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



  • Chris - I will try that next Sunday when I go for a long one. Actually, could try it during the week too 

  • Jeff's book and website have a guide for walk/run ratios based on your pace... and a guide for your pace based on your Magic Mile.

    Now I haven't actually done a Magic Mile as I'm recovering from a calf strain and don't want to stress it. But I'm using my fastest recorded mile of 9:27, taken form my parkrun PB.  That gives me a suggested training pace of 14:17 and marathon pace of 12:17... except he says that, for your first marathon, start at your long run training pace and keep that up, speeding up towards the end if you feel OK!!

    For a 14:17 pace, the suggested ratio is 30/30.  I can't bring myself to do that, I have been doing 60/60, and it got me round 13.25 miles last Monday and 9 miles this morning with minimal stiffness (I'm following Jeff's suggestion of only doing a really long run every other week in the later stages).  Next week I'm down for 14 miles.  For the last half hour of my long runs, I just run/walk as I feel, which tends to mean longer run segments.

    Chris - if you're following Jeff's programme properly, how do you feel about the 23 and 26 mile runs he has in there?  I honestly don't think I've got enough time....

  • By the way, my pace for 9 miles this morning was 14:12, and last week's 13.25 it was 13:54.  It's hilly round here, and some of that was across fields and on boggy tracks, so I'm hoping I'll be able to do London no slower than that, even though it's twice the distance image

  • Some good running going on here and very inspirational, I am reading the half marathon book and finding it really good, I did my long run yesterday of 5.5 miles doing 2:1 I could not of gone so far without the breaks. It feels quite exciting.

    But I have to ask you guys do you still feel like you are sort of cheating? I am a little concerned that if I keep breaking up the running with walk breaks that I will never be able to run for more than 30 minutes non-stop I am not even sure if that matters? what are your thoughts

  • Hi Barbara

    I think the long, long runs will give me confidence on the day in London. I felt great after my 16.5 on Saturday, although you would have laughed at me in bed last night. Every time I started dropping off to sleep my legs twitched badly and woke me up. It took me ages to get to sleep. I think my poor body doesn't know what has hit it. Wait till it has to do 20 in 3 weeks. I am loving the challenge though as RWR will get me there I'm sure. If we both get to London we'll have to try and say hello, perhaps we should wear a carnation. Lol

  • Hi Mummysaurus. I agree it does feel really quite exciting, especially having you lot to share the fun with. 

    I no longer feel like it is cheating at all. My son in law is an ultra-runner and he RWR all the time, apparently that is what they do. If it is good enough for a very fit 36 year old then it's good enough for me. When we are getting fitter and fitter because of lack of injury and consistent training and others are falling by the wayside, who will be smiling......US! Yeh! 

    Runners have qualified for Boston using Jeff Galloway's approach and they really are athletes. The run sections get longer and the walks shorter as you get fitter and faster. All just makes sense to me. 

  • I know what Mummysaurus means about cheating, but I keep on telling myself it isn't really.  It's what I need to do to get up to marathon distance in the time available.  I was doing almost continuous running, e.g. I did 13 miles in early December, with only a few short walk breaks to take some food and cross main roads.  But I strained a calf muscle just before Christmas, not doing anything particularly strenuous, so it can only be the overall training load, building from nothing to 30miles a week in 9 months.

    RWR lets me carry on running!!  Galloway does say that the run breaks are optional during the mid-week runs.  I did parkrun (5K) non-stop on Saturday, that was the longest continuous run I'd done since hurting my calf.  I intend to work my mid-week runs (typically 4-6miles) back up to continuous running, but will maintain RWR for long runs.  And the marathon, obviously image

    What I'd suggest, mummysaurus, is that you stick with your 2:1 as you build up your long runs, but gradually increase the run segments on your shorter runs. If you can do 30 minutes at 5:1, you could probably do 20 minutes continuous without too much trouble.

