NEW YORK, May 22 — How about combining running and walking to improve your workouts? This technique has a name — ‘jeffing’ — and it’s a great way to build endurance and better manage fatigue, all while reducing the risk of muscular pain.

‘Jeffing’ is a training technique that combines running and walking. It was created by the American athlete Jeff Galloway in the 1970s. This alternation between running and walking can be helpful for beginners and experienced runners alike. In practice, ‘jeffing’ involves running for one to two minutes, followed by slightly longer periods of walking. Initially, this running-walking combination lasts around 20 minutes. As the sessions progress, you can lengthen the running intervals and shorten the walking time.

Similar to the Swedish training method ‘fartlek’ (which means ‘speed play’), this practice involves varying the pace by alternating periods of running and walking. But unlike fartlek, ‘jeffing’ focuses more on endurance than speed. This can make it particularly useful for beginner runners. “The main type of person who is going to benefit from a run-walk approach will be a newbie who lacks aerobic fitness initially,” running coach, Arj Thiruchelvam, told Stylist UK. He continues: “It effectively allows you to get out of your comfort zone of walking, and experience bursts of higher intensity work to stimulate progress.” This technique is also suitable for seasoned runners who want to improve their endurance.

‘Jeffing’ can also be mentally beneficial. “Someone who has recently started running may be a bit nervous, so psychologically knowing you can break up your run gives you reassurance in completing it,” says Arj Thiruchelvam. In terms of performance, this method allows you to manage fatigue more effectively and cover longer distances without getting exhausted. ”It can reduce your injury risk, especially if you’re just getting started with the sport,” explains sports medicine physician, Dr Ashley V. Austin, interviewed by Self magazine. “Running is one of the highest impact forces you can put your joints through,” Dr Austin tells Self, “and because of that, people can experience pain and overuse injuries if they ramp up too quickly. The run-walk method allows for a slower, safer progression.”


In fact, according to a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, ‘jeffing’ can allow you to finish a marathon almost as quickly as with a continuous run, and with less muscle pain and fatigue. “Although a combined run/walk strategy does not reduce the load on the cardiovascular system, it allows non-elite runners to achieve similar finish times with less (muscle) discomfort,” the study authors explain. — ETX Studio