Bobby McGee - Run/Walk in Training & Racing – It’s a No Brainer! Even Olympians Use this Methodology

Since the revamp of the Bobby McGee website this article is no longer available.  Below is a copy of the article.

Jeff Galloway has known all along - it's not whether you ran the whole way, not even whether you finished, it's about how fast - I see it in IM, I see it in marathons, IM & ultras; people achieve their potential with walk run. They CANNOT train enough to run the whole way & achieve their potential. Their ego prevails.

If you analyze people's distance races in terms of how much they intended to run vs. what they actually ran, then see where they did walk (last half) & then cut that in half (at least) & divide that over the whole race, i.e. start to walk early (like off the start line!) & they chop minutes off their finishing time! The trouble is they often don't get in many long runs in which they can practice the protocol.

Most long runs seldom exceed 2 hours & to “get in the miles”, folks run the whole way AND often run too fast. Running long is a key skill in ultra-distance events. It’s not like a long run for a 10km runner. Elite marathoners run their long runs way slower than their race pace – not so the amateur/age grouper. Amateurs muddle their race pace runs with their long runs; a fatal error.

Amateurs do NOT have enough volume background because of time, size & ability & therefore their long runs are often too long for their level of conditioning & they take too long to recover. Either this or they JUST DO NOT DO THE LONG RUNS, because if they did, they would not get to the start line! (I was one of those). You need weekly volume from frequency over time, to be able to handle repetitive long runs & effectively intersperse race pace runs in there as well.

Race pace runs are shorter than long runs – they are about “learning to run the pace” & developing the strength/power to hold the pace that the fitness indicates. HENCE THE WALK RUN – it’s nothing more than interval training for the long run. For example, 6-10x1km at 5km goal pace with recovery is manageable because it has been fractionalized & therefore effectively conditions the runner to run 5x1km with no recovery eventually, (the whole idea right?). So too, 3 hours of running in a 9min run, 1 min walk configuration allows the runner to go 3 hours plus, rather than only 2 hours AND this allows them to recover more quickly – not only are the benefits the same, they are greater! Similarly a 25km/15 mile race pace run for an amateur at marathon pace ALSO requires considerable motivation to achieve & has significant recovery requirements that will cause detraining & eat into valuable training time while the athlete recovers.

To best achieve this essential workout a 4-5x3mile or 5km session will give the same result, but allow for quicker recovery & should prove easier to wrap your head around. The great record of female Japanese runners on the world stage is proof enough that this workout works! (Okay so if you run faster than 2:19 for the marathon you probably don’t have to do walk/run!)

Bobby McGee (8 March 2013). Run/Walk in Training & Racing – It’s a No Brainer! Even Olympians Use this Methodology. [Online] Available at: http://bobbymcgee.com/runwalk-in-training-racing-its-a-no-brainer-even-olympians-use-this-methodology/. [Last Accessed 17 November 2014]