Skip navigation
Community: Exchange advice in the forums and read running commentary Resources: Personal running log, calculators, links and other tools for runners News: Running news from around the world Training: Articles and advice about fitness, race training and injury prevention Races/Results: Find upcoming races and past results Home: The Cool Running homepage
Cool Running homepage  Search Cool Running Community

9487 Views 90 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2009 9:02 AM by Cruns4fun 1 2 3 ... 7 Previous Next
qwestman Rookie 74 posts since
Jun 20, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 26, 2007 6:00 AM

walk breaks on long runs

Below is an excerpt I found on an article on this website.  I find it interesting the last paragraph says everyone should take walk breaks during long runs.  I'm curious what everyone else does and thinks about this.  I don't walk on my long runs.  Ironically I find it very hard to take walk breaks while running.  It takes me out of my rythym.  Are there any disadvantages to not taking walk breaks on long runs?


{Walk breaks on long runs

Must be taken early and often to reduce pounding and fatigue
Must be taken often to allow the primary running muscles to recover fast – even when increasing long run length
Will also help most marathoners run faster in the marathon itself
The most important walk breaks are the ones taken during the first mile and the second most important set, those taken in the second mile, etc. When taken from the beginning of all long ones, walk breaks erase fatigue, speed recovery, reduce injury, and yet bestow all of the endurance of the distance covered. In other words, a slow long run with walk breaks gives you the same distance conditioning as a fast one, when both cover the same distance.

Everyone should take a one to two-minute walk break every two to eight minutes on every long run. If you’re just beginning to run, you’ll walk more than you’ll run. Experienced marathoners will recover much faster from their long ones when they take one-minute walk breaks at least every eight minutes. The walk breaks can be done at a fast or an easy pace.}



[http://This message has been edited by qwestman (edited Sep-05-2007).|http://This message has been edited by qwestman (edited Sep-05-2007).]

  • JimR022 Rookie 984 posts since
    Jan 16, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 5, 2007 6:05 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    I'm a runner

  • saviorfaire Rookie 188 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 5, 2007 7:02 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    Qwestman,

    Does the article cite any significant research to support these claims?

  • saustin74 Rookie 57 posts since
    Oct 26, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Sep 5, 2007 7:06 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    Frankly, what a load of crap. Walking during your long runs is not going to make you faster, I have never heard of that. You should only stop to walk if you feel like you need to. Eventhough I am still sort of a newbie, I never stop to walk before the 2 or 3 mile mark, if I do, it just makes it easier for me to keep taking walk breaks. The longer I wait to take a walk break (and I don't always take walk breaks anyway) the better my overall run is. I agree that it definetly takes me out of my rythym when I stop to walk.

    ----



    http://bostonmarathon2008.blogspot.com/[/URL" target="_blank">

  • knifey Rookie 91 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 5, 2007 7:56 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    quote:


    Originally posted by qwestman:

    the article is on the cool running website by jeff galloway..here is the link

    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/the-long-run-is-your-mara.shtml[/URL" target="_blank">


     



    I also believe that if you need to walk, walk.  That being said, when I trained for my first marathon, I used the Galloway method.  I got up to the LR of 16 miles, got injured and had to bag my training, and the marathon (I did finally train for and run my first marathon 7 months later, though not at 100%).  I have to believe I am the exception, and not the norm, though.  I am training for my second marathon now, and ran my 16 miler this time around of training MUCH faster and stronger than with Galloway.  I have used the method, and it was not for me.

  • AKTrail Rookie 360 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Sep 5, 2007 7:59 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    I was just going to say that that sounded like something from Galloway.

    I have 0 credentials, but I say do what works for you. !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|border=0!

