Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run Training Plan

The Benefits of Walk Breaks

  • Gives you control over your level of fatigue.
  • Pushes back your tiredness "wall".
  • Allows for endorphins to collect during each walk break—you feel good.
  • Breaks up the distance into manageable units, "one more minute until a walk break".
  • Helps your body recover faster.
  • Prevents and reduces the chance of aches, pains and injury.
  • Allows you to feel good afterward—doing what you need to do without debilitating fatigue.
  • Helps you build endurance in each session—without the pain.
  • Allows older runners to recover faster, and feel as good as or better than the younger days.

More: How to Be Ready for Your First 5K

A Short and Gentle Walking Stride

It's better to walk slowly, with a short stride. There has been some irritation of the shins, when runners or walkers maintain a stride that is too long.

No Need to Ever Eliminate the Walk Breaks

Some beginners assume that they must work toward the day when they don't have to take any walk breaks at all. This is up to the individual, but is not recommended.

Remember that you decide what ratio of run-walk-run to use. There is no rule that requires you to run any ratio of run-walk on any given day. Adjust the ratio to how you feel.

More3 Tips to Start Training Right

As a runner for about 50 years, walk breaks have helped keep each run more energized and enjoyable. It would be hard to run every day if walk breaks were not taken early and often.

How to Keep Track of the Walk Breaks

There are several watches which can be set to beep when it's time to walk, and then beep again when it's time to start up again. Check out, or a good running store for more advice.

How to Start Using Walk Breaks

  • Start by running for five to 10 seconds and the walk for one to two minutes.
  • If you feel good during and after the run, continue with this ratio. If not, run less until you feel good.
  • After three to six sessions at the ratio, add five to 10 seconds of running, maintaining the same amount of walking.
  • When you can run for 30 seconds, gradually reduce the walking time to 30 seconds, every three to six sessions.
  • When 30 seconds/30 seconds feels too easy, gradually increase the running time, five to 10 seconds every three to six sessions.
  • On any given day, when you need more walking, do it. Don't ever be afraid to drop back to make the run more fun, and less tiring.

More: 10 Steps to Start Running

Run/Walk/Run for Veterans

Thousands of veteran runners have reported faster times, quicker recovery and the ability to carry on their life activities after long runs/races when making the shift to Run/Walk/Run method. The walk breaks must be taken from the beginning, using a strategic schedule. When this happens, fatigue is erased for an extended period, allowing for strong legs at the end.

More10 Tips to Extend Your Running Life

Active logoSign up for your next race.

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM