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AndyS.




Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 9987
Location: Wupass

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Run/walk Strategy Reply with quote

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html

The idea is that you break your long runs down into short segments and have a brisk walk between. It is suggested it cuts down on fatigue, prevents you slowing at the end of the run (weíre talking about runs over 60 minutes up to full marathon), reduces the risk of injury and gives you time to refuel. Because of this, itís said it is also the quickest way to get from the start line to the finish line, especially when energy levels may not be that good (such as in an Ironman marathon).

I have no problems with any of that, it all sounds sensible enough to me. What Iím having trouble with is setting out with a pre-determined plan to walk. It seems to go against everything Iíve been thinking about and trying to do over the past few years; to run the marathon. Iíve spent all winter learning how to resist the urge to walk while out on a long run so introducing a walk break into a long run is ringing alarm bells (quite loudly!).

Iíd like to hear of anyone whoís used this strategy in a race and how they got on. Do you feel it gave you a faster time? Is it more mentally taxing because you canít settle in and have to clock watch? Did you feel it cut back in fatigue? Alternatively, are you bang against the idea of it and would rather not train and race this way? Iíve been pondering this for a couple of weeks but Iím still not convinced.
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JR




Joined: 04 Jun 2004
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Location: Poole

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used this strategy in training for the past few months. I have found it beneficial for two reasons:

The last part of my long run is a higher quality than if I was doing a normal long run. Better pace and form.

And the recovery time from a long run, 90mins + is significantly reduced.

I have not raced with this strategy and dont know whether I will at IM, thats up to my coach, but if I stop and walk through an aid station like I will do at IM its the same anyway.

Gordo discusses this strategy in the link below

http://www.coachgordo.com/gtips/publish/
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themoid




Joined: 21 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

Also see article at http://www.xtri.com/tri_tech_display.aspx?riIDReport=4084&CAT=6&xref=xx and more at Gordo Byrn's site. Talks about run 10 mins walk 1 min variants.

I have started training with this over the past couple of weeks, feels ok so far. I have an IMUK warm up at Eastnor that i am planning on using this strategy for, then hopefully will utilise in in IMUK as well. Looking at Ray's race report he used it in Bala, seemed to work ok. Sure he will be along to comment on it soon..... Very Happy

Cheers

Stu
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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only experience with a planned run/walk strategy (as opposed to an unplanned one where I had to walk) was on the Tring2Town2 ultra this year.

The first time I did T2T in 2006 I attempted to run the whole way and was doing ok up to 30miles and then had big problems. I went from an easy 8:45 pace to having to walk for long stretches and not managing to run faster than 13:00min miles for 10 mins at a time.

This year I set off at an easier pace (around 9:15 min miles) with 2min walk breaks scheduled every 20-30mins (I wasn't doing them strictly by the clock it was more ofen I'll continue to the next lock gate or aid station and then have a walk). At the 3rd aid station (at around 25miles) I was nealy 20mins behind my previous years time, but the thing is I didn't really slow down (ok I slowed a little to 10:00 min miles) and ended up 20mins ahead of my previous years time.

So in this case it worked for me. I have never tried it in an IM (except walking the aid stations)
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Nobbie




Joined: 24 Jul 2006
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Location: Wilmslow

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,

maybe it was the starting slower that made the difference? I've reviewed my last two IM and my long training runs and was finding the same pattern of reducing speed and heartrate. On Sunday I did a tried a 3 hour run, but started slowly. rather than HR starting at 140 and then reducing down to 125 with a corresponding reduction in speed, I found that my HR started at around 132 and climbed slightly to 135 over the three hours whilst the speed stayed faily constant. Overall speed seemed about the same, but I was pretty tired before the Sunday run , so will be interesting to see how I go when rested.

I'm not sure about the run/walk strategy. If you can run the whole thing, it is probably the best way to do it, just start slowly. I was reading a book on walking challenges and it reckoned that the key to big distances is not walking fast, but not stopping. which make sense to me.

Having said that, I do walk through aid stations as I can't drink while running, but start running ASAP afterwards.
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doug




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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobbie wrote:
Doug,

maybe it was the starting slower that made the difference?


Yep, I changed things a lot between 2006/7 T2T:
- did less training (due to illness after Luton Marathon)
- started slower
- planned walk breaks from the start
- wore compression shorts (my big problem in 2006 were my quads going)
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Whisk




Joined: 09 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going into IM Austria last year my plan was to run the first loop continuously (about 11km), carrying a 500ml bottle of drink, and then to walk the aid stations for the rest of the run. In the event, it was baking hot and I'd finished the bottle by about 3km and was gasping for a drink so ended up walking all the rest of the aid stations bar the last one. I was quite disciplined about it and went sponge - water - coke - sponge - run so that I was never walking for longer than the length of the aid station.

