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Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon: Walking in a running world

The local Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon is Saturday, Nov. 10. I’m running the half marathon. Every day this week, I’ll devote a blog post to a race-related topic. Today’s discussion: walking. Does it still carry a stigma in the world of long-distance races?

I'd probably have a different stance on this issue if it wasn't for the local popularity of the Jeff Galloway Training Program. For the uninitiated, this program relies on a Run-Walk-Run method. For example, participants might run for two minutes, then walk for a minute, for the entire race.

I've always been curious about Galloway, so I'm participating in the local group and I plan to run-walk during the Red Nose Half Marathon, scheduled for Jan. 5.

The thing that surprises me most about Galloway is that people who use the program often beat me in half marathons. It makes sense, since if I run the whole time I'm usually drained by the last 2 miles and moving at a snail's pace.

It's also important to note that the Galloway walk breaks aren't really full-fledged breaks. You're supposed to walk at a brisk pace. You're still in a race, after all.

The Galloway method has its advantages -- namely, the potential to cut down on injuries. But it seems like some hard-core runners will always hate on walkers. Is that a reason to reevaluate your strategy? Nope.

Bottom line: Whether you're running, walking or a combination of both, you're still completing something that most people don't even attempt to accomplish.

Let's do this!