I met up with the MOL team yesterday for a long run. We ran Galloway-style with four minutes of running and one minute of walking, and it was great to get out with those fine people and enjoy a
crisp cool Florida morning by the water. This was the first time I’d ever tried the run/walk method, and yesterday’s run was not about pace or distance. All I wanted out of it was time on the feet in Zone 2.
Like Johnny Paycheck said, “We was having us one of them real good times.”
But I did get to reflect a little on the experience after a nap, and here’s what I came away with:
Scheduled and timed walks remove the single thing I love most about running, and I will never ever (never say that) do it again on purpose.
Before I get started, I’m not going to bash the Galloway running method.
Well, actually I am, but not across the board. I think Jeff Galloway deserves a ton of credit for coming up with a manageable plan to complete distance events–one that has actually worked for countless people. What other method has empowered so many people who thought they’d never do a 13.1 or a 26.2 to go out and achieve it?
But, just like every other training method, this one isn’t for everyone. And I suppose I’m one of those people it doesn’t really work for. I’ll go a step further…if you told me that the only way I could train for and complete my next race was by the Galloway method, I think I’d choose watching TV and getting fat instead. Well, actually I’d just keep training and never do another race. I like to train more than race anyway.
Even if you could guarantee me a PR, I still wouldn’t opt for run/walk.
What’s to dislike? For me, it’s the seemingly constant interruption of what you’re doing to do something else. I could see where this is a plus if you don’t really like running. It’s a great mental trick to think, “I only have to run for 4 minutes, then I get to walk again.”
But I actually like running. I don’t want to stop. In fact, my favorite thing about running is running myself drunk. I like running far enough that my mind wanders onto all kinds of other things and it feels like my body is taking steps on auto-pilot–separated completely from what my mind is doing. There’s no way to achieve this kind of groove if you’re constantly having to stop because your watch says so.
Again–just my experience. Your mileage may vary.
And if this method works for you, by all means, keep it up!