    Walk breaks can and do help people trying to extend their running. It is a concept adapted from ultrarunning and trail running where walking is accepted - either for terrain or for really long stuff. (In particular, Galloway got the idea from Tom Osler.) A common guideline is that if you wait until you have to walk, then you waited too long. That's where the idea of the most important walk break being the first one comes from. Yes, competitive runners in 24-hr races may run more distance than someone who only runs. Walk breaks are used for drinking and eating. I'm interested in longer trail runs and do take walk breaks as needed. If I'm on a 5-hr long "run", I may run 4 hours of that without injury, depending on where I'm running. It allows me to explore more trails and get away from the trailhead. That's what floats my boat. While Matt Carpenter may have a goal of running the entire distance (except stream crossings) on a 100-mi race, other elites like Scott Jurek say it's not worth the energy cost to run some of the steeper hills.

    Walking needs to be trained for as do the transitions.

    While I do believe in walking as being ok, I don't agree with some of the claims made by Galloway as to fast marathoners improving their times by run /walking. He may have some examples, but I've not seen them. I do know that I run/walk some trails (one 10k race) faster than I can run them, but I'm a relative beginner, and a slow one at that. Next year I may be able to run the whole thing faster than run/walking it, but the only way I'm going to improve is to use run/walking to get the time on legs and experience of trail running. A person needs to start somewhere.

    If you're doing distances that you can run the whole time, have at it. But, at the same time, you may not want to limit your horizons to only things that can be run entirely. Some people do, since that's what turns them on. But at the same time, they are probably excluding themselves from certain kinds of races, and I think that's unfortunate. (That said, flat pavement and I don't get along, so I doubt I'll ever do a flat road race and don't feel I'm missing anything. Others feel that way about trails and ultras. No problemo. Diversity of interests is good.)

  • Nobby063 Rookie 630 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 6, 2007 9:04 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    I pretty much agree with EVERYTHING AKTrail has said ;o)  It is from Jeff Galloway's stuff and his approach has been criticized as "Gallowalk" by many people particularly letsrunners.  However, as AKTrail pointed out also, it's nothing new.  I forgot about Osler but even Ernst van Aaken way back in the 50s was a strong advocate for walking breaks (during the long training runs).  Jeff has developed his "system" where it is geared almost exclusively toward slow and/or beginning marathon runners.  Yes, he has used the example of Bill Rodgers stopping to tie his shoes and take water in 1975 Boston where he set the American record of 2:09:55 but, c'mon, that's a stretch and you know it.  If walk breaks really make even fast runners even faster, we'd be seeing many more runners taking walk breaks in the Olympic marathons.  We don't, because it wouldn't.  It probably helps up to somewhere around 3:454:00 marathon but probably not any faster.  My wife claims she has to stop and walk water station otherwise she just can't take enough water.  Fair enough; if she can't take water, she might actually slow at the end so those "walking breaks at the water stops would make her run faster marathon."  But that too is nothing but a speculation.  And I think this is the point AKTrail is making as well--particularly in ultra or trail runs, aggressive early running won't help; it may actually hurt.  Sprinting up a steep hill 3 miles into a 50 mile trail run can actually slow you down.  Walking break would most likely make your end result "faster".  <br /><br />I have been running 30+ years now, close to half of that quite competitively.  My long runs throughout have been 23 hour range but I NEVER take walking breaks.  I don't think it hurt me any; nor I would have run faster had I taken walking breaks.  The only thing is; I've run as far as 30 miles in about 3:30 in my hay-days and that was comfortable.  But if I go any further, in other words, if I start to go slower, walking breaks might have not been a bad idea, a la van Aaken.  If you have to take walking breaks in your regular long runs, to me, that would most probably mean you're training over your head.  I think walking breaks are for slower runners (I'm not trying to put them down) or people who shouldn't be running a marathon but want to--they are simply not strong enough to go the distance; except for the ultras.  In other words, that's for those for whom marathon (26 miles) is an ultra. 

