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



  • Wow. Done better than me. I did 3 yesterday and 5 today. Was going to do 10 but I have had an exhausting week and got the Blackpool Half next week so thought better of it in the end.

  • Great running weather tonight. Went to the club tonight and had a good 5 mile run. I am still amazed at how much I'm improving using JG's approach. I am now consistently the lead runner in our group and improving considerably on the hills (of which there are a lot in Huddersfield. I think the combination of long, slow run/walks and speed work (800s and mile reps) is Really affective. 

    It will be interesting to see how I do at Blackpool this weekend. Would be daft to hope for a PB but I don't think I will embararass myself too much. Hey, just making to the race will be a first in 3 years. Fingers crossed


  • good luck at Blackpool, making it to the start line is an accomplishment in itself! 

  • Good job Chris, I am really happy for you! Don't be to tense and enjoy. You know you can do it, so just visualise the run and the finish!!! Only a few more days to go now before the race.

  • (opens door, peers in)

    Hello chaps. I've been observing this Galloway lark and following RMax's comments decided to try it on my long run this morning. Fifteen miles done at 5 mins run 1 walk and it was a breeze. I had to keep throttling back on the running sections. Felt nowhere near as fatigued as on a run-only jaunt of this distance - shown by the fact that the first and last 3 miles on an out and back route were done at pretty much the same pace. And the aggregate time was about the same as it would usually be.

    I suspect that the reason is that I was properly running the 5-minute segments rather than shuffling/plodding the whole way round. The longest runs are the only ones I do at so slow a pace, kind of forcing myself to run slower than I usually would.

    I'm impressed, sufficiently to have just ordered the book.

    I don't think I'll use this for all my runs but for the longer distance (half marathon and beyond) I'm seriously interested.

    Was it on Galloway's page or in the publicly available excerpts from his book that I saw a recommendation after a long run to have something to eat and then take a nap? That's definitely my style!

  • Muttley: Glad you have found this thread useful. It is great to train without feeling totally wiped and risking injury.

    Max and Lainey: Thanks for the encouragement. Will try and practise visualisation. The weather is supposed to be wild on Sunday. Typical after these lovely few days.

    Question: Why do we runners over train so often despite us knowing it results in injury. I have come to believe that slightly under training (or perceived under training), gets you further in the long run because you don't get injured so much. It is sticking with that thought when running well. Thoughts all?

  • MrsFMrsF ✭✭✭

    Good luck, Chris!

    Muttley - I found the same as you! image I tried it on my longer run and really enjoyed it. I often dread the long runs, but it's far less daunting with this method, so I think I will use it for the distance ones.image

  • It is easy to overdo it, specially when you feel like you are on a roll and running well. And let's face it,, most of us run for enjoyment so we just want to do more of what makes us feel good. I think you are right in that if we did slightly less and didn't get injured it would be better in the long run


  • Although I found it "easier", it isn't an easy or short-cut option. I still covered 15 miles at a fair clip, and I'm feeling right now that I had a good workout this morn.  According to the Galloway magic mile calculation I should be doing 4 run and 1 walk and I might try that on my next long run.

    I'll definitely give this approach a good tryout. After all, my legs are more than half a century old and anything that helps extend their useful life is worth a go.

  • My danger time re injury seems to always be when I have been running a bit and am starting to improve. I think, unconscious, I start pushing myself more, be it with distance or speed, or even more dangerously both. I tell myself all sorts of things so I believe it is okay to do so. One of my main ones is that I am very slow, so even if I think I'm running fast, I'm not it can't possibly do any harm upping the pace a bit more blah, blah, blah. I'm hoping that I now have a plan in place to protect myself from myself a bit. If everything relates back to my Magic Mile, then in theory, following the plan should keep me within my body's limits, but enable me to also include some "me specific" speed work. I suppose it is training within a controlled environment.


  • Well done everyone there is some great running going on here

    Hi Muttley, hope you enjoy this method as much as the rest of us, it has certainly improved my long run (nowhere near as long as most on here) and my legs are over half a century old tooimage

    Good luck Chris for Sunday will be thinking of you, I also know what you mean about being your own worse enemy about pushing yourself, I keep trying to do too much too soon and I really must learn remember your phrase 'me specific' especially with speed work and not trying to do what everyone else is doing.


  • The book arrived yesterday ("Marathon, you can do it!", although I've done about 10 already). A lot of padding, which is to be expected, but a good kernel of info about and around the walk-run principle. I skimmed it last night but will study and digest in more detail.

  • Hope your enjoying the book Muttley................

