Jeff Galloway approach to R/W/R London Marathon 2014 -Help!

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15/04/2014 at 10:05

RunningMax thanks for looking out for us.  It has meant so much when people said they looked out for me on the tracker.  Thank you.

Barbara, I wonder if I saw you at all as I finished a few minutes ahead of you.  I was lucky as I felt stronger from mile 20 onwards.  Well done you for keeping going.

Mmmatt I do use a garmin, sorry.  Why not check out app store and see if there are any interval timers you can download to your phone?  I have to admit when i found the interval thingy on my garmin it was so much easier than continually looking at my watch!

Chris-well done you.  Doing while not feeling great is so brave.  And a fabulous time too.  And a negative ratio.  Wowzers!

15/04/2014 at 10:49

Just want to add my congratulations to you all, you did amazingly well and its been great reading about your journeys to the big day. Truly inspiring

15/04/2014 at 10:51
I shall be on here tomorrow with my hearty congratulations and comments. But I have the grandchildren here at the moment and time is in short supply. So please excuse my absence at this important time.
15/04/2014 at 11:33

eek I am now sorely tempted to do a local marathon in October!  Help!

15/04/2014 at 13:19

Grrr!!!! I have just lost a really long post I was doing. Now need to make lunch, so annoying


15/04/2014 at 15:44

Okay here goes again.

Max – Thanks for encouraging us and keeping track of us on line. It made me feel like I was part of a proper team, being followed like that. Niamh (said as Neeve, granddaughter) was also tracking us with my husband and she said I disappeared for a time around 13 miles. They were worried I had had an accident or something, but all was well, just a gremlin in the tracking system.

LMA – So impressed. Brilliant time and done in 4/1 as well. Really glad that despite your original scepticism, you feel it worked for you and actually helped you be faster and stronger at the end. Very impressive that you passed 1071 people in the last 7.2k!! Really enjoyed the report.

Can’t wait to see how you do in Berlin.

Mathschick – Well done, it was great to read your story, inspiring.

Lainey – Well done too. I agree running along the embankment was really special, the noise was positively deafening. You passed 242 people in the last 7.2k too, so you did good. Shows you were still going strong to the end.

Barbara – Well done for keeping going to the end. I was also worried sick about wanting the loo, but was fine for once. I think nerves before the event sorted that one out. You can waste so much time queueing…… as you proved.

Runtothetrees – Welcome. Glad you have tried out the short segments and found them useful. My son-in-law runs Ultras and uses R/W all the time. Enjoy your up and coming events and let us know how you do.

Marathon Minnie and Booktrunk – Thanks for your interest and support, it really helps.

Ceal – Thanks for your support and helpful advice too. It is good to find people who can do really good times being so open minded about different approaches. It encourages people like us to have a go.

I am so grateful to Jeff G for his training and race advice, as you’ll see when I finally sort out my report, he pitched it spot on for me. I can’t wait to see the results of working with him for another 12-18 months, as I’m sure my times will improve through consistent, well matched training, unimpeded by injury.

15/04/2014 at 15:53

Lainey - get the entry in - don't waste the fitness you have now!! Which is the one you have your eye on?

Chris - it will be great to see what advice JG gave you and what ratios etc you used.

My legs are feeling fine today, but I do very generally very fatigued, want to run, but know it is a good idea just to leave it a few days. We have been doing lots of walking anyway as we are on holiday

mmmmatt - I also use a garmin, though I think Chris has something called a gymboss? 

15/04/2014 at 18:52

MC it's Chelmsford which is a few miles from where I live.  It's their first one so not sure how popular, i.e. it could be me and a couple of speedsters!  But really want sub 6, and also I figure if I do a low key one like Chelmsford and love it-it's the marathon I love not just London, if that makes sense.

Chris, my friend said she lost me too.  Around 30k or something and then I popped up again at 35k!  I was so touched by the number of people who afterwards said they were tracking me. I also got texts while I was on the course from friends telling me how well I was doing.  Really special.  I think so much of the interest is that I am an overweight, 42 year old and I have done it.  I think it gets people thinking they can do it too!

15/04/2014 at 20:21


I just wanted to pop in and say congratulations to everyone. I've popped in now and again and I wanted to see how everyone went! All of the race reports are inspiring, and I've enjoyed reading them all The R/W/R strategy really does work!