    Chris - how long did your 16.5 take you?  I've pretty much decided I'm not going to attempt anything longer than 20 miles, and that will already take me 4.5 hours. I have a non-running husband (to whom I'd like to remain married!) and only one day off a week, so I squeeze my long run into Monday morning, and tell myself it's OK because I then work afternoon and evening.  Jeff's suggested 26 miles would take me over 6 hours, I reckon, as it's hilly round here (unlike London)

  • Thank you Barbara good advice, I only finished C25K in December so can run continuously for 30-40 mins if I have to image which just about gets me round 5k I am happy to use the RWR to get my long runs up to a point where I can do a half marathon, but I would also like to be able to run for 60 minutes continuously, I currently run 3 times a week one being my LSR using the RWR, one run is normally at the gym where I do 30-40 mins continuous and one run which is my training run with my son (B2B on the forum) where we normally go out for about 5k trails or hills stopping and starting when we feel like it, more of an educational run to improve my form and puddle splashing technique. So to increase my continuous running time I guess I will have to try and do this at the gym by just adding a couple of minutes each week something like the same way the C25k worked. Does that sound about right to you?  I find all the plotting and planning with this running lark can be quite time consuming all by itself image

  • I would never consider it are still covering the same distance on your own legs.....

    its finding the best way for you to do that to suit your body and lifestyle......

    the majority of ultra runners use this technique especially for hilly offroad runs......

    glad to see its working for you


  • Thanks seren nos, I know what you mean about ultra runners even the elites take a quick break at aid stations and a lot do a walk every 20 mins or so but I think for me maybe because I have only been running for six months I am finding it a bit mentally challenging to only run for two minutes then walk having just finished the C25K where you are being pushed all the time to run for longer and longer to become a runner, it all feels a little strange yet at the same time exciting to think that by following the RWR I can chalk up the miles that I could not run continuously so has made planning a half marathon something that I would not have considered possible to me at my age and experience.

  • I actually used the galloway method for the walt disney world marathon 2014 as I had seen runners using at the 2013 event where I ran the half and became interested in the idea. I have since found out that I can run the 1/2 marathon faster using this method than I can running throughout, although I haven't used it in a proper race as I wasn't sure if I liked the idea of not running it all. but I did use it in my first full marathon, and all my training, and I got round with ease and under the time limit I wanted to, infact when I got to 20 miles I was feeling good and ran the last 6.2 without walk breaks. but the funny thing is my miles splits where only about 5 secs faster than having the walk breaks. I chose a run 4 mins walk 1 min completed in 4hr 53 mins, and felt good and enjoyed the race throughout. and I am 54 and 15st so I am now convinced it is a good method for someone like me. I first thought it might be a bit of a cheat but not any more I am sure some of those who profess to run all the way seem to be very slow jogging and I was passing them walking. So everything is now valid to me. Main thing, go do it and enjoy, however you choose.Its a massive achievement. Little tip I would give is when you get a run walk time you like , get a little app that sounds when time is up, so you are not looking at your watch all the time, really helps

  • Well I spoke too soon when I said my calf was fine - it broke down again yesterday when I was just over 1 mile into my run... but it was a continuous run, not a RWR. I used RWR for my recent long runs (9 miles this week, 13 miles the previous week) but wanted to get back to continuous running on the shorter runs, and now I have paid the price. image

    Anyhow.... once I am ready to start running again - which will be a couple of weeks, I guess - I am just going to stick rigidly to RWR.  With only 11 weeks to go till the marathon, anything else is too risky.

    I am going to see a physio next week and see if he can identify an underlying weakness... and tell me what to do about it.

  • Oh, and forgot to say - I got a new Garmin Forerunner 620 for my birthday, and it has a Walk Run timer built in, it both vibrates and beeps.  You can set the walk and run intervals in multiples of 15 seconds.

  • Hi Barbara

    Oh no, how's the calf nowI am terrified of doing something that injures me pre London?

    my 16.5 took me 3hrs36mins with a toilet stop. V slow, but after a v cold bath I felt fine. I live in Huddersfield on the edge of the Pennines so v hilly. I am hoping that these will help me develop some leg length that might translate to a bit of extra speed (not that I had any speed in the first place) when I do London. 