    Chris - How did it go? I was out there running on Sunday in gusty winds and rain thinking about you at Blackpool

  • Hi all (Max you've already seen this)

    Re- yesterday's Great North West Half - Blackpool

    As predicted the wind was horrendous and got worse as the race progressed. It was a 2 loop race and by the return on the second loop we were running into a head wind of nearing 30 mph. I would have not coped without using R/W. On the last bit I passed a load of exhausted runners turned walkers during those last few miles.
    Anyway, I can't put off confessing how badly I did any longer. I missed my target of 2:29 by 4 big minutes. I was so disappointed until I realised that the overall winner came in 5 minutes slower than any winner from the previous three years. That made me feel much better. Having talked to other runners, everyone who had done it previously seemed to have done it between 4 and 6 minutes slower this year.

    I decided it was probably a brilliant strength training run and should be happy with it as that.

    Anyway, despite the slow time, I was 3rd in my category - FV60!!

    Sounds brilliant, I know, but there were actually only 6 of us in a race of 1300+ people! It was a shock to realise that there were so few of us. Where are all the fit and competitive older women? I feel like going around knocking on doors and telling every sixty-something woman to get off their backsides and run themselves fit before it is too late. Don't they realise 'you are as young or as old as you let your body be'.

    One thing I am thrilled at.....I have just completed my first race in three years and lived to tell the tale. Not an injury or worrying twinge in sight. Now that is really something to celebrate.




  • Congratulations Chris. A fantastic effort in what sounds like horrendous conditions.  And 2.33-i would love that time!  Well done!

  • Well done Chris! Don't underestimate the influence of wind !! It is my biggest enemy as well. Congrats and now onwards to Londonimage You can do it 

  • Thanks guys, your support really helps. Out for a 5 miler this afternoon. R/W of course


  • Chris - that is fantastic!!! Really good time in bad conditions. 3rd in category is brill too image


  • Well done Chris, that's a great time and extra congratulations on the 3rd place.

    Can I be rude and ask did you stick to R/W right from the start and did you stick to the same ratio for the whole thing? and if so what was that ratio? sorry so many questions but this method is so exciting it's making me so hopeful that I can tackle the longer distances and still continue a normal life after the finish line without injury


    Re Great North West Half in Blackpool

    This the report I sent to JG. Not had a reply yet but thought you might like to see what I put.

    As predicted the wind was horrendous and got worse as the race progressed. It was a 2 loop race and by the return on the second loop we were running into a head wind of nearing 30 mph with even stronger gusts. I would have not  coped without using R/W. I passed a load of exhausted walkers during those last miles. My face was very wind burnt and blotchy and I think there was more sand in my eyes than was left on the beach below, but I still felt good at the end

    Chip time: 2:33:02

    Data per mile
    1    10:47               10     12:41
    2    10:26               11     13:54
    3    10:47               12     13:39
    4    11:58               13     11:41
    5    12:22                 .1     11:30
    6    12:20
    7    10:54
    8    10:30
    9    10:27
    You can spot which miles were into the wind by the sudden change in pace 4,5,6 and 10,11,12. And look at the second set of return miles, it really was like running into a brick wall by then. Despite that, my R/W strategy had left me with enough endurance to keep going, all be it very slowly, and pass lots of people who had collapsed into a shuffling walk.
     (Miles 7 and 13 had some of both directions in them as they were on the turns)
    Anyway, despite the slow time, I was 3rd in my category FV60!!

    Sounds brilliant, I know, but there were actually only 6 of us in a race of 1350+ people! It was a shock to realise that there were so few older women. Are there really so few fit and competitive women in their 60s? Under good weather conditions this race has a potential for a PB so it attracts mainly club runners, with low numbers over 50 year old. My daughter was 4th lady in this race in 2012 with a time of 1:29!(I was very proud of her)

    To be honest, on reflection, I was probably spot on with my original forecast of 2:29 or slightly faster, if you take out the wind factor.

    I was fine with using the ratio 60/30 from the very start and had done the out miles deliberately slightly faster than the 11.22 pace I was aiming for, thinking I would lose a bit of time on the return sections when I turned into the wind. I massively underestimated the force of the wind and then couldn’t make the time back. I lost sight of the Runner’s World Pacer on the last return. I reduced the segments I R/W on the last return. At a guess probably to about 30/20 in order to keep going.

    It was an interesting experience and although I missed my target pace, I did enjoy it and recovered very quickly. We stayed in the hotel another night and had a lovelymeal and bottle of wine to celebrate.

