How to Run-Walk-Run a Marathon -Interview with Jeff Galloway

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Jeff Galloway has had one of the most influential careers in the history of running.  He  competed in the 10k distance at the 1972 Olympics. 

He’s run a 2:16 marathon.  He’s the author of many books and owner of the oldest specialty running store in America.

Many know him as the creator of the Galloway Run-Walk-Run program which has helped hundreds of thousands of people realize their dream of finishing a marathon. 

In this interview we have Jeff take us through how and why his method works for runners of all abilities.

How to Run-Walk-Run a Marathon

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Interview Questions

  1. You’ve been running for over 50 years, as you look back on your career, what moments are you the most proud of?
  2. For those who are not familiar with the Run Walk Run method, how did you come up with it and how does it work?
  3. Who is the Run/Walk/Run method for?  What type of person would best benefit from this system?
  4. You said on Twitter that “even if you only have 60 minutes to exercise during the work week, you can train for a half or full marathon”.  What would you recommend people do during that 60 minutes?
  5. Do you ever run without doing run/walk? What is your favorite marathon?  -Wendy
  6. What’s your top advice for “masters” marathoners who are watching our finishing times getting progressively slower despite consistent training?  -Shira
  7. I try to convince my inexperienced running buddies to take planned walk breaks in their longer runs, but they claim that it is difficult to get back to running when they do that. Can Jeff speak to that?   -Edith
  8. I am considering adding in a walk break at each water stop in marathons, whether I drink any fluids or not – about a minute of walking. I know this is not a true Galloway method, but I would be interested to hear Jeff’s thoughts on this. -Foti


Please share with him that his method turned a broken down 40 something former rugby player into a Boston Marathon qualifier in 3 short years, The Galloway method allowed me to overcome a number of long term serious injuries, avoid new ones and changed running from a required task into a pastime of pure enjoyment. Please pass on my sincere appreciation to Jeff and I hope to catch up with him in Orlando in January when I run my second Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Dopey Challenge.  –John M. from Australia

Incorporating the Galloway Method into Your Training Plan

If you decide that the concept of incorporating run/walk intervals into your training is something that you’d like to try, here are some tips to get started.

  1. Do the Magic Mile to determine your pace. Use the track or a flat, unobstructed path or road. Warm up with an easy 1 mile run (or brisk walk if you haven’t built up to running a mile). Then run mile hard and record time. Finish with 5 min walking to cool down. The Magic Mile can be performed every 1-2 months to measure your progress.
  2. Use the Galloway chart to determine a good run/walk interval based on your Magic Mile time.
  3. Start incorporating this run/walk interval during your next long run if you’re a more experienced runner or during all runs if you’re still building up your base. There are various apps that will track run/walk intervals, some GPS watches allow you to program in intervals, or you can purchase the Galloway Run Walk Run Timer.
  4. As you begin to use the run/walk plan during long runs you can adjust to make it fit your experience level and needs. Some runners may benefit from a scheduled walk every mile (or through aid stations) while others may need a shorter 1:1 interval like 30 sec: 30 sec.
  5. Be committed to following the intervals during the race, even when things get tough. If you feel good and strong in the later miles of the race (after mile 10 for a half marathon and after mile 20 for a full marathon) feel free to run it in.

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