I woke this morning and planned on a happy and productive day. Then I opened my internet saw this in Men's Health Magazine:
Gain speed by walking
Add a walking break of 30 seconds to 2 minutes after each mile you run. This prevents muscle fatigue, says Jeff Galloway, an Olympian and the author of Running Until You're 100. "I typically see my runners drop at least 13 minutes from their marathon times because fatigue is so drastically reduced," says Galloway.
I know I've been down this road before, but since publications are still writing about Gallowalking, I'm still rebutting it. In the past I've quoted authorities like Pete Pfitzinger and others who point out the flaw in Galloway's theory from a scientific point of view. I've also pointed out the fraudulent nature of some of his claims. For instance, he tried to attribute one of Ronaldo da Costa's marathon victories to walking breaks. (In fact, what Mr. da Costa did was slow down at water stations.)
Well, here's another attempt by Mr. Galloway to make up his own facts in order to support his flawed method. Galloway referred to the 2008 winner of the Sunburst Marathon and said "the winner of the Sunburst Marathon walked a few steps every two miles". Nice try, Jeff.
Here's the response from the winner himself.
"Just to set the record straight - I was the winner of the Sunburst Marathon mentioned by Jeff Galloway in the Runner's World interview. Galloway tried to use me to support his silly racing strategy by saying that I walked to in the race...For one thing, I ddn't walk. I came to a complete stop. For another thing - I would never take these breaks while I was actually trying to run a fast race. He mentioned that runners improve by 13 minutes! Funny that the Sunburst Marathon was 13 minutes slower than my best. (Maybe he got the directions on the 13 minute factor turned around
"I was using the race as a training run...I did run the race at 5:30 pace every 3 miles then stop and take a break after each set...The reason I did it that was was so I could recover from the run and continue on with my training that week.
"All my best marathons from my PR of 2:18:30 to sub 2:30 were all RUN without stopping or walking."
Once again, Galloway tried to support his flawed theory with incorrect information. As I've said before, walking breaks are advisable for someone who is undertrained and will be unable to run the whole race. (See Tara Parker Pope of the NY Times, who originally called it the best strategy to run a faster marathon and then after her 7-hour marathon conceded that it was best suited for those who were undertrained.) But to suggest that it is the fastest way for a trained runner to complete a marathon is simply not true.