I personally consider this to be a run/walk strategy. It got me round the marathon in 3:42 (my one previous stand-alone marathon was 3:31) and I'll be using something similar in IM CH next week. Some people did pass me while I was walking, but I overtook most of them a little bit further down the course and didn't see them again. My primary aim was to get the fluids in, but from what I've read it sounds like the walking phases probably helped my legs. I probably could have run continuously for much further, but I was pretty dehydrated by the time I finished and I think I'd have been even worse if I'd tried to drink and run as I went.

I haven't practiced in training, although a lot of my longer runs are in urban areas where i have to stop every couple of km to cross the road, so the shock of restarting my legs wasn't too great.[/quote]
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mj_revs




Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did my first walk/run on Sunday, partly because I'm beginning to be slightly anxious about the Big woody run and whether i'll be able to run it straight, and partly because I had a longish bike planned for yesterday.

Unfortunately, I didn't take my HRM with me, so the only stats i have may be misleading, but I clocked the last section of my 14 mile run. The final section normally takes me 29-30mins at a steady pace. In the heat of Sunday afternoon it was 28.15, including 3 lots of 50sec walk breaks. I didn't notice any real difference in how fresh I felt yesterday, but it has given me enough encouragement to do this for my long runs most of the time leading up to september and consider closer to the time whether it should be my strategy on the day.
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jessies the lot of ya Wink
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ray




Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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Location: newcastle under lyme

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy you know my feelings about this

i used it for the first time in anger at Bala... and it work's to the point i was able to pick the pace up and virtually sprint for the line in the last mile to get in under 5:30.

at the start of the run it was hard as people were passing me, but as on the bike i just said my race not there's. and can honestly say i caught and passed over half of those that passed me at the start.

i find thinning about the next walk section breacks the run down and helps the time pass. if you have trainied using this then geting back into your pace is easy no matter how quick or slow it is.

getting it right is not an over night thing, i tried many different intervals finally stuck with 9min run 1 min walk, and this helped me maintain 9min pace avg at Bala
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themoid




Joined: 21 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed_m/duathlon_ed wrote:
jessies the lot of ya Wink


yup.. Smile
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Nath




Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've got an IM with aid stations then run-walk is perfect. I did this at Austria last year and it worked spot on, especially in the heat.

Mentally, it gives you a focus to simply run to the next aid station. You then walk while re-fuelling, cooling down using the sponges etc and get going again once the aid station has finished.

That 1 minute of walking gives your legs a little rest and gets you going again for the next mile.

The plan though is not to walk anywhere else, just at the aid stations.
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AndyS.




Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Wupass

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone.

The problem I have is this, all during winter training I found if I keep running (on a long run of say 18-20 miles) then I can maintain 9 min/miles, totally constant all the way through. But as soon as I stop, for a pee for example, it's pretty much run over. I really struggle to get going again, legs don't work, mind becomes fixed on the negatives and I convince myself to stop. In the three IM's I've done I've had a set plan for the run, something like 'run to the first aid station' or 'do the first 10k in under an hour', that sort of mini-plan to break it down into something manageable, but as soon as I achieve that target I stop running and can't get going again.

At the Vitruvian last year I took drink with me on the run so I didnít have to stop at all but had to give in to the urge to pee as you come off the damn and go into the trees on the last lap. Even though it was only a couple of miles to the finish line, once I stopped running (up to that point Iíd done just fine) I couldnít get a run back together and run/walked the rest.

Chatting to a few IM friends, theyíve said the same ďjust donít stop runningĒ. So what bothers me is that if I stop running at 9 mins I wonít be able to get another 9 mins running together afterwards and so itíll become one of those crappy jog/wander runs Iím all to familiar with.

Another question to add, is there a point where run/walk becomes a slower option than a straight forward run. For eg, if you can run a 3 hour straight forward run-run marathon would it slow you to do a run-walk?
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Nath




Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndyS. wrote:
. But as soon as I stop, for a pee for example, it's pretty much run over. I really struggle to get going again, legs don't work, mind becomes fixed on the negatives and I convince myself to stop.


That's your boy. Sounds like you have convinced yourself that breaking your run is a bad thing and that you won't be able to get going again.

If you do want to do a run-walk (at aid stations only...) reassess your race strategy and embrace the way you are going to do your race - this will mean having a plan for the whole race. Having just 'run to the first aid station' won't do, it's 'run between all aid stations'.
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vics55




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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

I have the same reservations as you - I've spent the last 6 months getting out of the habit of walking during my runs and was successful in that I ran the whole of my first marathon 3 weeks ago. However, over the last week or so I've tried out the run/walk strategy and have knocked out a couple of pb's.

My concern is that having worked so hard to build up mileage and run the miles at an even pace, this strategy may set me back a bit?

Also, during my marathon, I found the last 3 miles quite tough on the legs and fear if I'd stopped, i'd never have got going again - other words (stupid as it sounds) it was easier to keep running than to stop...walk...and then restart running.
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