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

Hi all

I have managed to get a club place in the London Marathon 2014. I am very slow as I have quite recently come back from a 2 year injury and am also 60 years old. I am using the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run in my training (especially long runs). It seems to suit me really well and my legs feel better than they have in years. I have every hope of successfully completing the race this time. 

I ordered a couple of Jeff Galloway's books from Amazon. The Run-Walk-Run Method (which I am finding v useful) and also Marathon:You Can Do It! I have only been able to get the Kindle version of this at the moment so it may be out of print. I am finding this v useful but I really would like the book version. Has anyone got a copy they would be willing to sell?


Also is there anyone else out there planning to use this approach Or similar. It would be good to have some buddies to share experiences with on the run up to the big day.




  • Hey Chris

    I've just applied for a last minute charity place and if I get in I may consider this approach.  I've already signed up for the Brighton Marathon which is the week before but really want to do London as well!  So with just a very short time to recover as much as possible I may well end up walk-running London just for the fun/experience.  I did the walk-run this year doing 2 marathons 3 weeks apart (London then Prague) and worked quite well.  I think I lost discipline with it though as from the start I felt silly walking so just ran til about mile ten, and then later on I was struggling and the walking times became longer and longer (more like walk, walk, jog, walk walk!).  I gues this was because I hadn't really trained with his method - I'd trained to do London then just wanted to finish Prague and someone suggested this approach.  It got me round though in a modest but reasonable time and would certainly consider it again.

    Good luck with your training image

    Thanks for the links - I'll check them out.

  • This is really interesting - I am going to do the run/walk strategy. I struggle with motivation and sometimes it what gets me out the door. Plus I seem to be able to do the mileage more quickly. It would be useful to have this thread to share stories. Aizxana, I totally get that. I did something similar in a half marathon as didnt want to stop running at the beginning. I suppose its a matter of holding your nerve image

  • All those I have read about on various forums seem to have panicked about walking early in their first marathon using this method. Pretty much all who chickened out out ended up crashing and burning later in the race. Those who then did a later marathon using the proper strategy all said they enjoyed it, got a better time and recovered quickly. Sounds good to me. Perhaps you just need to hang back with the fu runners to cross the line and then work your way up the ranks as you go along. You would still have the same potential for a good chip time and wouldn't get in the way during the early miles. It is a bit scary though. 

    Wow Aizxana, doing 2 so near together is really something else, very impressive. How did you do?


  • its used quite a lot by triathletes who need to run a marathon at the end of an ironman,.........and a number do marathons using this method as well to practice.......It seems to work well as long as you don't chicken out and wait until you are knackered to you will do your walk and run sessions much slower

  • Seems to be the biggest tip - hold strong and take the walk breaks, even if its at the beginning. I am a really slow runner  . .am one of those fun runners  , , so just getting round will be my strategy image. Excited though because it has already increased the mileage I can do and really got rid of that 'worry' I get sometimes (though never completely gets rid of that)

  • WD60WD60 ✭✭✭

    About five years ago I was doing a marathon where the man himself was leading a group with run 1 min walk I minute and finished in his planned 5 hours. Unfortunately I dropped back but improved my PB by 30 mins.  So it does work. 

  • All this is definitely raising my confidence. Perhaps we should try and follow the full programme and see what happens. I certainly did a very comfortable 9 miles last week. Due to do 11 next week and then 13 in the new year. There is a lot of info in the books that I could do with really unpicking. I have no idea what to expect in the race itself, anywhere between 5hrs and 6.5hrs as it stands now. the honest side of my brain says an awful 6.5, but I'd love to be able to aim for 5 or 5.5 following prioritising this above work a bit ie training like it really matters to me. Is that what athletes do? Now that is an exciting thought. Go girl, go!!! I wish


  • Was that The Big Sur or Disney WD?


  • Don't be afraid of walking from the beginning it will make a huge difference later.  My first Snowdonia marathon was a DNF.  I ran 0.7 miles walked 0.3 for all my long runs in the lead up to 2012, on the day i started with a 2 minute ish walk at every mile marker until the top of the first hill, ran all the downhill then and picked up the intervals again until major hill 2 then i ran walked till the last hill which was a powerwalk because of the gradient but because i wasn't wiped out i was overtaking people despite walking (some weren't best pleased either) anyway at the top i was able to run the last couple of miles down to the finish easily and finish at 5hrs 36 in one piece and beaming from ear to ear.

    What i'm trying to get at as a slower runner this approach made the training doable rather than completely exhausting and race day enjoyable which for me is more inportant than a certain time x

  • Inspirational story - thanks Chrissi for sharing. I am in the same minset Jangok. Chrissi, I think that it takes even greater courage to run/walk at an event like Snowdonia whereas at the VLM, I am banking on lots of charity runners etc. Brilliant run by the way and excellent time on a truly challenging marathon image 

  • I'm interested in this too - I'm running VLM in April, having only started running in April last year.  I got the RWR book last summer, read it, but got seduced into continuous running, most of the time.  I have been taking walk breaks on my long runs, but only the odd minute here and there, not to a schedule.