    What do you lot think to Jeff's latest news:- qualifying for Boston using 30/15 and then 20/10 when he got tired. If that isn't proof of the pudding, I'm not sure what is. 

  • Hi Killyken

    your analysis of your marathon run is really interesting, especially the fact that the continuous running was barely any faster than with walk looks like everyone is coming to the same conclusion about RWR.... It works

    Hi Barabara

    I have a Garmin 610 and am itching to upgrade to a 620 but not really are why it is better as I can do intervals on my 610. Let us know how you go on with your new toy.

  • Hi Chris

    it certainly works, I run quite a bit in the states and it seems to be a popular method over there and they are not shy about it using it. Now I have used the method in race conditions, I am convinced I can keep on improving as I now know what i am capable of. Also the fact that I haven't had any real running injuries while I have converted to this, is a big plus as well. to me the real key was when I hit upon the ratio that worked for me. All the ratios I tried where fine, but when I tried the 4mins run 1 min walk for some reason I can't explain, it just felt right. Make sure you discipline yourself to start slow and don't worry about others around you, its your race. looking forward to seeing how you get on

  • Chris,

    My calf isn't really painful - just minor discomfort some of the time when I walk, more of a pulling sensation than actual pain.  But I'm not running, stretching it, or doing anything that would stress the affected muscle at all.

    As for the Garmin 620 - I wouldn't recommend anyone upgrade just for the walk/run timer! You can get special RWR timers if that's all you need, for very little money. I've been using a 410 until now, which has interval workouts.  The 620 is better for RWR though - you set the intervals and it just keeps repeating forever, whereas on the 410, you tell it how many repeats you want.  The alarm is also louder, and with the vibrate as well is hard to miss.

     What attracted me to the 620 was 1) the touch screen rather than touch bezel - it is a lot easier; 2) the running dynamic, which gives you cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time - guides to better form, I guess.  It also gives you an estimate of VO2 Max and race time predictions from that, as well as a metric of Training Effect - basically how much good your workout did you, and how long it will be before you are ready for another hard effort.

    What I've noticed so far is that when I increase my cadence slightly, my VO decreases, i.e. I don't bob up and down so much.  This is considered to be A Good Thing, because your running is more efficient - more of your energy goes into propelling you forward.  A bit early to say if it will make any difference, though!

    I just need to wait out the time before I can begin to run again.  Next week I'll start with some walking, then introduce some cross-training, and when I start running again it will be RWR like glue. Jeff suggests that when coming back from injury you do like 5 seconds run, 55 seconds walk.

    Oh, on the 620 again - it was a birthday present (on my list) - but I don't think I would have spent that much of my own money on it.


  • Hi Barbara

    Interesting about the interaction between cadence and VO. Do you use the heart monitor? I have been dithering about whether to or not.

    Absolutely shattered tonight. I told my staff today that I am retiring either in August or April (if they can replace me). Despite now wanting to go (61 in July), I felt very sad and I think doing it has drained me emotionally. Should really go out for my run but going out for tea to cheer myself up. Is that bad? Don't answer, because I know I will be cross with myself later.

    I have to admit though I can't wait to have all the time in the world to do my training And see how fit I could really be. Would love to be able to go off and do all the big city marathons one after the other. 

    Hi Killyken, that was really sound advice. How long have you been doing RWR? Interesting what you said about people in the states using this approach more. Do you work over there? I've never been.

  • Killyken, that's really interesting I am so glad you posted its great to hear from those that have used this method in actual events.

    Barbara, hope the calf feels better soon, I seem to be spending more time using calf compression things or foam roller on mine, think I am still just getting use to running in sandals image

    Chris, i think Jeff's news is really inspiring Boston is a good challenge so if he can manage that with RWR then it can give us all hope. I so wish I was retiring, I am sure you will get so much more running done how splendid will that be image

    Well thanks to RWR I increased my distance to 6.74 miles on Thursday night, so chuffed to of conquered the 10k mark. this week is my cut back week so may only go to the gym and do a continuous run just to see how far I can get in 30 or 40 mins 

    Happy running everyone

  • Chris - yes, I use the HRM - the special one for the 620, as that also gives you the extra running dynamics (cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time).  Although you can get cadence without the strap, as there is an accelerometer in the watch itself.

