This is a really niche post, but I had a good experience last week running and wanted to share. First, I have never been a fast runner. Generally I can get into a steady pace, though, and keep turning miles. Even when I was much younger, at 40 (about 15 years ago) I tended to run half-marathons (13.1 miles) in about 11 minutes per mile (which for the uninitiated is slllooowww). Since that time, as I have aged and I have developed mild arthritis in my knees, my times have suffered.
I was always too snooty to try run walk run. Even if I was slow, I took pride in just being able to keep running for 2-1/2 (or 5 for a marathon) hours continuously. However, I noticed a while back that even a brief stop, say walking through a water station in a race, really provided a lot of recovery to my sore joints. So for the last 2 months I have been training with run-walk-run. After some experimentation, I created a pattern of 2:40 running followed by 1:00 walking. I don't have to stare at a clock, I have an app (there are zillions of them) on my phone that once programmed with the time just tells me in my ear over my music when to start running and when to start walking.
At first, I did not expect a lot of improvement, probably because I didn't understand how jogging along and then walking could be faster. But the point is that even a one minute walk is very refreshing and I tend to burst out of each walk with new energy and run the next section much faster than my usual jogging pace. The theory is then that -- for running pace R > jogging pace J > Walking pace W -- R+W combined will be faster than all J. And this certainly turned out to be the case for me. Last weekend I ran in the Disney Princess Half Marathon (this is my favorite race and my daughter and I started running it years ago) and finished at a pace just a hair behind where I was 15 years ago, a full 2 minutes per mile faster than I was running before doing run-walk-run.
The one downside is that this can be tremendously irritating to other runners, particularly on a crowded course. Races group people into start corrals by time, so that everyone in a certain part of the racecourse should theoretically be running about the same pace and not bumping into each other. Run-walk-run folks screw this up. But at this point, so many people are doing run-walk-run that I no longer feel a lot of guilt.
By the way, we generally run the Disney races in costume, so I used my Ironman running costume I did for the Marvel race and added a fetching matching tutu. Here I am running through the Magic Kingdom. The tutu is a little worse for wear by mile 6.