Run/Walk Ratios

by Stuart W
(San Diego California)

Run/walk ratios and race pace training :


Thank you so much for putting this program together. I am really looking forward to starting it next month in preparation for my first ever marathon in December in Las Vegas. As I only started running in March I had quite a few questions after reading your program but you answered most of them in this FAQ section, that being said I do have a two if you don’t mind.

1. On the easy long run/walk sessions what amount of time do you recommend running and walking? I would assume increments of 10 minutes are best for ease of tracking so on the 70/30 ratio for example would you recommend running for 7 minutes then walking for 3 for the length of the session? Or for 14 and 6, 21 and 9 etc? Are there any advantages to doing longer or shorter runs or does it not really matter as long as you get the ratio in at the end?

2. In the 4 hour plan the easy run time pace is 9:29 with walks built in yet to hit the 4 hour time limit one would need to average 9:09 a mile of constant running. How does this typically play out race day seeing as it’s something that we haven’t really done is this form during training?

Lastly a comment I am little skeptical now reading through your previously answered questions when you stated for a 4 hour goal and not a “light” body type (I am 105kgs) you don’t recommend running it constantly.

Thanks in advance

Stuart W

Answer: Hi Stuart and thanks for your questions.

To take the two questions below, separately :

1. For the "walk-runs", I suggest you keep it below 10 minutes form each batch of running and walking - at least below 15 minutes. So something like 7 minutes running and 3 min running. We want to have some dynamics and variation in here, which is what this switching on a regular basis vs. longer periods, does.

2. The easy runs HAVE to be slower than race pace. It is the same with all distances. Running race speed too much in practice will wear you down, especially in a demanding build it to a marathon. However, this also goes for the shorter distances - such as a 5k, where you need very little race specific speed to run very fast.

Before my personal 5k record of 13:06 for exampe (which is 3 back to back miles in 4:10) I had only 5 sessions at race race the last 10 months before the race, but plenty of hard aerobic work and some sessions with faster than race pace. So no need to worry there, you just have to built the right base.

As for your weight,no worries about this - but it means you have to be extra careful in the long runs like I've talked about before and split this into running/walking like planned. This also goes (in most cases) when you're actually running the marathon as well, but with exceptions of course.

I wish you all the best!

kind regards,

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