The Middle Ground

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14/05/2010 at 12:11

With the disclaimer that "for me, in my opinion" - It's bad enough on a training run and getting stuck at junctions and traffic lights, etc. I absolutely hate the stop/start (especially on a 20 miler!). I find it so much harder than to just keep going. I have been known to run up a street to find a gap in the traffic, then back down if I need to. I don't jog on the spot though

I've done a lot of races and I will not walk. It's my own personal thing. I'd rather slow right down (and have done) than walk. There has only been one occassion where I had to run/walk (Loch Ness marathon) - that was through injury and I knew before the start it would likely end up that way. Unfortunately, it ended up being from half way, but I still finished in 4.11 so I wasn't devastated. Of course I didn't time my walk bits to co-incide with going up hill. Nope. Definitely not.

I got number 1 once, embarrasingly for my own club 10k. What's worse is that my number didn't arrive, so on they day they just turned over another number and put 1 on the back with a marker pen. I kept my t-shirt on until 10s before the race.

Hilly - you are fast! I am not. I definitely felt eyes on me.

I keep all of my numbers () and I've noted that 6 features a lot in mine. Maybe it is my lucky number!

14/05/2010 at 12:13

Very strange!

I ran an 18:15 5K in the parkrun last Saturday and then ran an interval session of 6x1000m on Wednesday averaging 3:31.

So, if I had run 5 of those 1000m back to back that would give a combined time of 17:35 for 5K, which would allow for four lots of 10 secs to be lost in the intervals to come up with an equivalent 18:15.

Since I actually used intervals of 200m jogging in 1:45 I can 100% confirm that a run/walk strategy is not  an efficient way to do things. Or at least not for me......

It makes you wonder what time he could do if he decided to run normally!

14/05/2010 at 12:27

BR - I would have been tempted to trip him

My 'rules' are I get cross if I am beaten by an ipod wearer, a garmin wearer or anyone walking...sorry if that makes me bad

14/05/2010 at 12:50

Interesting that you don't like stopping on 20 milers Kaysdee, I pretty much always do! To clarify that point, most of the long runs I do early on in my marathon training are done off road so there are various stiles/streams/gates etc to negotiate. It's all about time on feet for me at that stage though anyway.

Then I might move the runs to tarmac but I still stop once or twice for a stretch or gel break.I quite like my stops, they break it all up for me (I remember Mara Yamouchi saying the same) I always make sure I do one long run without stopping but I don't think it makes much difference physically.

I have only ever stopped once in a race, for stitch I think.

Just had some physio on my knee. Which, as it happens, wasn't actually my knee (I never thought it was tbh) The tightness that I always get in my left quad plus the camber on the road at Lochaber had contributed to my adductor muscles getting tight and sore. All that has been worked on and I haven't stopped running this week but I will rest now until Sunday and then just go for a jog.

I can understand the i pod thing kaysdee but Garmins? Is it when they beep?

Edited: 14/05/2010 at 12:50
14/05/2010 at 13:06
Sue - its just cause I am too cheap to buy one (and tres old skool) and I am jealous of their accurate pacings...so I want to beat them
14/05/2010 at 14:42

Run walk for long distances.  I'd read that some coaches prescribe this, and then I found this from Hal Higdon.

"It's better to run too slow during these long runs, than too fast. The important point is that you cover the prescribed distance; how fast you cover it doesn't matter.

Walking Breaks: That includes walking breaks. Walking is a perfectly acceptable strategy in trying to finish a marathon. It works during training runs too. While some coaches recommend walking 1 minute out of every 10, or walking 1 minute every mile, in the CARA Marathon Training Class, we teach runners to walk when they come to an aid station. This serves a double function: 1) you can drink more easily while walking as opposed to running, and 2) since many other runners slow or walk through aid stations, you'll be less likely to block those behind. It's a good idea to follow this strategy in training as well. Our class that trains on the lakefront finds water fountains (also known as "bubblers") every mile, or more often. We teach them to stop frequently to drink. Our classes that train elsewhere in the suburbs don't always have easy access to fluids, but we teach them to wear a water belt and also stop frequently to drink. You will lose less time walking than you think. I once ran a 2:29 marathon, walking through every aid station. My son Kevin ran 2:18 and qualified for the Olympic Trials employing a similar strategy. And Bill Rodgers took four brief breaks (tying a shoe on one of them) while running 2:09 and winning the 1975 Boston Marathon. Walking gives your body a chance to rest, and you'll be able to continue running more comfortably. It's best to walk when you want to, not when your (fatigued) body forces you too."

