Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An interesting run - walk - run experiment

I have tried many different ways to extend my long runs mostly through adding in walking breaks. On Sundays run I took a minute walking break every 5 minutes for the first 5 miles then I switched to time the walking break when the runkeeper app told me my distance and pace which happens every 5 minutes so effectively it was like 1 to 1 /2 minutes of walking to 3 1/2 to 4 minutes of running. My overall pace wasn't impressive but I had no issues getting in the distance so I figured it worked.

Anyway, during that run I listened to a podcast where the guy talked about using a gym boss timer which he sat to 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking. I have heard Galloway talk about this approach and even decrease the interval to 30 seconds running and then 30 seconds of walking. I have never tried such short intervals but I thought it might be worth trying as I have heard Jeff Galloway talk about it often and it always seems to work for those he convinces to do it. Since I didn't want to buy a timer I went to Google Play and downloaded a timer for my phone.

So on today's run I went to the Big River Regional trail and decided to give it a try. I was amazed at how easy it was and much to my surprise, two things happened, I ran faster and I walked faster which led to faster mile time than I expected. My times are below and the only mile that is quite a bit different was the first one and that's because it took me a few minutes to get Runkeeper and the timer going on my phone as initially I didn't have the voice on for the timer and it's pretty hard to hear a timer inside of your coat when the voice isn't turned on, so I stopped and figured out how to turn it on. After that I waited to hear "rest" or "repetition x - workout", it was pretty mindless which led to the time passing quickly. You can also see the pace changes and again I was surprised at how consistent it looks.

Since it worked so good, next weekend I will try the shorter intervals on my long run and see how it goes. If nothing else it will keep my mind occupied in a different way although I am still not sure I like the idea of doing it during a marathon. Of course if it works, it might be worth doing even if I don't like it.

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