After just a couple of runs last week, the old injury seems to rearing it’s ugly head again. Perhaps it’s just the cold damp weather affecting my joints but, not wanting to take any chances, I decided to play it safe and bow out of my mid-week and Saturday morning training sessions.
And then I had an idea…
I’ve been reading up a bit on the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run training method for a while now and, much as I love continuous running, I realise that it probably isn’t helping with my joint pain at the moment as I try to up my training distance. So, rather than sit around for another month or so waiting for things to ease up, I decided to try to keep things moving (but with less stress on the joints) by having a go at Run-Walk-Run.
The idea is to use a short run-walk ratio in order to reduce fatigue, put less pressure on the joints and promote quicker recovery. It is even argued that by reducing your running time, you can actually complete your distance in less time than if you ran the whole way!
While I wasn’t entirely convinced that I could improve my overall times using Run-Walk-Run, I figured that there was no harm in having a go. If nothing else, at least I would get a run in.
So, at 8:30 am, fuelled by a couple of mugs of coffee and a large bowl of porridge, I headed for the seafront for my Sunday morning run.
As my current goal is to run 5K in under 30 minutes, I used the 10 minute mile ratio of 3:1 recommended on Jeff Galloway’s website – that’s 3 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking.
Of course, with this amount of walking I would have to pick up my pace on the running sections if I was to get anywhere near my goal. But with only having to run for 3 minutes between walk breaks, it seemed do-able. And that, after all, is the idea behind the Run-Walk-Run method.
To be honest though, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. After the 3rd kilometre I was beginning to struggle, so I decided to complete 4K and call it a day.
When I got home and uploaded my data, I was quite surprised to see that even though this was the furthest I had run since returning to training a couple of weeks ago, my pace was still improving. Ok, so perhaps it would have improved anyway, but with my dodgy ankle/achilles, I doubt I would have risked attempting to run the whole thing.
As I said before, I’m not entirely convinced that I want to go down the Run-Walk-Run route as a long term strategy, but for now at least, if it means I can get a run in, then I’ll take it.
How’s your training going? Have you used Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run method? How do you find it affects your overall time? Please share your thoughts in the comments.