a 4-5 min stop at a shop to refill water bottle.

    Both the 24 and 26 mile runs were done deliberately slow (on JG's orders) because there was only 1 clear weekend between them instead of the recommended 2 weekends. However, this now means I’m not sure what I’m capable of, as I’m tired and there is again only one clear weekend between now and the race.

    Then there is the crowd factor, how much will that get me through, and would it make me any quicker?

    I still haven’t a clue as to what to aim for on 13th April. I wish I had a magic wand or crystal ball or something. All I know is I can definitely run/walk 26 miles with a 1200ft climb in around 6hrs 10mins, using a negative ratio How much I can shave off that by changing my ratios, resting etc, heaven only knows.

    So what pace will give what time:-

    13:44 m/mi = 6hrs (my line in the sand time, over that and I’ll probably cry. And that I may have to do yet)

    13:10 m/mi = 5hrs 45mins

    12:35 m/mi = 5hrs 30mins (my dream goal for a first marathon)

    I await instructions from JG when he gets back from Rome mid week.

    Good luck everyone, I hope you are all okay after your last long run.


  • well done Chris. 

    I too am feeling fine, I didn't do any exercise with my legs yesterday but did my normal swim session and was fine - no real fatigue or anything which was good, and no real niggles

    I am planning to do my marathon slowly, as I am not doing London, but a much smaller one, there won't be the crowd factor for me. I think you will need to be careful you don't get carried away, particularly at the start. It is easy to get swept along with the crowd and suddenly find you are doing 9 min miles and regretting it later on!

  • Well, folks, I'm happy to say that I got my 18 miles in - 18.2 to be precise, and it took me 4:40 to do it.  There was some extra walking, though - I used my gym as a base, so walked up to deposit my stuff there and that was part of my 18, plus I had about 15 minutes of walking through a wood when I unwisely went to explore a path I didn't know, which quickly deteriorated into one that wasn't runnable.


    With those factors, plus the fact that it was a hillier area than I've been using for my more recent long runs (to try to emulate London, as well as it being easier on the injuries to stay on the flat), I was slower than before, averaging 15:28 m/mi, as against 14:37 on my 17 miler 10 days ago.

    After the last one, I was thinking in terms of 6:30 as my predicted (NOT target) finish time.  Another runner I know who completed London 2 years ago told me that if I had a chance to dip under 6 hours, I should take it.  It is tempting.... when I started training, I was looking at running continuously other than at water stations, and based on my then long run pace, was estimating around 5:30. The injuries have forced me to do less mileage overall than originally planned, and have also prevented me from doing as many long runs - I should have done one of 18 plus 2 of 20, but instead I've only done the 1 of 18.

    So, much as I would like to pull a rabbit out of the hat and do a faster time than predicted, I know in my heart of hearts it is not sensible to aim for it.  If I try, I will make it harder than I need to.

    After four and a half hours, when my Garmin beeped, I was still breaking into a run.  I didn't do it with quite so much eagerness as I had done in the first hour, but I did it.  I was not in pain, although I was tired.  Later in the day, after sitting for a while I had a certain amount of stiffness that quickly eased when I moved around.  Ditto today - I don't feel like someone who ran 18 miles yesterday "ought" to feel!!!

    So, slow and steady, sticking to 30/30, it is for me.  I wore calf guards for the first time yesterday and they do seem to help.  I had no trouble from my injured knee. Mind you, I had a bit of a go with a Massage Stick yesterday evening, and that was rather painful!!

    Good luck, everyone - keep the faith, keep those intervals short, take them right from the start.  If you get to mile 20 and you're as fresh as a daisy, you can always reduce the walk breaks - JG says so image

  • Well done Barbara. I am waiting for Jeff to pronounce on what he thinks I can do. I'm pretty sure I could dip below 6hrs, but need to be careful I don't try too hard and end up blowing up and ending up with a worse time than on my training run. I could do with someone who has done one before talking me through it. If it was a half marathon I know that I usually knock about 2 mins a mile off my slow training time, but 26.2 miles is not just twice 13.1, effort-wise.

    Oh well, what will be will be.

    Good luck to us all!!!


  • Just want to send you all my good luck wishes for your marathons, your training has been a total inspiration and I am really looking forward to reading all your race reports.

  • ChrissiChrissi ✭✭✭

    This tapering lark is pants better be worth it on Sunday.

    Chris - you should naturally run a little faster than in training with the adrenaline and crowds etc.  Just watch you don't give in to temptation to speed off at the start when everyone else does stick to your plan and by the last few miles it will be you passing people.

  • Well done Chris and Barbara on your long runs. Chris you are amazing doing all those miles. Do hope it pays off. At least you know you can do it, whereas I've only done 17 miles. Just hope JG has got it right and you are not too fatigued.


  • My iPad was playing up so only sent half a message. 

    I've been using kinesio tape Barbara and really believe it helps although this isn't proven. Think I will be sporting purple at VMLM. Trying 3NS as my other box has run out

  • Struggling to write a long coherent message on here tonight.....

    so will make it short and brief now.

    good luck with the tapering over the next 12 days. 

  • Chrissi, LMA - My body feels great, which is quite amazing. I went to see my chiropractor tonight (going weekly as part of prep for London). He says that the shift in my training regime i.e. to R/W has made an amazing difference to my body's ability to adapt to the training load. He is very impressed.

    When I think about it I was constantly breaking down when my long runs reached about 8 miles. Since the beginning of January I have run a 13.5, 16.5, 20, 13.1 race, 16, 24 and this week a 26 miler. Whatever I do in London, that has got to count as a brilliant improvement in capability.

    I am just trying to psyche myself up to accept a really slow time in London, knowing that I will be able to do others in the future at a faster pace. It will be hard to not go all out and blow up. Blowing up is not an option!!! From what I have done, I know that I should be able to  duck under 6hrs now and get a '5' in the hours column and that is all I am going to aim for. That and not being injured in the process of course.


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