I used a 5 minute run/1 minute walk strategy for the first 18 miles, then had to walk the rest due to some very painful knee twinges. A marshal very kindly gave my legs a massage, but it didn't help! I had my head down and just kept walking - I looked up at one point and thought "Ooh, it's Big Ben!" I managed to finish with a run, of sorts! An excellent day  

16/04/2014 at 07:44

Hi all.  I've been blown away by how many people said they tracked me, it was a bit like having a crowd of stalkers, but in a good way!! Mind you, my husband got a bit worried because there was one section when I hardly seemed to be moving for ages while he was waiting for me at 17 miles - it was all down to a glitch in the software.

Lainey - I was wearing a Cancer Research T-Shirt over black Adidas tights with pink stripes - and I am, umm, not thin.  I would not say I felt strong from mile 20 onwards - but I did feel extremely determined.  I passed 93 runners in the last 7.3K and 31 passed me - a 3:1 ratio, and another success for RWR, I think!

Looking at my 5K splits and adjusting for the 4/5 minute loo queue at mile 4, in the first half they were between 43:27 and 45:17, but around and after halfway they increased, with 30-35K and 35-40K both being 52:xx minutes.  However, I speeded up over the final 2.2K and ran it at a similar pace to the 3rd 5K

I can envisage my next marathon, although not for a couple of years.  I want to work on my strength and flexibility and iron out these muscle imbalances - all part of injury-proofing.  I want to get some more weight off.  But when I come back, I will be fitter, stronger, faster, and RWR with some different ratios, to a much faster time!!

16/04/2014 at 07:54

Well done everyone, it's awesome crossing the line, be it a big city marathon or a little local one.

When my marathon is out of the way (5th May) will be playing with this for some of my long training runs.

16/04/2014 at 08:36

Lainey - go for it, if it is a small local one it will be easy for family to pop up all over the course to cheer you on. Doesn't matter if you are the slowest there, I think in all marathons (and races at all distances actually) you get a mixture of speedsters, middle of the pack and back of pack. 

bookie - well done, hope your knee is ok. 

16/04/2014 at 09:34
I am so impressed that you all, without, exception had legs that worked the following day I have ran 2 marathons and both times I was in pain for about a week afterwards, especially coming down stairs. But note I ran. When I ran London, I got 2nd in my age group but I was very disappointed. My training went well and I was on for. 3:45 mins at the age of 67 yrs and I finished in just over 4 hours with massive cramps in my legs, so bad I could hardly cross the line

I wonder if I had run/walked the course if I could have finished faster and with less pain!!! I will never know the answer to that, of course. But if I ever do another marathon (unlikely, as my talent lies in 5000 and 1500). My bio mechanics lies with no particular distance. It lets me down often, despite gym work, home exercises, stretches etc etc. but I have to say my body has done me proud with a couple of world records at aged 70 yrs, plus a few UK records at aged 65+ and of of course at aged 70+ too.

I took a year off last year with injuries and a feeling of not really wanting to run. But started again early this year. I have had 3 weeks off with flu, so that makes it 3 months training. Recently, to help my husband to get around a very tough half marathon I have started to accompany him on his longer runs. I knew I could NOT run further than 6 miles. So we embarked on run, walk. I would not have known about this until Chris joined another thread that I post on. I can only thank her profusely for enlightening me of this method of running.

We have managed an 8, 9 and a 10 mile run walk. Legs just fine, I felt tired, but that would have been down to time on feet as much as anything. We have adopted a 4 mins run 1 min walk. This seems to work for us. I tried the 30/30. But for me this seemed hard work. I don't really want to lose my running form which is not a marathon style, ie. I lift my heels up behind me, because I am used to running faster than mara pace. So the 30:30 or anything similar to that means that I can't really get into my running style before it is time to slow down. BUT I will try again. I don't want to dismiss anything.

I have to say my longer walk runs have not been any slower than my 4 mile runs which I do easy. I do run by my HR.

Now back to you lot, who are my inspirations.

I will continue on a new post, this one is getting long.
16/04/2014 at 09:53
Yes, as I said above, happy legs after a marathon has to be a HUGE plus.

To run a marathon when the conditions were warm (hence the sunburn) and worst of all with a cough and cold could have made you fail in your mission but it didn't and you managed to go sub 6 hours which is what you were wanting. It will be interesting to follow your progress with JG's training plan for your half mara.