    I heard from my Physio this afternoon - have an appointment for Thursday, he says he can do some ultrasound, but the main thing will be to see how much damage there is, and then he can advise on stretches, workload etc.

  • Hi Chris

    Go over 3 or 4 times a year for business and pleasure, and we always go for the disney marathon weekend in january which is fun, so come into contact and talk to a lot of runners in the US. Infact it was at the Disney marathon a couple of years ago i first heard of the method, and spoke to some runners who used it at the hotel. I can pretty much say all my runs over 13.1 are know done RWR and always feel good afterwards. even do a lot of 6 to 8 mile runs this way as I am convinced it helps stay injury free. I am go to try it in my next half marathon and see what time I can do

  • Just thought I'd pop in and update you all about the physio.

    He treated my leg by kneading the scar tissue at the location of the strain (oww!!!!) and also ultrasounding it.  I have to get my OH to knead it for 5 minutes each day for the next 5 days - to break down the "knot".  Then frequent stretching so that it heals with the fibres properly aligned, strength exercises, and plenty of crosstraining.

    I go back next Wednesday for another session, and all being well I can then try a run.  He wants me to be able to do 50 hops on the affected leg without stopping - I did 30 today.  He agreed that RWR was a good thing to do as I transition back into running.

    I've had a look at JG's suggested protocol for coming back after injury.  Start with 10 mins walking, then 5/55 RWR for 3 minutes - 3 mins walk - 5/55 for 4 mins - 3 mins walk - 5/55 for 5 mins, then cool down.  On subsequent runs, increase the number of 5/55 segments until you are doing that for 30 minutes, then you can start to increase the R and decrease the W.

    I'm going to take it *really* gently, and stick with the treadmill (no matter how boring) until I'm up to 30 minutes of 60/60.  I will do extra training on the other gym machines, to give me the same overall training time that I would have had on my original plan.

    Then I'll be ready to go outside and start real running again... or rather, RWR image

  • good news Barbara

    I am going to experiment a bit on Sunday on a long run/walk with different ratios. I have done my midweek runs as pretty much continuous runs which was nice to be able to do

  • ok so this morning I tried 60 sec run/30 sec walk, the walk sections went really quickly. Managed the 10 miles I set out to do and maintained a constant pace throughoutimage it certainly wasn't easy but I would never have managed that distance without the walks. Think on my midweek longish run I will try 2/1 to see what difference it makes

  • Hi Killyken

    The Disney Marathon sounds really good fun from what I have read. I may add that to the "to do" list for when I retire.


    Fingers crossed about your injury getting sorted Barbara.

    Well done Mathschick. I agree this method really does enable you to cover more ground than continuous running. I have got to do 20 this weekend. I'm scared enough doing it using this method. I would be petrified if I was running how I used to do. I use RWR 30/30 on my long runs. JG says it reduces injury even more, and I'm all for that.

  • Hi Guys

    Had a fab run at the club last night. This RWR stuff is definitely doing me good and I'm even using it now to try out paced runs and speed intervals (at my level - which is slow).

    I was approached by the leader of the group above mine after the club run last night . He said that he thought I was in the wrong group as I was as fast as his runners now and should seriously consider moving up. (I had led our group and over taken some of his group during the run: they were a bit ahead of us and following the same route. I was so pleased. Who says RWR doesn't improve your fitness.

    I have never done track work before either, because of the fear that I might get injured, but JG has encouraged me to try it out using a modified RWR approach (15-25 secs walk at the end of each lap during 800s or mile reps, 3 mins recovery walk between reps). I have done 3 sessions over the last few weeks like this and I am still okay, and speeding up, which is brilliant.

