GALLOWAY – What the heck?

Jeff Galloway, one of the most famous elite running coaches in the world, shocked the rather purist running world with the suggestion that is was quite alright to incorporate segments of walking into your training regime, especially for marathon participants.  The suggestion did not catch on with the super elite runners, but it caught on fire with many people and for good reason.

You can check out this website to become more familiar with the program –, but essentially Galloway quite accurately summarizes the benefits of the program as “By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources. When a muscle group, such as your calf, is used continuously step by step, it fatigues relatively soon. The weak areas get overused and force you to slow down later or scream at you in pain afterward. By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. For veteran marathoners, this is often the difference between achieving a time goal or not. Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.”

So you may ask, why is this important to start or re-start running. By now of course you have made the commitment to workout for at least 4 times a week starting at 30 minutes a time.  Well, I have found that for the very same reasons as espoused by Galloway, a starting or re-starting runner will benefit from a run/walk program.  So, my suggestion is that after you have gone out and purchased a proper pair of running shoes and worn them on walks for a few evenings, then the time has come to learn how to start. 

Your first time out is your definition run.  Walk for about 15 minutes and then start to run making certain that you time how long you can run without having to stop.  I have found that a number of people deny their age and try to go out too fast, but this is in fact part of the plan.  Frankly, I have seen some people run only one minute and others may be able to run 5 minutes, but it matters not.  Once you know how long you can run there is a simple mathematical formula that incorporates a variance to the Galloway method of training.

Let us say that you are able to run for two minutes on your definition run.  So during the first week, on each of the four times that you work out you will walk 8 minutes and run 2 minutes for three segments (a total of 30 minutes).  Once you are comfortable with this ratio, then you will walk 7 minutes and run 3 minutes again for 30 minutes, then the ratio becomes 6/4 to 5/5 and so forth until you can comfortably run 30 minutes four times a week.  Once this happens your running regime starts and you can begin to train towards your goal.  But please note that as you increase your “time on your feet” you should NEVER increase your overall time by more than 5% per week.   The following chart is a good maintenance program from which you can take the next step towards any goal.  As one can see, this is a four week rotation that incorporates all of the major elements of training and increases some as you decrease others.  Remember to go back to the “Introduction to Running” article to make certain that you know the definition of the terms.  My suggestion is that you should first introduce either Tempo running or Hill repeats before Yassoo intervals.  Also, remember that LSD’s are the backbone to any distance running so if you have to miss one of these workouts on any given week, it should not be the LSD.



Day 1 – Long Slow Distance (LSD)

Day 2 – Basic Run with Tempo Component

Day 3 – Basic Run with Hill Repeat Component

Day 4 – Track workout – Yassoo Training

Week 1

60 minutes

48 minutes of running with 3×6 minute Tempo Runs

45 minutes of running with 8 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 6 to 8 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 2

70 minutes

45 minutes of running with 2×6 minute Tempo runs

42 minutes of running with 6 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 4 to 6 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 3

80 minutes

42 minutes of running with 1×8 minute Tempo run

40 minutes of running with 4 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 2 to 4 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 4

90 minutes

40 minutes of running with 1×6 minute Tempo run

38 minutes of running with 2 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 2 to 4 – 800’s with 1 minute break


One Response to GALLOWAY – What the heck?

  1. Pat says:

    Ok – so walking is good – I like it.

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