    Onwards and upwards to London!

    Physical Issues

    Aches and Pains?

    No worries at all. I had a bit of tightness in the top of my left hamstring and also a bit in my lower back/right hip. I had a v cold bath as soon as I got back to the hotel, put my compression socks on and was fine enough to use the 4 flights of stairs, rather than the lift, during the rest of our stay in the hotel.

    I did a recovery 4 miles yesterday (Tuesday) and felt fine. I couldn’t really tell I had raced (although I ran very conservatively).

    I saw my chiropractor, last night. He was very happy with me. He did some massage and trigger point work (especially in my upper back), said he could tell I had had to work hard in the wind, but pronounced me fit and able to do the 23 miler assigned for the end of the week. He suggested that I take it very gently though, with it being so soon after racing.


    Well…….this is the first race I have been fit to even attempt in 3 years and the first half marathon I have ever successfully finished in a fit enough state to walk up, and down,  4 flights of stairs, without doing it backwards. And as for being able to contemplate attempting a 23 mile training run after a short week’s recovery………as I’ve never done 23 miles in my life before, then I would say that shows a massive improvement.

    Mentally, I also felt stronger, this time. I grit my teeth and walked from the start. It felt a bit awkward the first couple of times but then I was fine. I also had confidence in my body being able to complete the distance, despite the horrendous wind blowing straight off the sea. I also had a sneaky smile to myself as I passed people who were throwing up at the side and/or barely able to walk in the final 3 miles (sorry, I know that sounds mean, but I was thinking that in the past I may have been one of them).

    You will love this bit, too. The woman who was giving out the medals (I do love getting a medal) looked at me, jaw dropped in amazement, and blurted out, “How on earth have you managed to finish in that time, I saw you walking almost before you left the start?” I said it was my race strategy. She just looked bemused. I saw her later in the hotel and explained about your RW approach. She still looked sceptical: I just smiled and wandered off, leaving her scratching her head in confusion.

  • Hope the above makes sense Mummysaurus. Feel free to ask anything. Yes, I do believe it really woks. So go for it

    C x

  • great report Chris, love the last paragraph too image

  • How fantastic Chris a brilliant report, I am now even more hopeful that I will be able to achieve my running goals 

  • For some random reason, I decided to look at the original posts on this thread and now wonder how the others who contributed early on are doing.

    So if you are still lurking let us all know how you are doing:-


    Envious Plodder (love the name)



    Seren Nos


    Marathon Minnie

    Black and Tabby

    Road Warrior

    Are you out there?????


  • Excellent report and well done on your top 3 place. Don't belittle it by saying there weren't many in your category - you can only thrash the competition that turns up on the day image

  • Thanks Muttley.

    You are right, but it does feel a bit like cheating.

  • WD60WD60 ✭✭✭

    I'm still running and am planning to do the Brighton 10k on 6th April -

    Chris - I know how you feel about placing in a race - I was 1st MV60 in a 5k and felt both incredibly proud as I had never ever come first in anything - but slightly sheepish as there were only 4 in that age group.


  • Hi - this must be fate.. I've not been on the forums for ages and just happened across this again and saw my name mentioned......  

    In January I completed a four day event in Orlando (Disney of course!) 5K 10K 1/2M then full marathon on consecutive days -using a loose RWR strategy. 

    I didnt follow prescribed ratio like JG suggests but linked my walk breaks to the water and fuel stations which were probably every couple of miles or so.  I found I was much much stronger at the end of the marathon than I have felt in either of my two previous ones and I was 30 seconds faster than my previous best (5hr 16)  which, when you taken into account that I'd already run 22 odd miles in the previous 3 days was marvellous.    I felt great the next day - no walking like a penguin or struggling to get up from a chair so I am really impressed.. 

    At first I felt like it was cheating and I felt a bit awkward when people asked if I ran the whole way but stuff it  - I'm 47 and if I can get round a marathon and enjoy the experience I really dont care how I got from A to B.

     I'm doing Brighton Marathon in a few weeks using a similar strategy - will let you know how I get on.  

  • Wow 2 of uou doing Brighton.

    I feel better now DW. Not just me feeling silly then. I suppose it just shows how very fit we both are compared with the general population

    Wow Minnie! That is some weekend's running. Very impressive. I have been followiing a blog re disney marathons. I think it's called Dr. Mom runs Disney. Will check later. She does the JG approach. Just out of interest is it worth going to Disney for the marathons. Sort of tempted for next year, as I'll be retired and have time yo train .... And go there for the races.


    Good luck both of you at Brighton.
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