I used the Jeff Galloway run/walk interval method for the whole first year of my training and did the Princess Half last year using five minute run, one minute walk intervals. And then, after I recovered, I spent the spring and summer building up my endurance so I could run without any walk intervals. It helped me get my 5k time under 30 minutes and I really enjoyed the zoning out I could find when I wasn’t having to change up my pace during the long runs.
And let me be completely honest. While I completely and absolutely respect and admire everyone who gets out there and walks, runs or any combination from start to finish, my ego doesn’t like taking walk breaks. Some people who don’t race consider run/walk intervals to be somehow “less than” and can belittle the accomplishment of covering 3.1, 6.1, 9.3, 13.1 or 26.2 miles by saying “well, it’s not like you ran the whole thing” or “anyone can do that”. I know it’s not true, but as a non-skinny (and not yet completely comfortable in my own skin) runner, I am much too sensitive to the real and perceived criticism and judgment. And I still feel like I have to prove that I’m fast enough and strong enough and more than just a size 12.
Wine & Dine and Space Coast both went great with a straight run (with photo stops, water walk breaks and potty breaks). And my ego really enjoyed being able to do the straight run. I proved that I could do it and do it in a time that made me happy. But, since Space Coast, all my long runs have been slogs. I don’t think a single one has felt fun. And the Tink Half was terrible.
Reading several different bloggers’ accounts of the amazing things they’ve accomplished using the Galloway run/walk intervals made me decide to officially reintroduce intervals into my training. And I’ll be running the Princess 10k and Half using intervals. And my ego can “suck it up buttercup”. Jeff Galloway qualified for Boston using his own interval method and I just want to hug him for that. It gave those of us less mature and less secure runners a comeback for any snarky comments (again the majority of the snarky comments were imagined, very few people actually said anything, it’s mostly in my own silly head).
So this weekend, I managed to get in a 3 mile walk on Saturday and a 9 mile run on Sunday in preparation for the Glass Slipper Challenge. I did five minute run/ one minute walk intervals for the whole run and while there were some moments around mile 4-5 where I was tired and wanted to quit, I found my second wind and turned my planned 8 miler into a 9 miler. And I’m so happy with it.
Here’s my 3 mile walk stats:
My long time readers may know that it’s hard for me to “just” walk. I normally love running and find just a fitness walk to be super boring. And, I tend to somehow talk myself into working in some running during a scheduled walk. And then I overdo it and get injured (or skip my actual run). So, my secret trick to prevent myself from cheating and running is to wear a regular bra. No sports bra. And I am generously endowed, so running in a regular bra is basically impossible. If a bear was chasing me, I might be able to run, but I’d be holding the girls down with my arms while I ran! My plan worked and I’m really happy with my walk pace.
Today’s 9 mile run stats (5/1 intervals):
Working in the walk intervals barely slowed me down at all. And I felt good. I could have gone further. Yay!
So, I’m finally shaking off my Tink funk. I have a plan for GSC, 5/1 intervals for training and the race. Next weekend I’m going to walk 6 miles on Saturday and run 12 on Sunday and then it’s time for taper-town.
Jeff Galloway, I’m so sorry I left you. I may not always use run/walk intervals but they have a place in my toolbox and I’ll be using them proudly this month!