Now, I can understand that for a marathon.  It's a long distance, and the short rest could be beneficial.  But I can't understand it for a 10k!  Heck, BR almost sprints those.  Even Paula has been known to take a short break in a long race for a little relief.

I think run/walk may serve the speedier yet less enduring runners, but that's just opinion.  I feel great for a minute or so starting running again after a (usually forced) pause.  I also see the benefits of walking through refuelling stations - again, if you're doing a long distance - you need to get the water into your mouth.  Why water in a 10k except to wet the mouth?

14/05/2010 at 15:01

Hmmmmm!

I think theres a bit of stretching the point going on there by Mr Higdon, perhaps in an attempt to make his audience more receptive?

Running a 2:29 or 2:18 while 'walking through every aid station' is probably nothing like the image that is being created. An Olympic trial is not the VLM with more drinks stations than lamposts, there was probably two or three I would imagine with 'walk breaks' of maybe 10 seconds.

It still comes back to the basics, ie running 9 minutes and walking 1 minute is an interval session and interval sessions are not an efficient way of getting from A to B.

Theres a big difference between having to stop very briefly for some unexpected incident and using walking as part of some strategy.

I wonder if there is anyone who has converted from running continuously to doing a run/walk strategy and got faster as a result on a similar level of fitness?

14/05/2010 at 15:10

Not to sure on whether it is more or less efficient tbh (I'm inclinded to think it is and it requires less fitness than running straight through)...but the point I was trying to make is that for newbs its as damaging as a full out interval session is for the rest of us...but we know when to back off, newbs dont, plus we do sessions as a % of total running not 100%. Its this that confuses the most about run/walk/run being recommended, because I just cant see it being injury preventing, in fact more than likely such a routine causes injury!

The advice on that thread so far has been mostly appalling *wishes Moraghan was around to tear some strips* 

14/05/2010 at 15:14

I saw it, intervals are great for beginners because they only take about 20 minutes!!!!

Probably has an injury clinic as a sideline!

14/05/2010 at 15:16

I'm trying to stretch back and find the report, but about two VLMs ago there was a study showing that a number of intermediate and novice runners walking 30secs in every mile (that's maybe a 15:1 ratio or greater??) had a quicker average time for the marathon than a comparable group running the whole route.  Nobody recommended it for Elite runners!

My mate says no way he'll stop to walk - part of the pride comes from running the whole distance.  Me, with an aid station every six to seven miles I'd probably stop to get a proper drink if necessary.  But I wouldn't choose a run/walk strategy either.

But I do think it's interesting, and I'll keep trying to find that report.

14/05/2010 at 15:19

Thanks Razter - I'm sure there's a point at which it becomes a much less useful strategy (and because PRF is fast hes prob way over that point) - I would say it would be very difficult to get a GFA time for example using a run/walk/run unless you had amazing speed but not the overall endurance (which you shuold have got while training for the GFA anyway)...

14/05/2010 at 15:27

Thats the thing about any studies into running, they always compare to a 'comparable group'.

Whats one of those?

In the end its not really for anyone else to prove to us one way or another, I think most of us will be firmly in one camp or the other and remain there.

Maybe Moraghan could start by run/walking his 800m tomorrow and see if he can still break 2 minutes?

Edited: 14/05/2010 at 15:49
14/05/2010 at 15:35
Curly45 wrote (see)

The advice on that thread so far has been mostly appalling *wishes Moraghan was around to tear some strips* 

What thread is this? What advice have they been giving?

It's probably already been mentioned, I'm just not paying attention.

14/05/2010 at 15:47

Yes, which thread is it?  Although I've been trying to keep out of such threads to be honest this one sounds almost too tempting.

Walking during a running contest?  Sounds too much like a loud whispering competition to be honest.  I'll try it in the 400m relay tomorrow.  I'm sure my teammates will understand.

What about this mythical 2:30 marathoner Galloway keeps talking about with regards to a scheduled walk strategy?  He never has actually said who the guy is.  Walter Mitty perhaps?

14/05/2010 at 15:53

Its the Q&A session Moraghan.

Theres nothing about run/walk strategies in races, that was just us digressing, but its the general thing of advising beginners to start by using run/walk strategies and also recommending intervals because 'they dont take as much time'. !

14/05/2010 at 16:01
parkrunfan wrote (see)
Thats the thing about any studies into running, they always compare to a 'comparable group'.

Whats one of those?

In the end its not really for anyone else to prove to us one way or another, I think most of is will be firmly in one camp or the other and remain there.

Maybe Moraghan could start by run/walking his 800m tomorrow and see if he can still break 2 minutes?


Completely agree with the 'comparable group', PRF.  I remember reading an insight into interval training that spouted its benefits for VO2Max increase over a 'comparable training group' across 12 weeks.  What were the comparable group doing?  Same distance, same time, no pace variance, and no other training.  So, just how are you supposed to increase your VO2Max when running a steady 3-6 miles 3 times a week, and you were probably doing 20-30 miles a week before this?  Nope, comparable group is not clear enough in many studies.

However, as to staying firmly in one camp, I'm firmly in the camp of people who are not firmly in one camp or the other.  Part of the reason I came onto this thread was to find out what people were doing and maybe test it out for myself.  I also like to try things that I think might work.  It's a long process, but somebody's gotta do it!

I reckon he could do it if he were doing 800m intervals...

14/05/2010 at 16:13

Thats exactly right, Ratzer.

You simply cannot create a 'control' for running experiments, its not a medicine/placebo comparison.

Back to the run/walk thing, any 2:15 marathon runner could run/walk a 2:30 marathon (I've no idea why he'd want to though) and any 3:00 marathon runner could run/walk a 3:15 marathon. It hardly proves anything though does it?

14/05/2010 at 16:23

Found this much out, but it doesn't hit my criteria for evidence.  I include it for interest and discussion only:
"For many runners, “walking” is a dirty word. But there’s evidence that a walk-run protocol, in which you build set periods of walking into your runs, can help you extend your “time on feet” without leaving you fatigued or susceptible to injury. It might even help you get round the course faster. According to Jeff Galloway, a US coach and leading proponent of walk-run ([b]jeffgalloway.com[/b]), the average improvement made by veteran marathon runners who adopted the strategy was 13 minutes."

Thing is I checked Galloways site out before finding this to look for evidence, but there's none there, and no reference in the article (Financial Times, Feb 6 2010).  So it gets a pinch of salt.

There's no smiley for salt!

14/05/2010 at 16:27

Ok, I've found the thread.

She's giving the answers that people want to hear, not what's gonna help in the long-term. Moraghan needs to get over there and do battle with her

14/05/2010 at 18:36
Ratzer wrote (see)

Found this much out, but it doesn't hit my criteria for evidence.  I include it for interest and discussion only:
"For many runners, “walking” is a dirty word. But there’s evidence that a walk-run protocol, in which you build set periods of walking into your runs, can help you extend your “time on feet” without leaving you fatigued or susceptible to injury. It might even help you get round the course faster. According to Jeff Galloway, a US coach and leading proponent of walk-run ([b]jeffgalloway.com[/b]), the average improvement made by veteran marathon runners who adopted the strategy was 13 minutes."

Thing is I checked Galloways site out before finding this to look for evidence, but there's none there, and no reference in the article (Financial Times, Feb 6 2010).  So it gets a pinch of salt.

There's no smiley for salt!


I love some of the terms used on there, such as '98% success rate' and 'Jeff has worked with 200,000 average people'. Its amazing that there is no such thing as an average person and yet he's found 200,000 of them.

Where I'm struggling with the whole concept is that it seems to be an attempt to make completing a marathon 'easier'. But why?

If you want to make it easier, just walk the thing. Or bike it. Or get in your car.

Making it easier just seems like such a strange motivation. Isnt the whole idea to challenge yourself? 

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