Sunday, July 04, 2010

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Hope everyone is well. I'm fine, battling with the heat and humidity but getting through my runs. You know it's hot when you come back from a run and your hands are white and wrinkled just like they look when you come out of a hot bath. Just dripping sweat on most runs the last 2 weeks.

Anyway what I wanted to write about was my experience with my long run today. I took the advice I read in "The Lore of Running" by Tim Noakes and had some walk breaks on my run today. I was doing 30 mins runs and walking between sets of these for 5 mins! I ended up doing 38K in 3 hours, not counting the walk breaks, and surprisingly the old pins feel refreshed and good to go now. I did have a swim this afternoon so it might be that also but what do you think? Is this a good idea or do you think I need to run the whole session without any significant breaks?

Interested to hear what you think, as always.

Happy July 4th to the Seppos and congratulations to all those that raced in the Gold Coast this weekend.


  1. That's a terrific pace for 38k. Or rather, for 7-1/2 5ks. Well, it's the Galloway method, which is great for slower runners. The jury is still out for faster runners. I tried it and decided it did not get me into good enough shape, but I wasn't running the mileage you are doing, nor at the pace you are. I suppose it is good, if your legs feel better, although 7 5-minute breaks may be too much. But again, given the huge mileage you are doing, I guess anything that helps preserve your legs is worth doing, at least for your longest runs.

  2. US triathlete coach Bobby McGee is a huge proponent of the walk/run method. While he trains triathletes primarily, he suggests a suggests a 10min run/1 min walk split (or someone very similiar) for all runners. And from his experience its been shown to be very effective, even for very speedy runners like you!

    If you are interested, his website is here:

    A couple of podcasts with him floating around. One here >

    Another one can be found by searching "IM Talk" in iTunes. I need to check what number/date it was. Will get back to you.

  3. I tried it for an ultra, although my breaks were much shorter (1 minute every 5k, enough time to take on a drink/gel).

    I read that the Galloway method is good up to a 3-hr marathon. In training it certainly will quicken recovery and get your legs ready for the next session, which is no harm for high mileage runners like you. There's also the psychological benefit of feeling fresh after a long fast run.

  4. Hi Scott,
    Sorry I have not been reading your blogs lately but am now back to being a committed reader!!

    If that type of training gets results for you then its the thing to do.
    Personally I prefer to run without breaks. Maybe in an Ultra where you may walk it could be the way to go but in a marathon there are no walk breaks!
    Good luck.

  5. Marius has walk breaks in some of his long runs , he says it helps to keep the legs fresher for the harder sessions and reduces muscle damage.
    I think it works.

  6. Hi Scott,
    I think it is brave of you to experiment with the recovery sections!
    Runners mentality is normally if it doesn't hurt it cant have worked.
    If it works for you that is the important thing.
    I wouldn't dream of doing it!
    Good Luck

  7. Hmmm, interesting. I have absoutley no experience with this, but suspect it's like all things running - good in moderation. I personally don't think I'd do it for all my long runs, but certainly makes sense for when the conditions are horrid (e.g. a 35 degree day) or when your legs are feeling a bit trashed.

    I suppose one way to think about it is that on a hot day walk breaks may allow you to run 38km when running solidly might mean you have to drop back to 32km?

  8. I'm not sure Scott. As a training method, I think there's value - especially as Bob said, if it preserves the legs for the next session. Perhaps not on every long run though.

    As long as you can separate "training" from "racing", and don't have walking as an option in the race.

    Anyway, along to more serious things... what about matching your biker-style bushy beard with Kayne's shades for the marathon? That'd psyche out the opposition!

  9. Yes Scott, it's my wedding that I'm planning. Thankfully my fiance isn't the type of person who will turn into a Bridezilla, so once we've got the venue sorted it'll be smooth(er) sailing.

    Well, looks like I'll be able to channel some of your strength when I'm running C2S because you'll be running too. I'll need it..... just found out last night that "Heartbreak hill" is 1.5 km long!

  10. I'm so glad I read this particular post of yours, Scott! It's what I've been pondering for long runs in preparation for the marathon, Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in September.

    I'm going to give the walk breaks a try on Sunday's 32km run. If you do it, it must be OK!!

    Hope all else goes well with you.