How walking can help you run faster & achieve a new PR (personal record)

It has been almost one year since I started running. When I first started I would have to mix in walking, simply because I didn’t have the technique, training, or stamina to run non-stop. Over time, I built up my experience to the point that I could run without walking.

I felt on top of the world!

Then I decided to try the run/walk method.

Also known as the Galloway method–Jeff Galloway started the practice in 1974–the run-walk-run method is basically running, with short walk breaks, then running. Repeat.

Galloway has a very precise formula for his method, but I found one that worked well for me:

Run 0.4 miles, then walk 0.1 miles, repeat.

What I found is this:

  • My legs had a little time to recover and re-energize
  • My asthma calmed down enough on the walk breaks to give me more endurance
  • I actually ran faster when I did the running portion
  • My overall pace was faster than running alone
  • I hit new PRs (personal record) for a Half Marathon, 1 mile, 2 miles, and on, and on.

Strava does a great job of helping me keep track of my pace and improvements. Here’s an example from a neighborhood route that I run often:

I generally stick to the 0.4m/0.1m split, but there are times when I cheat a little. When? If I see a hill right around my walk break then I allow some wiggle room so that I am walking up that hill. Can I run up it? Sure! But my pace will drop more compared to running on a flat or downhill grade. However, I can keep the same walking pace uphill compared to the drop-off I see if I run uphill.

Whether you’re training for your first 5K, your first Marathon, or just trying your first-ever run, don’t be embarrassed to include walking. It made me faster, so it might do the same for you! πŸ˜‰

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