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Ironman run and the Run walk run method

Just started to really seriously consider Ironman training whilst at the same time reading a training book (for marathons rather than specifically ironman training) which describes the run walk run method ...quite detailed and plenty of opportunities to bespoke the method (ie 4 mins run 1 min walk etc depending on target completion time).

Just wondered has anyone ever tried to specifically incorporate this type of run training in to their ironman schedule?



  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    Think of run / walk as simply another version of interval training, and any serious athlete will use intervals in their training.

    You might be at the stage where run / walk is the way to go in building your endurance base. I came from a cycling background and considered myself to be a very poor runner. In the early days I had to use run / walk otherwise I would be back at home in short time knackered. For interest I found using a treadmill at the gym a good way to force myself to run and then slowed it down to walking pace for a breather, it was the only way I could see myself getting through 10k or an hours plus training. In a few short weeks I had dropped the technique as I found I had broken through to being able to do a steady run for and hour then extending this up to two hours.

    You only had to look at Ironman UK last weekend on the hill out of town to see run walk is used widely as the race extends. I think that the aim should be to listen to what your body is telling it to do, but remember it will get good at what we practice. If you only ever practice run walk your body will adapt and want to have breathers. I know that if I have an issue in future of extending the durration of my long runs I would feel no shame in going back to the strategy but if I could I would try to break out of it at the other end, to run the whole distance.

    In a race situation you can not overestimate the power of having finished, so in this respect run, walk, crawl if needed is justified, you can always come back another day if you want to finish with more style.

    If you want an opinion if run / walk is a better option to run / cramp / sit / cry / hobble then I would say yes, I saqw that at Bolton as well. In an ideal situation you will have done the distance before the race. If you know running the whole marathon is pushing it, then adopting a structured run / walk technique from the off might be the way to go to keep control of the situation. One thing to bear in mind is that the first part of the run will be hard untill you get into a rhythm, brick sessions help with this, be carefull of not interperating your body struggling to adapt as a sign it will not and so it is best to start walking, breaking in to a relaxed run might simply be a minute away. When you can run off your long bike sessions to understand what this process feels like. Hope this helps.
  • Thanks ever so much that was really helpful

  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    caveat: I've never run (or run/walked!) anything greater than HM distance so wwhat do i know?

    from what have read there is NO need to have covered the distance in trauining for running events, and often the advice is to not even try to do so in training. Doing so allegedly places to muichy stress on the body which in turn increases recuperation time which impacts on continued training. For full marathon disatnces, training plans often suggest training up to no more than 20 or maybe 22 miles.

    Given the unique nature of the IM 26 mile run, I'd say this is possibly even more the case. You'd maybe be better off spending the extra trainig time making the BIKE as efficient as possible in order to strengthen the legs and make the energy system most efficient.


  • Have a listen to the IMTalk podcast, episode 170, it's all explained in there.
  • the Run was the hardest part of my IM training. I kept getting injured and only mananged to run 2hrs about 5 times in total.

    however, the bike fitness is transferrable onto the run so as long as you are getting in your 6hr+ bikes then your fitness will be so good anyway.

    during training I ran for about 15mins, walked 1min and kept doing that and I got to a stage where I felt I could do that forever with ease.

    During the actual IM, I used the same tactic, which coinsided with water station. So every 2 stations, i took on a gel and every station i took on water. This lasted me the whole race at a very constant speed - just forced myself to jog to every station and time myself to the second - focusing on the little sections between stations instead of the whole marathon - took me just over 4 half hours.

    Good luck - best thing ive ever done!!!

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