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The Jeff Galloway Run-Walk Method: A Beginner's Guide to Running Success

Developed by former Olympian Jeff Galloway in 1979, this marathon training strategy has helped countless athletes achieve their running goals, whether they are absolute beginners or Boston marathon runners. In this post, we will review what the Jeff Galloway Method is, why it works, and whether it's beginner-friendly. Additionally, we will discuss what’s more beneficial: running continuously vs. using intervals.

A women using the run walk method

What is the “Run Walk” Method?

The Jeff Galloway Method is a marathon training approach that integrates running with deliberate walk breaks to help runners build endurance, reduce injury, and enjoy the sport of running. Unlike other marathon training programs that utilize continuous running, the Jeff Galloway Method incorporates short walking intervals throughout the run to help runners conserve energy and prevent fatigue.


How does the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Method work?

The core concept behind the Jeff Galloway Method is that incorporating walk breaks during a run allows runners to conserve energy and reduce the risk of injury. This also helps promote a more enjoyable running experience and pushes runners to meet their goals. By taking regular walk breaks, runners give their muscles a chance to recover, which helps to prevent overuse injuries and fatigue. Walking breaks also allow runners to maintain a more consistent pace throughout their run, making it easier to complete longer distances.


What is a good run-walk ratio for beginners?

One of the greatest advantages of the Jeff Galloway Method is its beginner-friendly nature. By incorporating walk breaks, beginners can ease into a running routine without placing excessive stress on their bodies. This marathon training method allows beginners to build their endurance and adapt to a running routine, greatly reducing the risk of burnout.


Furthermore, the Jeff Galloway Method is highly flexible and can be customized to meet each individual runner’s needs. Whether you are a complete beginner or someone returning after a long break, the run-walk intervals can be tailored to suit your fitness level.


To implement the Jeff Galloway Method, runners need to determine their desired running pace. Then, runners can schedule regular walk breaks at strategic intervals.


For example, a beginner might start with a run-to-walk ratio of 1:1. This means they will run for 1 minute and after walk for 1 minute, repeating the pattern throughout their workout. The more experienced a runner becomes, their run-walk ratio can be adjusted to their needs.


Continuous Running or Intervals: Which is better?

The debate regarding whether continuous running or using intervals is more beneficial is common among runners. While both approaches have their merits, the Jeff Galloway Method utilizes using intervals for several reasons.


Firstly, interval training can make running more enjoyable for beginners. By breaking up a run into manageable sections, runners avoid feeling overwhelmed and retain a positive mindset towards running.


Secondly, intervals allow runners to achieve a higher overall workout volume. Runners who take strategic walk breaks can extend the duration of their run, without experiencing excessive fatigue. This is particularly beneficial when training for longer distances, making it optimal for marathon and half-marathon runners.


Lastly, intervals provide consistent recovery periods for the muscles. By doing so, runners can maintain proper form and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. While giving their body a chance to recover during walk breaks, runners can push themselves during the running portions without sacrificing their overall health.


The Jeff Galloway Method is a highly effective and beginner-friendly training strategy that incorporates walk breaks into training routines. By using run-walk intervals, runners can improve their endurance, prevent injury, and enjoy running to its fullest. Whether you are an experienced runner or an absolute beginner, consider giving the Jeff Galloway Method a try and discover the benefits for yourself.


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