Friday, 2 April 2010

run/walk ratios for the marathon

I tried the various run/walk breaks my coach recommended.  15/45, 30/30, and 20/40. It would have been easier had I run in one KM increments, as I had been instructed. But that's not how my day has gone. It's been a "tail-chasing" kind of day.  I couldn't find my interval timer, (I could only find the broken one). I gave up and improvised by creating intervals on my watch. that meant I have mini-laps, not one KM laps, one the report.  I totalled them on a spreadsheet. Here's what I did, so you can understand the garmin reports, if you look at them.

Warm-up: 6 minutes
10 sets of 15/45  (1.34 Km) (10 min) (distance covered in 10 minutes)
1 minute walk
10 sets of 30/30  (1.42 km) (10 min)
1 minute walk
10 sets of 20/40 (1.29 km) (10 min)
1 minute walk

Then I reset the workout on the watch so I could do some more and compare laps:
10 sets of 15/45 (1.34 km) (10 min)
1 minute walk
6 sets of 30/30 (and I was back at my front door) (on pace for 1.34 km)

Subjectively, 15/45 felt: strong for the run, a little short; walk break a little long, got cold.  30/30: run felt longer, but walk length felt fine; 20/40: run felt strong, walk felt a little long.

Total distance: 7.5 km.

Here are the paces: I'm adding them to this post now that my brain recovered enough to do the math. (if the train goes north  at 50 mph and the other train goes south on the same track at 75 mph, and they start 250 miles apart, when will they wreck....) (My coach commented it is so much easier to just run one timed kilometer.)

r30 7:02 min/km (1st set)
r15 7:27 minkm
r20 7:45 min/km

I will try the various ratios again during  this weekend's planned 12k.  Jeff's comment on my report was to recommend the most gentle pacing possible for the first 21 km, and then I wouldn't have a wall in the marathon.  It's hard to extrapolate whether I can keep up the near sprints for 42km. Obviously, I was slowing down a bit in the later sets.  Once I calculated the paces, I was quite surprised. The pace for the last half-marathon where I worked so hard was 7:30. These little ratios felt fairly easy, and obviously they were pretty fast by comparison.

Jeff's recent blog-posts talk about how a runner can reduce a marathon finish time by using short run/walk intervals. Personal Best  How much faster to make up a walk break?

I have to admit that my ego gets in the way. I want to run a marathon, not walk one.  But I if want to run a marathon faster, am I willing to use more of my walking muscles to improve the performance of my running muscles?

Music choice: explicit hip-hop got me working harder.  Eminem's til I collapse. Excellent.  Some of his other pieces break my heart.

I tried POSE method while running today. The repeated walk breaks gave me a chance to pay attention to form.

Afterwards, 30 minutes stretching, foam roller.  Nice.

Tapering: I don't feel like it. I have a long holiday weekend and I want to play. However, good sense will prevail. I want to have a strong 12k training run. Thus, no bike ride tomorrow.  Yoga and floor work instead.  Maybe a trip to the pool. But I will give my calves a rest.  "Life at 70.3" begins after 11 April.

Amsterdam Triathlon


  1. okay now, help out a lame lady. so you're going to run/walk (tiny walk breaks) for a faster finish time as recommended by your running coach? translate 20/40 for me (i might not understand correctly but i took 20/40 to be the fastest run/walk pace out of the three, right/wrong?)

  2. Emily - I finally did the math to figure out the pace. The fastest pace was with the 30/30 ratio. The 20/40 felt faster, but was slowest. It could be that I felt fresher for the 30.30. I'm going to repeat the experiment over 12 k tomorrow.

    r30 7:02 min/km
    r15 7:27 minkm
    r20 7:45 min/km

  3. Ackkk, I don't think that I would have had you patience on working those intervals out! I normally run a mile, take a minute walking and then run another mile...

  4. The coaching I have received has trained my body for walk breaks. We'll see how the marathon goes and whether I ultimately run faster with different training.


Please drop a line to let me know you've stopped by!