Lainey and B Greenwood
You were on the course for longer than the others, that could have been extremely tiring but your were both quite fresh afterwards too. Huge congratulations.

You were so near to getting a time starting with a 5. Next time for sure it will happen.

Brilliant, just brilliant, it seems that 4:1 worked for you very well. I bet you are wondering how you could have got rid of 5 mins so that you had a 4:------ time!

A question, how did you all decided what ratio of run/walk worked best for you?

I think what is impressive too is the lack of injuries from training for a long distance race. Plus you are wanting to go out and run again so soon.

I remember being wiped out for a few weeks, in that I couldn't run more than 5 miles at a time without a rest. Whereas a run walk approach would have been just the job.

I don't particularly want to do all my training as a run walk. At the moment just my longer training runs will be done like that. However, I will experiment with the odd week where I do all my training in that way plus some 400 intervals and see now it goes.

I do hope this thread will continue, because I shall be more than interested to see how you all progress. I, personally, think, when a suitable time has elapsed after doing the marathon that some concentration on running a bit faster might be the way to go. But I don't know what JG recommends and I would not want to interfere with his experience and suggestions.

I am finding that having a routine to follow on a longer run sort of gives one something to think of besides the distance that one has to cover!

Right I have gone on a a bit, so must now get on with my morning, or what is left of it!!!

Big apologies if I have missed you out, it wasn't intentional, you, if it's you did very well too!!!!
16/04/2014 at 10:02

cael-really interesting post, thank you.  I think I'll go upto half marathon running and then run walk longer runs (I am 90% certain I will do Chelmsford Mara, just have a sub 6hr itch that I want to scratch).  I'll be really interested to seeing other people's ratios and what works.  this thread has helped so much-so pleased I found it!

16/04/2014 at 16:04

Wow a huge well done to everyone you all did so well.

16/04/2014 at 17:33

ceal, really interesting post. To answer your question of how I chose which ratio to use, I had played around a bit on long runs trying different ratios. On the two half marathons I have recently done I did 30/30 which worked well, but I thought I wouldn't be able to keep it up for a full mara. On my 20 mile run I tried 15/30 but 15 secs just didn't seem enough running, it didn't feel right, whereas 20 secs running was fine.

I am thinking that I want to use at least one of my shorter runs during the week to have more of a continuous run. Now I have done my mara I will be heading back to my running club on a Tuesday evening so that run I will do as a continuous run (ie not run/walk) run. I am going to keep my long runs as r/w.

I think you are spot on about it preventing injury. Every time I have entered a mara before I have injured myself in the training and not even made the start line! I would love to be someone that could go out and run a mara without walking but I don't think I will ever be able to do that, to be honest I have never been 'athletic' but I do think that the run/walk strategy from the beginning is much better than the 'run till you can't run anymore then walk/stagger' strategy that a lot seem to do. My husband commented that a lot of the people finishing before me on Sunday looked in an awful state whereas I looked fine. 


16/04/2014 at 21:58

Okay all, here comes my delayed report. We didn't get back till Monday night and I've still got an awful cough so rather slow off the mark. Sorry, I'll do this post for now and respond to everyone tomorrow.......Cough, splutter.......

Race Aims:

  • Enjoy the race – the people, the course, the moment
  • Finish the marathon in an upright position, with a smile on my face and wanting to do another one soon
  • To develop a good endurance base to build on later
  • To be uninjured and fit to start training again quickly for a PB in GNR in September
  • If possible have a 5 at the front of the finish time


Race Commentary


I felt terrible when I got up on race day morning, coughing and spluttering because of my cough and sore throat. I had seriously considered not running because of my cold, but once I’d registered on the Saturday, I decided I had to commit, as I could no longer defer.


The other bit of dithering, on race morning, was about whether to make my usual marmalade sandwiches, or use the Bloks I’d bought. I was worried I’d look stupid eating a sandwich, however small it was, during a race. In the end, though, I decided to stick to what I know works for me……marmalade.


The organisation was incredibly smooth and the sun was shining. It all had the makings of a glorious day. I was a little worried that the weather would be too warm for me, but the excitement of the day distracted me from my concerns.


It took me almost 17 minutes to cross the line, but it was well worth the wait.


The whooping and cheering from the grandstand was overwhelming. I was completely overcome with the emotion of it all, which was par for the course, considering the week I had just had. This race was planned as my retirement gift to myself and as I crossed the start line, realising the significance of it all, the tears just ran down my face. I had finished with endings and now a new chapter in my life was about to begin. At that point, I decided that on this day, there would be no running till I drop, no pushing myself over the edge, no trying to prove anything: I was simply going to savour and enjoy the experience, for the gift that it was.


And I did exactly that.


I have never seen crowds like it in my life, anywhere. At times there were so many people that the noise was positively deafening. I really had to concentrate hard to pick the bleeps on my interval timer.


I decided to follow JG’s instructions to the letter, concentrating, as agreed, on the RW strategy  and not the pace. I knew I could run 26 miles because I’d already done it in training and so I just got on with following my coach’s instructions (see ratios below).


Running pretty evenly throughout, the first half was only 4 minutes quicker than the second. I felt comfortable and in control.


I happily followed the plan and had my marmalade sarnies at 9, 13 and 17 miles. It was very warm and I’d missed a water station, somewhere in the mid teen miles, as it was only on one side of the road – possibly at mile 15. This resulted in a bit of a slow down during mile 16. I had a couple of swigs of Lucazade Sport at the next one and it seemed to perk me up again. I was careful how much I had, though, as I have found it makes me a bit nauseous in any quantity.


I had also been rather naughty and taken a dose of Imodium just before the race. I had some serious stomach problems on a few of my long runs and was worried about it erupting during the race. Not sure if dosing myself up was really bad of me, but it seemed to

16/04/2014 at 22:02

Part 2

Issues and Injuries

My only injury was sunburn! My face, shoulders and arms were very red after nearly 6hrs in the sun. I’d not thought of sun cream, and if I had used it, then it would probably have run into my eyes.

 n the route. There is a definite approach to running through these, though, as the first one just washed salt into my eyes. They stung all that day and the following too.

200 yards from the finish, I did start to get cramp on the inside of my right thigh (adductors). It was the only sign of cramp I had all day, and have never had an issue there before.  I think I was just letting it all go south, in the relief of finishing. When I re-engaged my pelvis it just disappeared, a timely reminder about the consequences of losing form.

I still have a nasty cough, so haven’t run yet, but I’m sure the legs would be fine for a gentle recovery run.  My chiropractor says all feels fine. There is a slight amount of tightening around the old scar tissue in my right calf, but nothing of any significance. He says JG has done a good job with me!

What I Learnt

  • Listen to my coach, he definitely knows what he’s doing. (I forgot to say I stuck with 15/30 to the end as I felt 30/30 would have pushed it too far with the heat and may have spoilt my fun)
  • R/W is much better for recovery. I could skip up and down stairs afterwards (daughter and don-in-law plus half the hotel were crippled the following day. They were doing very good impressions of the John Wayne walk …… or worse)
  • I feel confident about doing another marathon sometime soon and could easily improve my time, especially with a full training programme, including speed sessions.
  • Being able to smile at the end of 26 miles is awesome
  • I think running up to, or even beyond race distance in training was magic for race day - No wall hitting or cramp.
Edited: 16/04/2014 at 22:06
16/04/2014 at 22:08

And more.............. struggling with formatting so hope it makes sense


Race Number 24057

Finishers 35766

Chip time 5:52:39

Overall place 32586; behind me 3180

Gender place 11274; behind me 1954

F60-64 143; behind me 41

Passed by me in last 7.2k 436

 Av m/mi 13:27


5k 41:02  difference 41:02

10k 1:22:36 difference 41:34

15k 2:04:19 difference41:43

 20k 2:45:39 difference 41:20

Half 2:54:26 difference 8:47

25k 3:26:27 difference 32:01 (40:48)

30k 4:09:05 difference 42:38

35k 4:51:37 difference 42:32

40k 5:34;47 difference 43:10

Finish 5:52:39 difference 17:52

First half = 2:54:26

Sec. half = 2:58:13

Second half was only 4 mins longer than the first. To me, that says JG pretty much got the tactics spot on for me, especially as I had, and still have, a nasty cough and sore throat.

Just for interest, daughter’s second half was 12 mins longer, son-in-law 16 mins and friend from the running club’s was 34 mins. Their overall times were much better (Liz 3:40 and a bit disappointed, Russ a PB at 3:56 and friend, just under 5:00) as all a lot younger and fitter but tactically they were not good. Richard (husband) says they need a proper coach. LOL.

Edited: 16/04/2014 at 22:21
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