A Q&A with Jeff Galloway

3 years ago

Jeff Galloway is the event speaker at this year’s 5 Years Strong Banquet. Over a million runners and walkers have read Galloway books, attended his retreats/running schools, received E-coaching or individual consultation or joined his training programs. Here’s a short Q&A that will help you as you train for a race or as you continue do the road of living an active life.

What do you recommend for in race nutrition?

I get a lot of questions about what should you eat during a half marathon or longer event. Well, there are two main issues here – The first one is there’s not much blood flow that goes to the gut, and so, very few things will be digested. But, there is a need for some fluid and some blood sugar boosting. So, with that in mind, going through the research, and also the practicality of eating on the run, my recommendation are as follows. For water (which is what I recommend for fluid, because it causes fewer stomach issues). For water, 2-4 ounces every 2 miles. And for blood sugar boosting, 30-40 calories every 2 miles.So you can combine the water with the sugar, keep the brain fed with blood glucose, and keep the water flowing through your system.

Should you run the race in a shoe that you’ve trained in?

Well, absolutely. The question is, how much are you gonna run in the shoe before you race in it? You certainly don’t wanna run every single day for twelve months because it will break the shoe down and it won’t be as fresh when you go into the race. My suggestion is to run at least two of your long runs during a season in the shoes that you want to run in the race. That is, until you go long enough on a long run, you really don’t know how those shoes are gonna hold up, and you also don’t know whether there’s some rubbing places that you need to take care of and other issues with the shoes. So, try em out, but don’t beat em up.

How do you recover from a long run?

The first set of things are done during the long run: Wearing compression sleeves on the calf muscle – Really does help recovery. Secondly, do the long runs at least two minutes per mile slower than you’re currently ready to run. You can tell what your potential is for running a fast marathon by using my Magic Mile. It’s on our website: jeffgalloway.com. There’s also a computation function on our website – you can take another race that you’ve run recently and compute that to an all out marathon pace, and then you want to add two more minutes to your marathon pace currently to have a safe pace for long runs. On a hot day, slow down further by 30 seconds per mile for every 5 degrees above 60. This will avoid having the serious adversity of heat disease. Other recovery tips: You want to take walk breaks, and you want to take them early and often – you cannot take too many walk breaks, as a matter of fact, I’ve worked with thousands of people who have had problems in their training and have had to do several of their long runs walking only. They resumed the training just as if they had done the running on those long runs. Liberal walk breaks will speed up your recovery. Finally, soaking your legs for 15 minutes in a cool tub of water. The water only needs to be 78 degrees or cooler, so you probably don’t need to put any ice in there and I consider ice in a tub soak to be cruel and unusual. So I would just sit down there using the cool water tap, and you’ll be good to go.

How did you come up with the Run Walk Run Method?

A lot of folks ask me how and why I developed the Run Walk Run. Well, it started with beginners. There were a large number of beginners when I started my Phidippides store who were having problems with running, and assumed that they were not designed to run. Well, I knew differently, and so I worked with a class of beginning runners in which every single one of them had significant walk breaks at first. At the end of the end of the 10 week class, every one of them ran a 5 or a 10K¨ and there were no injuries. And from that point on, I used Run Walk Run in all of our beginning classes. A few years later, veterans discovered that they not only ran faster, but they were less beaten up if they used Run Walk Run approach that was best for them. And here we have it.

Running a faster marathon?

Well, there’s several key ingredients. The number one way to improve time is to build up to a longer long run. For example, those who used to run 20 miles as their longest run and then go up to my recommendation of 26 miles in preparation for a marathon have discovered more than 15 minutes of time improvement when they go up to 26. And those who are trying to improve to a P.R.(personal record) or Boston Qualifier, in other words, really try to improve to the max and go up to 29 miles, have experienced another average improvement from 26 mile-long run of more than 11 minutes. So there’s a huge amount of improvement that most people achieve when they simply lengthen the long runs, and these long runs only need to be run every third week. Here are two other things that will help in improving time. The first one is to do some 1 mile repetitions that are done 30 seconds per mile faster than you want to run in the race itself. Building up to a total of 14 of those. You’ll see these workouts on our website, you’ll also see in my book, “A Year Round Plan” and in Galloway training programs. All of the workouts sort of come together to help you bring body, mind and spirit together. The final way to improve at any distance but particularly the marathon is to improve your form. If you’ll look at our form drills which are the cadence drill and the acceleration glider, you can become smoother and faster at the same time. What are the benefits of my Run Walk Run method? Well, most people know that it significantly reduces the chance of ever getting injured, but there are many other benefits. One of the major ones is that you don’t have to be exhausted. In other words, you can go through a long distance training program and never be out of commission for your family (and never have to walk backwards down the stairs). The surprising outcome of run-walk-run is that most non-stop runners that find the Run Walk Run method find that they run faster. In a marathon it averages out to over 13 minutes faster versus non-stop running, and in a half marathon, over 7 minutes faster.

Why do you attend this event?

I am really looking forward to coming to Joplin, May 19th-21st to run the Joplin marathon on the 21st. This is a fantastic community and a community that has risen from the ashes of the devastating tornado. I was scheduled to come to the half marathon just one week after the tornado came through. And I have to tell you that, because of what that community went through, I volunteered for cleanup duty that weekend because the race was canceled. And I have never seen such a positive community respond to such a devastating incident. I came back the following year to run in the half marathon and I was amazed at the cleanup that they had done. They had completely cleaned up this 13-mile devastated area. But the other magnificent thing about Joplin is the attitude of the people. I never heard a single person say “Woe is me, all this stuff happened” – “No, here’s what we’re doing in our community. Here’s how we’re rebuilding.” And then there were the stories of people helping one another. Let me tell you, come to Joplin. You will be inspired. You will meet a lot of new friends, and you’re gonna have a lot of fun running the Joplin Memorial Marathon.

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