Galloway or all the way?

When I first started running, I could only go about 2 or 3 blocks before I had to stop to walk. Now, in a training run I can go 4-5 miles without stopping but I know I can go farther because I’ve done it in races. It’s a mind thing I’m sure.

My longest run so far has been 10 miles. I did it once in the Austin 10/20 and ran the whole way (slowly…but still). I also had a foot injury the week after that race. I kind of felt that something was wrong while I was running but I didn’t want to stop. Last week’s long run was 10 miles and I stopped to walk a few times but still maintained a 10:30 pace. I’ve been reading about the Galloway method and I can see the benefits of taking short walk breaks to help your muscles recover.

But here’s the problem: When I am in a race, no matter how many times I tell myself that I am only racing myself…I am competing with those around me. I have to be first, I have to be faster, I have to be stronger, I have to be better, (isn’t that a song?).

I have always been this way, even before becoming a runner. I am a fast walker and a fast driver. I have been pulled over for speeding more times than I can count and have had at least 3 or 4 speeding tickets in the past 10 years. (My insurance company doesn’t know this…yet).

my most recent offense…not even in a hurry, just a regular day…it’s a problem I’m working on.

I just can’t stand to be behind someone. So during my races, I find that I can’t make myself stop to walk. Of course, when I am alone, I have no problem stopping for a few seconds to take a break. I still push myself but I don’t feel the constant need to KEEP GOING like I do in a race. Even if I am hurting, I keep going. This is good because it has helped me earn some medals:

2nd place in my division

But bad because it has caused injuries. However, for the Austin 10/20,  I was still a rookie. I did not train properly for that race and did not recover properly either. Now I am much smarter about slowly increasing mileage every week and using ice and rest to recover after long runs.

I guess I am just trying to figure out if I should be more diligent with structured galloway training or if just listening to my body is the way to go? I have a 15k race on Sunday and I am curious how I will do compared to the Austin 10/20 since I have been training well…

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”-Proverb 

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5 comments

  1. As a relatively newbie runner I feel you! I have completed ZERO 10 mile runs solo with out stopping but 3 10 milers (2 race one with a crazy good runner buddy) and a half marathon when I am around other people. I refuse to run more than 7 or 8 miles solo just because I get fricken board. I rarely stop because, like you, I don’t want other people to see me walking! BUT at the end I always feel better about myself when I finish with out stopping. If you are injured, let your body heel. Those are the days for the 3 milers. If you are not… do out and back that force you to get the miles you want and push yourself 30 seconds at a time. It gets easier!!

  2. I’ve looked into doing the galloway method as well. I think that if its particularly hot out for a race I am doing (like the one at the beach at the beginning of September) then I will probably opt for this just so I don’t burn myself out. I want to finish and I want to finish well (for me). I dont want to push so hard that when I stop to speed walk its a slow walk. I feel like that would be more damage.

    Maybe try it the next time you’re having a difficult training run? Play a mind game with yourself and see how it affects your overall time? Actually, I am going to try that too haha.

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