We take a look at the running technique known as 'Jeffing' and find out how it could be your ticket to a new PB.
Put simply, Jeffing is a run/walk method which consists of breaking your run down into running and walking intervals from the outset of the training session or race. The intervals can be split by distance (i.e. run a quarter of a mile, walk a quarter of a mile, repeat) or by time (i.e. run for 60 seconds, walk for 30 seconds, repeat).
The technique of 'Jeffing' is named after American Olympic runner Jeff Galloway. Galloway was on the 1972 American Olympic team for the 10,000m discipline. He is an exceptional runner, setting an American 10-mile road record and winning the 1974 Honolulu Marathon in a time of 2:23:02.
Any runner can use the Jeffing method in their training or racing. Intervals do not have to be set in advance but the point of Jeffing is not to run until exhaustion and then walk out of necessity, it's to run and walk in equal measures and to find the right run/walk ratio for you.
To find your ideal run/walk ratio, you can plug your mile time into Jeff Galloway's website calculator, or you can experiment with trial and error until you find what works best for you.
The point of Jeffing is to use run/walk right from the very start to conserve energy and stop your heart rate getting too high too early on.
For a lot of runners - especially beginners - the idea of running 10k or 10 miles or further can be daunting and seem impossible. By breaking down your run into run/walk intervals, you will be able to achieve so much more than you ever thought possible. Remove the social and emotional barriers that make you think you're not allowed to walk and discover just how beneficial 'Jeffing' really is.
If you are stuck in a rut with your running, Jeffing could allow you to make new progress. By conserving energy with the run/walk technique, you could even achieve a new PB.
Using a run/walk technique is definitely not cheating - you're not cheating if you do it in a race and you're not cheating yourself if you do it in training. It is a valuable tool for every type of runner and you should never feel guilty for walking during a run session. One of the best things about running is that there is no right or wrong way to be a runner. If you run, you are a runner. Whether you walk some of the run or not, you're still a runner and should always be proud of your achievements.