    I was doing pretty well and had built my long run up to 13 miles, though I am very slow and that took me over 3 hours.  Then I had a planned easy week, followed by a week where I hardly ran owing to a combination of work pressure and a stinking cold... and then I picked up a calf strain on the Saturday before Christmas, while doing parkrun.  I wasn't running hard at all, so I can only put it down to the buildup in training load over the preceeding months, and being older (I turn 50 TODAY!!!)

    Fortunately my calf strain was mild, and after a few days rest I resumed walking (3 miles on Christmas Day), then tried some tentative jog-breaks on Sunday and Monday.  But today, for my first 'proper' run, I went back to Galloway.  An hour of 1 min run, 1 min walk, and my calf is absolutely fine.

    I think this is the way forward for me, certainly for long runs, and possibly for some shorter ones as well.  I've just bought the Marathon: You Can Do It book on Kindle, and at the moment I am balking at two things: 1) only doing 2 30 minute runs during the week; 2) doing a long run of 26 miles, 3 weeks before the marathon.  I *want* to do more than the former, because I actually really enjoy running... and I don't know how I would find the time to do the latter!

  • I follow Jeff G on Twitter - Ive been interested (but not adoted yet) his approach after he zipped past me at the Disney Marathon last year. 

    He recently Tweeted that he'd achieved his Boston qualifying time using his RWR so have confidence in it - it does work. 

  • It's brilliant to hear of so many people considering using this method for their running. I have now signed up for e-coaching with Jeff Galloway. I am very excited by it as I have now run longer than I have ever done before,13.5miles last week. My legs felt fine and my mile pace was the same at the end, as it was at the beginning. Slow, but fine -  approx12:30, and more consistent than I have never done purely trying to sun it. And they felt great at the club on Tuesday. I bounced up the hills on our usual 5 mile run. For my long run he suggested using run 30secs:walk 30secs which sounded crazy, but boy did it work.

    He has also assigned me some speed work to do on Thursdays and on the alternate week to my long run. I have never done speed work before as whenever I have tried running fast or raced I have ended up injured. However, he wants me to do 5 x 800metres (half mile) segments with 3 minute walks in between. But even in the speed work he is saying WRW, suggesting 40secs:20secs or 30secs:15 secs or 60secs:30secs. He has asked me to try all these tomorrow and decide which works best for me. I've to try and do each segment in 5mins 40secs, just above my projected half marathon pace. Can't wait to try it.

    Doing both the North West Half Marathon, Blackpool (Late Feb) as a paced training run for London.

    Do keep posting about how things go in your training everyone.


  • there is a pacer at london who does run/ walk.,I seem to remember he was aiming for 5:30 last year and got his group in on time image

  • just wondering whether it is worth buying one of the books? Do they give much more info than there is on his website? And if I were to get one, which would be best?

  • The website includes all you need to implement his programme: his reasoning as to why walk/run is so powerful, the Magic Mile to determine the best pace to train at, the ratios of run:walk at different paces, plus a training programme for first-time marathon runners.

    If you buy the books you will get all of this in more detail, plus more - in depth stuff about why run/walk/run works, anecdotes, additional training programmes and advice about other things such as clothing, detailed instructions for race day, nutrition etc.


    I've got two books - the Run Walk Run method and Marathon: You Can Do It.  If I only had to buy one of those two I would buy the second, because it contains all you need about the generalities of the method, plus more info specific to the marathon.  I can't comment on his other books.

    Seren Nos (Prynhawn da!), interesting about the pacer. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for details on the RW pacers, but it wasn't there the last time I checked.  5:30 would be about the ball park I would hope for, although in long runs at the moment I'm doing around 14 minute miles, which would point more towards 6 hours.

    Galloway does say you shouldn't aim for a time for your first marathon, but should start out at around the pace you've been doing your long runs.  You can always increase the pace (reduce the walk breaks?) in the last 6-8 miles, IF you feel strong enough.

  • I am so glad I found this thread, I am reading the Marathon book at the moment on my Kindle and finding it very interesting, I have ordered the Half Marathon book and I am intending to use it for my training. So far I have already run further than before and still  been able to walk the next day without aches and pains, it has given me as an older runner( I am 54) hope that I will be able to tackle the longer distances and stay injury free. Please keep posting your progress 

  • Just to stick my oar in. At VLM 2012 I had been injured during training so had planned to add walk breaks in just to make it to the end. I did it very informally though - at every mile marker I walked for a minute or so.