    One thing I always felt is that, if you're running with your HR of, say, 160 or so (and feeling comfortable) and abruptly stop and start walking, your HR would quickly drop down to, say, 80.  Your legs are still warm and needing blood supply but, because your HR drops so much, it won't be able to supply enough blood; this COULD cause stiff legs.  Once again, this wouldn't be as big of a problem if you are going much slower, but I always felt this could be an issue if you're going a bit faster.  Another thing is; I know those who believe walking break might say that, with walking break, they can run the running section faster.  Well, it is my observation that most people never learn to run "faster" anyways; in other words, they train at their marathon race pace.  If you never learn to run fastER, no amount of "breaks" would get you going any faster.  And as for the elite runners who are going at the boarder line aerobic-anaerobic threshold, going fastER meaning surely dipping into anaerobic territory.  This would be physiologically impossible to continue for so long.  In other words, that argument wouldn't quite make sense to me.

  • biketm Pro 434 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Sep 6, 2007 9:34 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    With all that has already been said, I would like to add my own expereince with walking during a run. I use to take walk breaks and when race day came, and the going got tough, I found it easy to just walk. I no longer walk anymore, and try and drink on the run.

    Another thing about me....If I stop and walk, I never feel as good once I start running again...disrupts the continuity of the whole run to me.

    Tim

  • GaleRunz Amateur 147 posts since
    Dec 13, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 6, 2007 9:45 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    I only walk when absolutely necessary because when I walk, I stiffen up and it is sooooo difficult to start running again and I feel like crap.

    ----



    Running sober, one step at a time!!!My Profile[/URL" target="_blank">

  • Nobby063 Rookie 630 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Sep 6, 2007 9:51 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    quote:


    Originally posted by gale813:

    I only walk when absolutely necessary because when I walk, I stiffen up and it is sooooo difficult to start running again and I feel like crap.


     



    A-ha!  That is my point.  I think your legs get stiffen up because you slow blood supply to the muscles.  Plus your heart would have to work extra hard to get the beat up again once you start running.  Just my scientifically unsupported observation.

  • kcwoodhead Rookie 316 posts since
    Oct 18, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Sep 6, 2007 10:09 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    I am about to run my 9th marathon and will be using a 9/1 run/walk plan.  I have been doing this for the past ~2 years and it is what works best for me.  I'm slow regardless though, so I can't say what it would do for a 3 hour marathoner.  I know that now I can run much longer and stronger using the walk breaks, but that is the way I have trained.  The idea behind the walk breaks is that they are scheduled so you never walk longer than scheduled.  At my last marathon before I switched to 9/1s, I started walking around mile 9 and never got back into the game because I didn't have any sort of set plan.

    Bash away if you want, but it is what works for me!  If you are interested in trying it, by all means, try it!  If you don't like the sound of it, no one is making you do it.

  • kzod Rookie 43 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Sep 6, 2007 10:42 AM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    quote:


    Originally posted by Nobby:

    A-ha! That is my point. I think your legs get stiffen up because you slow blood supply to the muscles. Plus your heart would have to work extra hard to get the beat up again once you start running. Just my scientifically unsupported observation.


     



    No, they are stiffening up because they were running too far/too fast to begin with. As they said, they had to stop & walk.

    My view is this, it's great for beginners and those tackling longer distances then they are used to, as well as folks who have problems pacing themselves. Once you are able to run the race distance at an even pace with no sign of slowing down, you don't need them.

    None of you would take a walk break in a 5k would you?

    I just walk the water stations as I'm too stupid to drink properly while running.

  • willamona Rookie 387 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Sep 6, 2007 1:41 PM (in response to qwestman)
    Re: walk breaks on long runs

    On training runs, I will walk for a lot of reasons.  On race day, I usually pass the Gallow-walkers several times.  Near the end of the race they seem to disappear behind me. 

    ----



    ***********
    My myspace[/URL" target="_blank">
    No Complaining[/URL" target="_blank">
    Low Heart Rate Training FAQ [/URL" target="_blank"> Because many have asked...
    You have poopie pants.

1 2 3 ... 7 Previous Next

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...