How Do You Find the Right Run/Walk Interval?

Chris Twiggs, Chief Training Officer

Guest Blogger: Chris Twiggs

I thought it would be nice to share an interaction I had with one of Jeff’s fans this month. We get a lot of emails into the office, but this one stands out. Dianne wrote in about her progress and asked, “My question is do I need to try to run more and walk less or is it okay to continue with my 1 minute run/walk ratio?”

I gave her this advice, which has worked for thousands of people over the last few years since Jeff Galloway updated his run/walk ratio chart:

“Dianne,
If you feel good with your current ratio, keep with it, but if you are interested in experimenting, start by going to a 30 second run / 30 second walk. Most people who switch from 1/1 to 30/30 find they run faster without any extra effort because they are only walking for 30 seconds. If that feels good, use it for a while then start creeping up the amount of running while keeping the walking at 30 seconds. After several weeks, you may settle in on something like 45 seconds run/30 seconds walk, or you may just run faster during your 30 seconds of running.”

Apparently Dianne was paying attention. She wrote back in with this report:

“Chris,
I just had to let you know that I did a 5K yesterday using the 30:30 ratio and I had my best time yet in an official 5K!  Thanks so much for the advice and I will continue following it.”
More frequent walk breaks allow our bodies to adopt a comfortable rhythm on the run without getting out of breath. The goal is to feel better while running, but sometimes the side effect is a faster race with no extra effort.
Happy Running!