The full marathon is intimidating to many athletes because of the 26.2 miles (42KM) run that one must endure. Running for many hours without stopping is a challenge that most people dare not take head-on. But there is the Jeff Galloway marathon training plan.
The idea of the Galloway plan lies in the fact that there's no rule to deter any athlete from walking and running during a marathon. Even though running is the basis of a marathon, and walking is akin to giving up, all are conventional practices for running a marathon.
The Galloway run-walk training plan started in 1979 and has helped elite and amateur athletes improve their running techniques. It's an effective training method that can improve your personal best while avoiding running-related injuries.
Benefits Of the Jeff Galloway Training Method
If it's your first time running a marathon, you can get competitive and push yourself to finish the race within the fastest time you can. But you will later realize your body needs to recover from exhaustion. So it can take days or weeks to run or train again.
You need a constant energy supply if you are training for a full marathon. Long runs without breaks can damage your ligaments, joints, and muscles, making you unable to train the next day.
The run-walk-run training method allows your body to conserve resources as you gradually gain endurance, speed, and strength.
Improve your personal best
An untrained runner who runs continuously risks inadvertently depleting all their energy. When you deny your body the time to recover, you get slow on the run and might not even finish the race due to fatigue.
Other training programs have recovery days, incorporating walking days separate from running days. It would help if you took rest days to aid your recovery, especially after long runs.
But the Jeff Galloway training program has the recovery objective within the same day you take the long run. The advantage of recovery while running is that you can ease the pressure from your muscles, lungs, and joints.
Brisk walking after a long run is a way to recharge and re-energize with each running start during the marathon.
As a beginner, starting slow and progressively adjusting your speed and distance over a designated period is advisable. But sometimes you can feel fit and be tempted to have long runs in your training plan consecutively.
Though it's possible, you shouldn't because if you don't give your body enough time to recover, you become susceptible to injuries. For example, even though your cardiovascular fitness may improve fast, the joints and bones take longer to get used to any training.
High-volume marathon training affects all levels of athletes and always makes it challenging to remain injury free during a marathon season.
The Galloway marathon plan eliminates injuries because the walks after long runs allow your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints to recover fast.
The Galloway marathon plan makes long runs manageable, and you can easily keep the pace with sufficient training. In addition, the run-walk-run technique and endurance and strength training during the week will make you more accustomed to long runs.
Long runs are necessary when training for a marathon. But if you feel any strain, you can walk to help your body recover and prevent looming injuries.
What Makes the Galloway Method Successful?
Elite athletes chase their personal best all the time. But, through the Galloway training plan, they can accomplish a successful training method that's almost guaranteed to be injury-free.
Elite athletes need to have a regular training schedule that's non-interrupted by injuries or fatigue. A training program with a recovery method is critical to this success.
According to a 2014 study published by the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, Experienced runners using the Galloway method finish races less fatigued than ones running the race pace continuously.
The test subjects using the Galloway method walked for 60 seconds every 1.5miles. The results show conclusively the time difference between the finishing times of both parties was so small.
· Run-walk-run athletes finished with 4:14
· Run-only runners finished with 4:07
However, the biggest gain is that the athletes who adopted the Galloway marathon plan reported fewer muscle pains and fatigue. For example, 40% of the run-only athletes reported extreme exhaustion, while only 5% of the walk-run athletes reported the same.
What’s the Perfect Galloway Run-Walk Interval?
According to most athletes, the new interval is 15-30 second breaks after a 1-2 miles long run. But these times are flexible, and experts recommend that runners find comfortable running intervals.
You can use this plan for 5K, half marathon, and full marathon races because it aids your recovery while in the race.