I run AND I walk – The Jeff Galloway Method

shoes & tiara

Many of you may be familiar with run/walk intervals as a form of training/racing. For example, you run for 1 minute, then walk for 1 minute. What some may not know is that this is not always a method for beginners or the injured. Many people (including myself) use this for life. In February, I completed the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon at Walt Disney World) with run/walk intervals. Jeff Galloway, a former Olympian and the creator of the Jeff Galloway Method, recently qualified and completed the Boston Marathon this way.

I have previously discussed the fact that I never thought I wanted to be a runner. Long story short… during my weight loss, I decided I would give running a fair shot (mainly because I was too stubborn to say it was something I COULDN’T do). I downloaded a Couch to 5K app, planning to train all the way through to a 5K before I decided if I would quit. This program does use the run/walk intervals, but only until you work up to running the entire distance. After about a month of training, I was running 5 minutes, walking 1 minute. I did it. I was proud that I did it. Did I enjoy it? Not really. I didn’t hate it enough to quit, but I also was not sure if I wanted to run beyond the planned 5K. I certainly did not think I wanted to run a half marathon.

Being the Disney nerd that I am, I was very interested in runDisney. This is the Disney-sponsored racing series, in which runners can race through the Disney parks. They have a very informative website (), on which one can find tips from a nutritionist (Tara Gidus) and training plans from a training consultant (Jeff Galloway). As I learned more and more from the official site, message boards, and blogs (I told you I was a Disney nerd), I discovered the Galloway Method. I was pleased to see that this was a running technique in which walk breaks are integrated, but it is much more flexible than a Couch to 5K program. Runners can choose their own intervals and pace. It is not a means to an end, but a technique that can be employed for a lifetime of running. I downloaded the Galloway Easy 5K app and got to work. At first I tried 4min/1min intervals. This was fine, but the more I studied the method, I learned that many people use shorter intervals. I started playing with the times and discovered that the shorter my intervals were, it gave me either the same pace or faster. I experimented until I arrived at the 30sec/30sec intervals I still use today.

Some may think that those who run/walk are not runners. I say that if you run, you’re a runner; no matter how fast, or how far. We are getting out there, putting one foot in front of the other, and crossing the finish line, just like those who do not use intervals. If you’re a beginner, afraid to start running, think you hate running, or just want to try something new, I highly suggest this method. You may find that you will not only finish a race still upright, still smiling, but you will finish ahead of some people using different techniques. The beauty of running is that everyone runs their own race their own way. Find what works for you and enjoy the journey.

The 2014 runDisney Princess Half Marathon - Part 2 of the Glass Slipper Challenge!
The 2014 runDisney Princess Half Marathon – Part 2 of the Glass Slipper Challenge!

For more information on Jeff Galloway, check out http://www.jeffgalloway.com/. You can also visit the official runDisney website at www.rundisney.com for information about future races and to download specific training programs.

NOTE: Though it might seem like it, I have no affiliation with Jeff Galloway or runDisney, nor was this post sponsored by anyone. All reviews and suggestions are my own. I am just a huge fan and excited to share with all of you!

Finding my way back to running…

A few weeks ago, I started running regularly again. I started out with about 15-20 minutes, because I didn’t want to overdo it and get injured. It was hard…really hard. I got very discouraged, because I thought “If I can’t run for 15 minutes without wanting to quit, how will I ever run a half marathon again?” I kept pushing forward, gradually increasing the time, but it wasn’t really getting any easier. I really thought about giving up. I told myself that maybe that amazing race weekend was a once in a lifetime experience. It was just a moment in time I would have to remember fondly, but never experience again. I tried to tell myself that would be okay, but the truth was that it broke my heart.

I kept pushing through, refusing to accept that my first half marathon would be my last. A little over a week ago, something happened. I finished a training run and while it was still difficult, it felt good. Really good. It felt like I was on my way back. For the first time in months, I actually felt like I can do this. I can find my way back!

I decided at the last minute to register for a 5K that I had been considering running for several months. This was the same race I ran last year, after completing a month-long road trip during which I ran twice. Results were not good. If I recall, it took me nearly an hour to finish. My mom was there again this year as official cheerleader/photographer/stuff holder. I told her not to start worrying about me until after the one hour mark. Since I was even more out of practice than I had been last year, I did not have high hopes. It was a pretty hot day, and I expected that to make things more difficult as well. I crossed the starting line, and made my way through some narrow spots. Soon, I found my rhythm. It was hot and it wasn’t pretty, but it was amazing. I felt like me again. Surprisingly, I finished in 40 minutes! This is only about 5 minutes slower than my PR!

I met Deena Kastor (Olympic medalist in the women's marathon) after the race!
I met Deena Kastor (Olympic medalist in the women’s marathon) after the race!

I don’t expect this to be an easy road, by any means. I do expect that I will get there. I will get back to the girl who finished that half marathon a few months ago. Who knows? Maybe I will even pass her.