Monday, April 27, 2009

Marathon Zen


My marathon strategy before Saturday was pretty typical: run until I can't run no' mo'. Crawl if I have to.

Now I'm trying to be smart about it.

You see, the KDF Mini put me in a crazy, negative headspace.

(And I HATE using psychobabble buzz words like "headspace"-- see how badly it's messing with me?!)

All of a sudden, I'm worried about running the full.

I literally just googled the phrase "Positive thinking for first time marathon runners"

And then: "Marathon zen"

And finally: "Galloway Method"

The Galloway Method is system that involves taking scheduled walk breaks during a marathon. You take your pace and then follow a run:walk ratio in order to conserve energy and avoid hitting the infamous "wall" in the final miles of the race.

On paper, the Galloway Method looks great! But you have to use the ratios throughout the race, meaning that I'd be taking a walk break after only three minutes of running in my first marathon.

And all you runners out there understand how hard that would be.

I'm going to give the Galloway Method a shot with my mid-distance runs this week. I want to see just how "fresh" I feel.

There will be 25 water stops at my marathon...perhaps the best plan for me is to walk at all water stops instead of sticking to a Galloway ratio?

That would be about one walk break every mile. Mentally, I like this scenario because I can compartmentalize the 26.2 instead of wrapping my brain around the whole thing and thus, freaking out.

I'd LOVE to hear opinions on this.

As for reaching non-running zen, I'll be on my way to Mexico* this time next week.

* Yes, I'm aware of the swine flu outbreak.
** And the drug cartels.
*** And Montezuma's Revenge.


  1. I know a ton of people swear by the Galloway method. However, there is no way my intensely stubborn pride would allow me to walk 3 minutes into a race. No matter how long the race was.

    Honestly, I walked every.single water station during my half. And I still almost broke two hours. No joke. It helped me mentally time-out and gather myself during the first half of the race and it helped my leggies take a break and my heart rate to return to a semi-normal range during the second half. I will probably do that for every long race I run from here on out. It was a Godsend. During those last 5 miles, I just kept telling myself "to the next water station!!!". It definitely broke the race up for me.

    Try the Galloway this week, if you hate it, just go with the "walk the stations" plan. I mean, this is your first marathon. No offense, but I doubt you will be setting a world record. So, experiment and figure out what is best for your body! Good luck! :)

    And um, good luck in Mexico. Please return home in one piece.

  2. Walking the water stations sounds natural. I def. would not be willing to stop after 3 minutes... but if I'm going to be drinking/ eating, then there is a reason to just walk.

    LOL Montezuma's Revenge...

  3. Like you, I think I would do better with the water/walk break approach. I have to walk in order to drink without drowning myself any way, so just walk a little longer. But really, it comes down to what works best for you. ;)

  4. * what about mexican pirates? I'm going to be worried all week.

  5. oh dear...please be careful in Mexico, but your not going to mexico city right? Get the best insurance you can!