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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Galloway Roots

From my "What Do You Want to Know?" post a while back, James asked:
Did you start running with Galloway's run/walk or did you convert? I converted over this summer, and actually found my times increased substantially. What has been your experiences between the two?
First of all, I basically started from nothing.  I mean nothing as far as running fitness went.  I had run the mandatory Presidential Fitness Test runs in elementary and high school (skipping over gym altogether in middle school), but beyond that, my running experience was zero.  Prior to starting to run, I was sort of in shape, though, just not from running.  I had been doing some step aerobics and weight training, and I had been pretty consistent with it for about 4-5 months before I started running.  So, I had something at least, I guess.
Me after my very first race, the Baltimore
Women's Classic 5K 2005

I was always a bit of walk/run person, although not specifically Galloway and not particularly on purpose.  I started out with Cool Running's Couch to 5K Training Program, which took me from April to June of 2005, when I ran my first 5K.  I ran my first mile straight through Memorial Day weekend 2005, but I don't think I ran a whole 3 miles straight through until about 2008, when I only did it because I wanted to prove that I could.  I ran five 5Ks in 2005, but I had to walk for at least a minute of each of them, which I felt at the time was total failure. From June to August of 2005, I continued to run with the goal of running straight through, but my endurance just wasn't there, so I still tended to walk quite a bit when I would get tired.  I was still not doing Galloway.  On a treadmill, though, I'd already discovered Cardio Coach.

I found my initial blog post from when I first went to Fleet Feet to run at the store.  It was September 15, 2005.  Here it is (this post is no longer available to the public):
Tonight, we ran with the Fleet Feet running group. It was a good time, but it kicked our asses. It was 4 miles (the most I've ever done). Not all running, we took walk breaks, but it was tough. A lot of hills. We also got new technical shirts by trading in our cotton ones. Very cool.
Looking back, I know that I did the hilly course that we don't do anymore, and that I couldn't keep up with Caryn, who was paired with me.  I remember thinking I was dying going up some of the hills, and that Caryn eventually left us when we were getting close to the store (us being me and my ex-husband).  I didn't remember that the night I got that long sleeve for trading in a cotton shirt was my first night of running with Fleet Feet.  That's one of my favorite shirts, even now!  Last winter, I thought I'd lost it and fell into despair and mourning before I found it a month or two ago when I cleaned out our closets.  Anyway.

So, that was my first night of Galloway, and I've been doing Galloway ever since.  I take walk breaks for every distance, even my Galloway Magic Mile time tests.  I just switch up the intervals.  These days, it goes something like this:

  • Magic Mile (one mile): 30 seconds run, 15 seconds walk.
  • 5K: 45 seconds run, 30 seconds walk.
  • Short run (3-5 miles): 2 minutes run, 1 minute walk.
  • 10K: 1:30 run, 1 minute walk
  • Long run (5-20+ miles): 1:30 run, 1 minute walk
  • Half Marathon or Marathon: 1 minute run, 1 minute walk
This is all very personal to me, so it really varies by person, pace and distance.  And the 2:1 ratio for short runs is very new to me, just the past few weeks.  I run nearly straight through on the treadmill, sticking to my Cardio Coach workouts there.

So, to answer the question, I don't have a whole lot of comparison between non-Galloway and Galloway.  Personally, I feel that I perform better by taking walk breaks, but I also know that for the distances that I prefer (10 mile races and higher), I couldn't run straight through because I've never trained that way. 

That being said, my 5K time definitely suffered when I started official Galloway marathon training in 2006, but I don't think that was because I was doing Galloway.  Instead, it was because my focus changed to endurance and distance, and short sprinting distances like 5Ks and 10Ks are a lot harder when you train for and prefer running long and middle distance.

I love the Galloway method, and I don't think I'd still be running without it.  Thanks for your questions, I'm going to keep answering them whenever I have a lack of topics!  And as always, feel free to ask more! :)


K said...

How do you keep track of your intervals while running? Do you use a watch timer to alert you? Or do you have a garmin?

marathonmaiden said...

i want to know the same things as K. it sounds like galloway is really working for you. i'd be worried that i'd be breaking up my momentum with the breaks as i'm a runner who hones in on a pace and can stay there.

i'm assuming (because i really don' know much about galloway) that you use the same running/walking principles in races as training? do you modify the ratio for different distances?

lindsay said...

I love reading about how people started out running :) glad the Galloway-method is working for you! Some of the memories you wrote down (and apparently forgot some of) were funny. Good to look back and see all your progress!

Kim said...

I'm going to write some more on this to answer your questions, but short answer is that I have a watch that does timed intervals to keep track of whether or not I'm walking or running (it beeps)

More on this in a future post.... (later this week, I hope!)

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