Running 4:1 on empty

Today started out bad, in fact it started out even worse than yesterday.

What happened yesterday?  Well James usually gets up earlier than I do, but yesterday he kept snoozing his alarm for at least an hour, unfortunately (for us both) I woke up the first time his alarm went off and then just lay there getting more and more mad with each successive snooze “break” until I basically kicked him out of bed! LOLOL  So for today to start any worse was quite miraculous in itself!

What could be worse than one less hour of sleep you ask?

No coffee!  FML

I toyed with stopping somewhere to get a caffeine fix but I didn’t pass anywhere that was open so went out on my run with no food (which is normal) and no coffee (which is not) to try out Jeff Galloways 4:1.

I’d heard runner type people rave about Jeff Galloways 4:1 which in short means you run for four minutes and walk for 1, continuously until you have completed your run.  The pemise is that you can;

Run strong to the end, recover faster and almost eliminate injury

After reading the book “Half Marathon: A complete guide for women” by Jeff & Barbara Galloway, the theory behind the system made sense to me.  I was a little iffy because I kind of want to be able to run the entire distance (of any run that I do) so to me it kind of seemed like cheating BUT like my friend Emma said “If it’s good enough for an Olympian.”

I started running (at the beginning of the pink bridge) and immediately noticed that four minutes is quite a long time.  I also noticed that the walk breaks came at really inconvenient times.  For example my first walk break came on the only down hill section of the bridge but then I had to run (very slowly) up the hill, I mean I may as well have been walking and it pretty much continued like that for the entire 11.5k’s.

I think run/walk intervals are all well and good if you are running a flat course and able to maintain a constant pace, but when running hills it seemed somewhat counter productive as where I’d make up time (on the downhill) I was instructed to walk and in the end I finished with the slowest pace I’ve ever run – and I mean EVER!

I’d say a good 50% of that was due to the lack of coffee AND to be fair it was raining so there were large sections of the course that I ran far more tentatively than I would have if it had been dry underfoot but I will say that I found the walk/run intervals counter productive and I’m sure I was slower than I would have been if I’d just ran organically (walking up hills and running down them).

I will say that I did find the intervals helpful in the last (flat) 1.5k as they kept me running longer than I probably would have  as it was pouring down with rain and I was ready to cut it short and head back to the gym for a shower.

This afternoon I re-read the chapter “The Galloway Run-Walk-Run Method” and found that for the pace I usually run at (a 12 minute mile) I should have been using a 2:1 interval, so before I completely write this type of training off I will give that a go on my next long run and report back.

Surely it can’t go any worse than today, at least I would have had coffee …

Till next time





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