    JG said in his coaching email to me that RWR is enabling me to try to make a major shift in brain control.  Before this program he felt I was letting my subconscious brain control my running -and just ran.  He said this was leading to me being susceptible to going too fast at the beginning of runs (true), and other times, which is an inefficient use of resources and could lead to injury (which it did)

    He says that his approach asks us to use our conscious brain to stay in control over pacing, over aches and pains, and over our motivation.  By having a plan we can override the subconscious brain, and take action to feel good on every run.  As we learn to trust the method and believe in it, we will lower the stress and activate positive brain circuits in the conscious brain.

    Sounds good to me, and actually so far, I have to agree with what he is saying.

    Then he explained how to sort pacing out, which I have found hard with having running and walking to contend with. I don’t know about you but I end up getting in a bit of a muddle. So in answer to my question about this he said:-

    “Pacing:  Don’t use current pace, use average pace (on Garmin).  If you are having trouble getting a sense of pace, run on a track and time yourself for every quarter lap, if needed.  As you look at your watch and make pace adjustments, you will get better pace judgment, week by week.

    Your MM (Magic Mile), because of the wind, etc, shows solid progress.  As you know, you went out too fast.  On the next one, shoot for 2:20 on the first one.  This means 1:10 at the half lap and even 35 seconds at the quarter lap.  Most of my e-coach clients who have monitored every quarter lap, on the first lap, have acquired pace judgment very well. “

    (As I’m nearly 61 and not yet fully fit, my MM was only 9:24 but an improvement on the previous 10:10 in the Christmas hols)

    He then suggested on my next mile attempt I should do the following to practise accurately pacing myself :  2:20, 2:20, 2:20, 2:17

    All good stuff. I am supposed to be doing The Great North West Half: Blackpool in just over 2 weeks and am scarily excited, as I really think I may make this one…..uninjured (shhh say it quietly).

  • chris - thanks for sharing the info from your emails! Really interesting. 

    Does 30/30 feel weird? I know 60/30 did, but in a way having the walk session short like that meant I wasn't dawdling when I was walking but my average pace was pretty good (I think about 13:30mins per mile - I am slow!), whereas when I have longer walk sessions the walk can end up being the kind of 'pottering around the countryside' type walk!

  • I agree with you mathschick. I think the shorter walk bits help keep the momentum going. You are doing the equivalent of 2/1 when doing 60/30. 30/30 is the equivalent of 1/1. 30/30 is what JG recommends for 13:13m/m pace, 2/1, or it's various equivalents is what is recommended for 11:45-12:45 m/m pace.

    It did feel a bit weird doing the 30/30 to start with, especially when I realised I was supposed to walk before I got off our front street!! That really did defy logic to start with. 

    I am doing around the same pace as you in my long training runs for the marathon, though and it has really worked well. I honestly am amazed at how my running is coming on in leaps and bounds with this method.

    My husband has had a go with RWR too, but has tried various ratios. However, he has not really stuck to the rules and has just tried constantly to see how fast he can go with it each time (he is obsessed with the maths of it all). Anyway, to cut a long story short, he has now hurt his leg. He has marched along, over-striding and then run like crazy (over-striding) in between. And then he wonders why....... LOL.

    However, as a mathematician (well he thinks he is, and he is quite good with numbers), he says the formula really works. He worked out what pace I was going at and then I went on the RW run walk calculator and they both matched up exactly.

    I am playing around with the calculator (just google it and put the minute ratio in the time boxes and it will calculate race times) to decide on how to approach the half marathon in two weeks. I desperately want to race it for a PB but don't want to wreck my legs so near to London. I may use it to test my pacing for the marathon. A bit scared about walk running from the start in front of a crowd of spectators, though!

  • you may get a PB anyway without racing it hard, just from the marathon training you have been doing

    when you do the 'magic mile' test do you run the whole way? Or should that be run/walk too? From the website I assumed that it would be continuous run

    I think I misinterpreted the table with the ratios on though, I was thinking that I use 2/1 because I can run 1 mile in less than 12 mins, but should I be looking at what the training pace should be and then using the ratio related to that pace? so  if the calculator says training pace should be 16 mins I use that ratio for my long run?

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