    I started right at the back, because I knew I would be slow, and as we walked towards the start line (which takes a long time!!!) I was waiting to cross the line to start running. I was surprised to see a number of people cross the start line walking, and then just carry on walking. I don't know if they were planning on walking the whole thing, but you certainly won't be alone if you walk from the start!

    Another book I really recommend for a first time marathoner is "The non-runner's marathon Trainer" by Whitsett, Dolgener & Kole   (link to it on Amazon). Much talk in there about if you decide to do a run - Walk method, then do it & be proud! Walk with your head held high!!! (Its quite American but really helped me)

    Most of all - best of luck to all of youimage


  • thanks for the book recommendations. Think I will stick with the info on the website for now!

  • I've got the Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer - it's brilliant!! I'm not following their physical training programme - it is 16 weeks, and I had much longer than that so have built up much more gradually - but the mental/psychological aspects they talk about are wonderful.


    Running a marathon is about so much more than running!

  • Read back my posting and realised it wasn't terribly coherent! Yes Barbara, I didn't follow their suggested plan either, but just read it as I followed my own training. 

    Hope everyone's training is going well!

  • I doubt The walk run approach would be effective enough in trying to run a decent marathon time under 3 and a half hours. I am surprised there are walk/run plan for marathons between 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours that require fast running, high volume and medium to high intensity to build and maintain a high aerobic fitness to run a good marathon time.

    The Walk/run strategy would work well for runners running marathon times between 4 to 6 hours who are walking/jogging and enjoying the experience. The level of terrain would have to be taken into calculation. A tough trail marathon with steep inclines will force even the top flat and undulating course marathon runners to walk up steep inclines to conserve energy for the flat, undulating and downhill descents.

  • Jeff Galloway disagrees:

    "I’ve heard from over 100 runners who’ve broken 3 hours in the marathon for the first time after inserting a walk break every mile."

    Galloway, Jeff (2011-01-04). Marathon: You Can Do It! (Kindle Locations 985-986). Shelter Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  • I have read the non-runners marathon book too. It has some good stuff in it. Still think Jeff Galloway is more structured and it def works.

    Update since last posting:-

    Did my "speed work" last Sunday as discussed in previous posting. I did 6 x 800 but on the road, practically flat, but not quite. I was supposed to do them in 5:40 (11:20m/m). As I've never done this before I decided to run these 1st ones in a time I found comfortable and see what I actually run at and then take other weeks' sessions from there. 

    Jeff asked me to explore different R/W ratios to decide what was best for me. It is still all a bit exploratory with being so new to it. I was to try 60/30, 30/15, 40/20. 3 mins walk between.

    Here are the results:-

    60/30.   10:19 m/m

    30/15   10:02 (this pace was a bit too fast to do 6 times without discomfort - my main aim till fit again)

    30:15.   10:34

    40/20.    10:37

    40/20.    10:31

    60/30.    10:25

    Felt I could have done a couple or three more Comfortably

    Averages for what they are worth:

    60/30    10:23m/m

    30/15     10:18 (see pacing issue above)

    40/20      10:34

    No idea what all this means really but enjoyed doing it and legs are still fine which is amazing when compared with training over last 4 yrs. only got to the starting line curtesy of more cross-training than running most yrs. 

    Due to do 16 miles tomorrow ratio 30/30. Pace is supposed to be 13:30 but I consistently did 12:30 when I did 13.5 miles. All very interesting, an experiment of one!

    I have been following the log of a Jeff Galloway Runner. It's called "A Dr Mom Runs to Disney". She is a back of the pack runner but I have enjoyed tracking her fitness journey. She has been logging since 2011.

    keep up the contact folks, I'll need it as the miles ratchet it up. Will let you know how the legs are after tomorrow.

    scarily excited


  • Chris - I don't understand your ratios - what is 60/30, 30/30 etc? 

  • 60 secs run/30secs walk ratio. Sorryf should have explained. All other ratios are seconds too

  • thanks Chris - I thought that was what it was. 30/30 must feel weird.

    I did 8 miles today at 2 mins run 90 secs walk image furthest I have done for ages so very pleased

  • Well done Mathschick. I always feel I'm a runner again when I get back up to 8 milers.

    I dare you to try 60/45 secs next time. It is just a different version of what you are doing but I bet you find you and your legs feel even better and you may actually go a bit quicker too. I do 30/30 because Jeff suggested it as I am building up to London. I did my very first ever 16 miler yesterday and felt fit enough to go out for a recovery 3 miles with my husband this morning. I would never in a million years have been able to do that using the old "run till you drop" approach. Oh and my pace was a bit faster than when I did my 13 miler a couple of weeks ago. Incredible. Finding the Galloway approach has been like a "Road to Damascus" experience for me. I feel I have been given my hobby back.

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