When I first began to run, I started with Couch to 5k, as many runners do. If you’ve been thinking about getting started with running but don’t know where to start, trust me, C25K is a good way.
Then I eventually ran a 5k. And another. And decided to train for a half marathon. I explored the Galloway Method. Only it didn’t really seem successful for me and I abandoned it for my own loosey, goosey run/walk plan.
Why wasn’t Galloway successful for me?
When I started to run, I didn’t have a GPS watch. I didn’t have a smartphone. And therefore I also didn’t have a timer.
I did have a rather cheap sports watch. It told the time and you could use it as a stopwatch. So basically I had to keep looking at the watch to time my intervals, and I was never quite on time, so to speak.
I was also using something like 3/1 or 4/1 (run 3 minutes, walk 1).
In the end it just seemed to complicated and I went with my own plan: sip some water and take a walk break every mile. That got me through a lot of half marathons. 10, to be exact.
Stretching My Endurance
When I started running this year, I decided I would work on my endurance. I wanted to see how long I could run without having to walk at all. Surely fewer walk breaks would build up my endurance.
It seemed to work — I was running 5 and 6 mile runs without walking at a decent pace for me. My first half of the year was a PR (by a little).
Then I read a few blogs about decreasing the length of the walk break in the Galloway method. Specifically, that most people slow down after 30 seconds, so taking a 30 second walk break instead of a full minute would actually result in better times.
So I decided to revisit Galloway and see if it would be successful for me this time. I still didn’t have an interval timer on my Garmin, but I did find an app on my Ipod I could use (although being free, it was a little wonky).
And then I got my #Gaminvivoactive, and that does have a timer. Ah yes, life got much simpler after that.
I can’t say that I’m following Galloway exactly. I don’t do a magic mile (mile time trial every month or so to check your pace). I just picked 4/30 (4 minutes run, 30 seconds walk) out of thin air. But this time around, Galloway seems to be successful for me. My speedwork feels like maybe, maybe, it’s a bit faster. My long runs are a bit faster. All that could just be because I’ve been running with others, of course.
Galloway is supposed to help prevent injury, and we all know I struggled with my IT Band this summer. But I also ran 9 & 10 miles and felt great. Like I could keep running. The day after running 10 miles I couldn’t even tell I’d run a long run.
I’ve had good runs like that without Galloway, of course. The real test will be my upcoming half marathon. I am hopeful for cooler temps and a PR.You never know what race day will hand you, but I am hopeful.
Do you take walk breaks while running? Are they timed or just when you feel you need it?
I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her: