Playing With Pace

I decided to go for a run this evening. I don’t know why, but for some reason I just felt like it.

With less than a week to go until the Race For Life 10K, I realised that it would be a bad idea to do two long runs back to back, so I opted for some speed work instead. Nothing too strenuous. Nothing too rigid. Just a quick short run along the seafront.

To be honest, I’ve kind of missed doing speed work. Much as I love pushing through those long slow runs on a Sunday morning or after work, there’s nothing quite like that feeling when the momentum takes over and your legs really start moving, going  faster and faster until your lungs start to burn and your heart feels like it’s going to burst through your chest. No, really, it is a good feeling. Honestly. Although, to be fair, I don’t have to run very fast before that happens.

Anyway, this evening I wanted to run fast so I set off at a good pace and managed to sustain an average of 5:44 for the first kilometre before slowing to a walk break. Now, I know I’m not even close to being able to maintain that kind of pace over a longer distance, but it didn’t feel as hard as I thought it would, so maybe this is something that I could work on after next weekend’s 10K.


The second kilometre, however, was made up of a couple of shorter walk breaks and running segments, working out at just over 50% running (in terms of distance), so the average pace was much slower at 7:13. In saying that though, the running sections were a bit faster than in the first kilometre, which was good in one sense, but was probably the reason I had to walk for longer.

The final 500 metres was kind of interesting though. Although I walked about 100 metres of it, my average pace came out at only ten seconds slower than in the first kilometre, which has got me thinking about the whole run/walk thing again.


I know Jeff Galloway has built this whole training philosophy on how to use run/walk ratios and, much as I hate to admit it, I’m starting to like the idea of it.

Of course, I’m not going to give up non-stop running. A huge part of what I love about running is the ability to push on and to keep going without stopping or walking, even if it does mean that I’m slow, but in terms of achieving quicker times over longer distances, it is an interesting idea.

How do you feel about using run/walk ratios in races? What type of difference does run/walk make to your average pace? Have you tried the Jeff Galloway program? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.


8 thoughts on “Playing With Pace”

  1. I’ve always been a run/walker. When I started running, I always thought that running non-stop was sort of the sign of a real runner. I’ve come to embrace the run/walk: overall, I find the walk part helps restore a little energy so the run portion is actually faster, which gives me a better pace than if I’d just set out to run non-stop. I just looked up Jeff Galloway’s website and I think I might give the 10k training a try.

    1. Hi Sarah. That’s what I’m thinking, particularly with longer runs, and I know a lot of people have had great success with Jeff Galloway’s run/walk. As far as this Saturday’s 10K is concerned, I’ll definitely be run/walking but still not sure about it as a long terms strategy. Still, I’ve not got any races lined up for a while so perhaps I’ll do some experimenting in the summer months. 🙂

  2. The very first race I ever ran I did a run/walk only because I got a bad side stitch and I could not get rid of it. I wasn’t expecting to do that but have never walked in a race again since over the last 6 years.

    I think now unless I got injured while running I would just run through it until I made it to the end. I think if I started stopping in a race than I would come accustomed to doing so and would continue to do so.

    I don’t know Jeff Galloway’s training but something I will check out.

    I was always told with speed work to start at a race pace and build from there. for example start at your 10k and then get faster.

    Good luck with your race.

    1. Hi Kyla. That’s the thing, I do love running non-stop so I am a bit concerned that if I adopt this approach for now then I’ll get a bit too used to it. Still, it will be interesting to see how it affects my time on Saturday. 🙂

  3. I’ve not heard of Jeff, I was thinking about run/walk for this 10k coming up. I like to run constantly too – for the same reasons – but yet I see nothing wrong with run/walk. Its supposed to get your body used to the ordeal. Its pretty good – the c25k was brilliant.

    1. Yeah, I’ve used run/walk a bit before, even after C25k, and it does help. Still not sure about it as a race strategy, but I’m considering it for the half marathon.

      1. Half marathon? When are you doing this? You’ll be doing the London Marathon next year? 😀
        I agree like, I’d be concerned if I relied on it too much…

      2. It’s not until February, but I’d like to do one in late Autumn this year. They are expensive though, especially if you have to travel, so I may have to just map out a route and do my own private half instead. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s