Today I’ll be reviewing an often underutilized training method that incorporates walking to help you run faster for longer. But what is the Jeff Galloway Method, how does it work, what do the workouts look like, and how can you incorporate it into your training plan? Below we’ll dive into this popular approach to running that uses a run-walk-run strategy to build endurance while reducing the risk of injury.
Overview – What is The Jeff Galloway Method
In short, The Jeff Galloway Method works by alternating between running and walking at specific intervals during a workout. By incorporating walking breaks into training runs, runners are able to focus on running with better form, recover more quickly and are less likely to experience overuse injuries when building up miles.
How it Works
- The Jeff Galloway method involves incorporating a run-walk-run strategy during your training runs.
- Runners alternate between running and walking at specific timed intervals.
- The interval lengths and pace of running and walking vary depending on the fitness level of the individual.
- By incorporating walking into the routine, runners are able to lower the stress on the body from training, it reduces the risk of injury, and allows you to recover more quickly.
- The method is flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of most runners.
Benefits of the The Jeff Galloway Method
- Reduce the risk of injury: The run-walk-run intervals allow for recovery periods, which can reduce the risk of injury and improve overall endurance.
- Builds endurance: The gradual increase in running time can help runners build endurance over time.
- Makes running more accessible: The walk breaks make running more accessible for beginners and those recovering from injury.
- Customizable: The method can be customized to each individual’s needs and goals, making it a flexible and adaptable approach to training.
- Suitable for all fitness levels: The Jeff Galloway Method can be used by runners of all fitness levels, from beginners to experienced runners.
- Can lead to faster race times: Some runners have reported faster race times using the Jeff Galloway Method, as the intervals help to maintain energy levels and reduce fatigue.
In-depth on How to Perform the Workouts
To perform a workout using the Jeff Galloway Method, follow these steps:
- Determine your pace by doing the magic mile test, then multiplying by your training distance using the formula below.
Example: If I’m training for a 5k and my magic mile time is 8 minutes. According to the table, my training pace will be 8:33
- Start by picking a run time of let’s say 8 minutes and a walk time of 30 seconds.
- Pick a total length for your workout, let’s go with 40 minutes .
- Do a 10 minute warm up jog.
- Then perform the workout. Which in this example would be 8 minutes / 8:33 pace x 30 second walk. Repeated for 40 minutes
- End with a 5 minute cool down jog or walk.
Do the one mile time trial:
- Warm up with a slow one mile run
- Do a few acceleration-gliders (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs)
- Pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
- Run about as hard as you could run for one mile–but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn’t have run more than a football field at the same pace)
- Keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day
Then Do the math
Use the formula below to get your pace for the workouts based on your goal distance..
- Add 33 seconds to your magic mile for your pace for a 5K
- Multiply your magic mile time by 1.15 for 10K pace
- Multiply your magic mile time by 1.175 for 10 Mile pace
- Multiply your magic mile time by by 1.2 for half marathon pace
- Multiply your magic mile time by by 1.3 for marathon pace
What is the correct walking pace for the Jeff Galloway Method?
You should walk at a pace that is brisk but allows you to recover as much as possible the in chosen walking time period for that workout.
Example Jeff Galloway Method Workouts
*All workouts should include a 10 minute warm up and at least 5 minute cold down.
5k Workouts – 8 Minute Magic Mile
Length: 40 Minutes
Workout: 8 Minutes running / 30 seconds walking
10k Workouts – 8 Minute Magic Mile
Length 60 MInutes
Workout: 10 MInutes Running / 30 seconds walking
10k Workouts – 8 Minute Magic Mile
Length 120 MInutes
Workout: 20 Minutes Running / 60 seconds walking
Potential Negatives and Who It May Not Be Right For
While the Jeff Galloway Method can be an effective way to build endurance and reduce the risk of injury. It may not be the best approach for every runner. Below I cover some of the potential negatives as well as reasons it may not be right for some runners:
- Slower progress: The run-walk-run method can progress slower than more traditional running methods.
- Can be mentally challenging: The walking can feel counterproductive to getting faster and can make it hard for some runners who will start to skip or shorten the walking intervals.
- Timing: This method can add time to the training compared to other training methods meant to provide more bang for the buck.
Type of runners it might not be right for:
- Runners on Deadline : If you have an upcoming race or something you are really looking to run a PB at, then the Jeff Galloway Method may not be the best option.
- Competitive Runners: Lacking speed building workouts and threshold pushes, this method is not going to be effective for most competitive runners..
Who is Jeff Galloway?
Jeff Galloway is a former Olympian and running coach. He has completed over 130 marathons and is considered an expert in the field of running. Galloway has written multiple books on running and currently coaches runners of all levels.
One of the biggest reasons people tend to go with the The Jeff Galloway Method is because of the flexability of the programming and the overall reduction in injury risk. Which can be especially true when first building up your weekly miles. By incorporating the run-walk-run format into a training routine, you are also able to recover more quickly, again allowing you to increase you overall training volume. And that for me is where the Jeff Galloway Method really finds it’s sweet spot. It’s a great approach for any runner, from beginner up, that is looking to add a lot of weekly miles. This is all relative of course, and can be used effectively to go from 10 to 20 miles a week, doubling your total, or from 50 to 70 miles a week. All while reducing the risk of injury from over use.
If you have any questions or experience with this training method, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!