I was not looking forward to today's 6-mile run. Blame it on last night's yowling cat and snoring husband, who timed their respective yowls and snores so that just as one of them stopped, the other one started up. So I was tired, tired, tired this morning. If the weather wasn't meant to turn very rainy and windy over the weekend, I would have put today's run off until tomorrow. But winter running means taking advantage of the weather when it's good, so I felt that I had no option but to gear up and get outside.
Now, one of the training programmes that I have been considering is Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run strategy. He argues that by alternating running with walking, your muscles don't fatigue as quickly which means that you don't slow down towards the end of a long run and your finishing time can end up being faster than if you had run the whole way. He gives lots of examples of runners who have dramatically improved their times using this strategy, including those who have finished their marathon in under 2.5 hours. In theory, this approach makes sense. For other people. But not for me. I don't want to walk, I want to run!!!
However, in my sleep-deprived state I thought that I might as well give the run-walk-run thing a go, if only to rule it out. Focusing on my time wasn't going to happen anyway because I really didn't have any energy, so there would be no harm done by allowing myself to walk. I randomly chose to run for 5 minutes/walk for 1 minute and to let my speed be whatever it wanted to be.
Aside from wanting to shout at passing cars, 'I'm CHOOSING to walk!', I was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt. No tiredness in my legs, even at the end. No pain in my Achilles tendon. Much more relaxed and comfortable with my stride and feeling like I could have gone a lot faster during the running phases. Without even trying, my time ended up being more than a minute faster than the last time I ran this route.
So, can I see myself as a Jeff Galloway convert? Maybe. I want a fast(er) time but I also want to run every single step of the way. Is it possible to have both? And if not, can I cope with people thinking that I'm walking because I'm not fit enough to run? I have one week to decide.