Ralk my world

by Khushboo on October 11, 2011

I had a pretty hot date with Teddy Treddy yesterday morning.  I say hot because one of the air-cons at the gym was busted! My training plan called for 8 miles and I won’t lie, the distance made me nervous.  I have not run that long in AGES.  After reading so much about the Galloway”Ralking” method (running + walking), I decided to give it a shot.  Psychologically, eight run/walk  segments seemed more digestible than the idea of running 8 miles straight up.  I’ll give you a break-up:

What it’s all about:

  • The Galloway Walk/Run method is a ‘highly structured approach that inserts intermittent walk breaks in between bouts of running.’
  • To control fatigue, ralkers stick to a ratio of running to walking.   I went with the 9/1 method (run for 9 minutes, walk for 1 minute).
  • To receive the most benefit, Galloway suggests you take walk breaks before you even start to feel fatigued.  It felt very odd to take a walk break when I didn’t “need” it but I didn’t want to knock it.

Why try this method according to Galloway:

  • Conserve resources: By using muscles in different ways from the start, your legs can keep their bounce.  Also the workload is distributed among a variety of muscles rather than just placing all the workload on running muscles.
  • Postpones fatigue: I was shocked how great my legs were still feeling after 5 miles in.
  • Speeds up recovery: less damage to repair because the early walks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce muscle overuse and/or breakdown.  Just for the record, my legs didn’t experience an ounce of soreness this morning.
  • Faster overall pace: sounds too good to be true? I thought so too!

Why try this method according to Me:

  • The 8 miles flew by
  • Knowing I had the walk break coming up encouraged me to run a little faster & harder
  • Facilitates pacing during a long run without the concern whether you’re setting off too fast/holding back too much
  • I ended my run feeling strong & alive as opposed to sloppy & exhausted.

The name says it all–> ralking really is rocking! 😆

It’s safe to say that I’m a Galloway convert.   I was a bit skeptic about the claim that my overall average pace would increase but proof is in the pudding:

  • Last week I ran 7 miles in 68m26, which is an average pace of 9m46 per mile
  • Today I “ralked” 8 miles in 76m57, which is an average pace of 9m36 per mile
  • Bear in mind that during yesterday’s ralk, I reached 7 miles at 67m30, which is an average pace of 9m38 per mile (8 seconds faster per mile than last week)

I now have no doubt that I’m going to smash my 10-mile goal, and probably in a better time than I expected.  I definitely see a half-marathon in my near future.  For all the skeptics or running purists that claim walk breaks are a sign of weakness/giving up, I’ve got 6 words for you: See ya at the finish line!

How do you tackle your long runs/improve your overall speed?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Errign October 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Interesting post. I usually just head out strong, at a pace I can hope to maintain and if I need to walk, I walk.


Parita @ myinnershakti October 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I love you for this post! You know how much I love walking “breaks!” I totally think you should sign up for a half 🙂


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

Yess, I knew you would be on board about walk breaks :)! There is a half mara here in January which is already shut for registration…hopefully I can run for a charity!


Sara K October 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Hmmm I should try this next time I get my arse to le gym (which might be today). Ralking sounds like my type of stride!


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

Do itttt, you’ll feel like a Ralk-star…hahah 🙂


Tessa @ Amazing Asset October 12, 2011 at 1:17 am

I took some walking breaks on my run today! I felt like total poop so it was necessary 🙁


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

Woo well done for sticking out the run though 🙂


Nada (One Arab Vegan) October 12, 2011 at 1:27 am

This actually sounds really good! As of today I’m officially training for a half marathon in March so I need all the help I can get. Just out of curiosity do you run outside or on a treadmill?


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

Right now I’m running on a treadmill..it’s too hot in Mumbai to run outdoors and I’m not committed enough to wake up at 5 am to run ha! When I’m in London though, I only opt for outdoor running–> I try to make the most of it while I can!


Tracy's Treats October 12, 2011 at 3:08 am

Wow, this is a really informative post! I’ve never heard of the Galloway Method, but it seems really effective! Ralking 8 miles in 76 minutes is really fast. I feel like I would be much more productive doing ralks like this instead of just running straight through like I usually do. Thanks for the info!!


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

I hate to say it but I was one of those ppl who thought walk breaks = giving up…totally not true! It was an excellent run and definitely more efficient! Give it a shot, I think you’ll be a fan too!


Sig October 12, 2011 at 5:47 am

Ha! Totally should have used this method properly when I ran a 10k on the weekend. Kinda was doing unintentionally due to my stupid knee injury but I tend to try and run too hard too fast so I’m gonna have to go back to the basics and build back up this way.

Although I find it harder to do when running outside then on the treadmill – have the same problem?


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hope your knee was feeling okay after the 10k! One reason I think I will stick with Galloway for long runs is because of injury- I can’t imagine having to take a hiatus from running! As for outdoor running- a lot of people find it harder than the treadmill but I actually find it easier..probably because I’m not so focused on the numbers!


Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 12, 2011 at 9:22 am

Ralking sounds doable to me 🙂

Love this informative post!


Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

Super doable!


spinach&spice October 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I love your brinner party idea on your last post! Such a cute way to switch things up, and not to mention absolutely delicious looking! This is a great post too, very informative! I’m slowly getting into a workout routine, so I love to hear about new techniques and concepts!


Tara October 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

I think that Galloway method is awesome, but I like your term of “ralking” even better! 8 miles on the treadmill is hardcore! 6 is pretty much my max on the treadmill. I improve my speed through workouts on the track and what not. I love long runs! I rarely go further than 8 miles in my training so it’s extra special when I get to do more!


Jamie October 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Just found your site! LOVE the run walk method for long runs. Really makes the run go smoothly.


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