GALLOWAY – What the heck?

July 31, 2008

Jeff Galloway, one of the most famous elite running coaches in the world, shocked the rather purist running world with the suggestion that is was quite alright to incorporate segments of walking into your training regime, especially for marathon participants.  The suggestion did not catch on with the super elite runners, but it caught on fire with many people and for good reason.

You can check out this website to become more familiar with the program –, but essentially Galloway quite accurately summarizes the benefits of the program as “By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources. When a muscle group, such as your calf, is used continuously step by step, it fatigues relatively soon. The weak areas get overused and force you to slow down later or scream at you in pain afterward. By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. For veteran marathoners, this is often the difference between achieving a time goal or not. Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.”

So you may ask, why is this important to start or re-start running. By now of course you have made the commitment to workout for at least 4 times a week starting at 30 minutes a time.  Well, I have found that for the very same reasons as espoused by Galloway, a starting or re-starting runner will benefit from a run/walk program.  So, my suggestion is that after you have gone out and purchased a proper pair of running shoes and worn them on walks for a few evenings, then the time has come to learn how to start. 

Your first time out is your definition run.  Walk for about 15 minutes and then start to run making certain that you time how long you can run without having to stop.  I have found that a number of people deny their age and try to go out too fast, but this is in fact part of the plan.  Frankly, I have seen some people run only one minute and others may be able to run 5 minutes, but it matters not.  Once you know how long you can run there is a simple mathematical formula that incorporates a variance to the Galloway method of training.

Let us say that you are able to run for two minutes on your definition run.  So during the first week, on each of the four times that you work out you will walk 8 minutes and run 2 minutes for three segments (a total of 30 minutes).  Once you are comfortable with this ratio, then you will walk 7 minutes and run 3 minutes again for 30 minutes, then the ratio becomes 6/4 to 5/5 and so forth until you can comfortably run 30 minutes four times a week.  Once this happens your running regime starts and you can begin to train towards your goal.  But please note that as you increase your “time on your feet” you should NEVER increase your overall time by more than 5% per week.   The following chart is a good maintenance program from which you can take the next step towards any goal.  As one can see, this is a four week rotation that incorporates all of the major elements of training and increases some as you decrease others.  Remember to go back to the “Introduction to Running” article to make certain that you know the definition of the terms.  My suggestion is that you should first introduce either Tempo running or Hill repeats before Yassoo intervals.  Also, remember that LSD’s are the backbone to any distance running so if you have to miss one of these workouts on any given week, it should not be the LSD.



Day 1 – Long Slow Distance (LSD)

Day 2 – Basic Run with Tempo Component

Day 3 – Basic Run with Hill Repeat Component

Day 4 – Track workout – Yassoo Training

Week 1

60 minutes

48 minutes of running with 3×6 minute Tempo Runs

45 minutes of running with 8 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 6 to 8 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 2

70 minutes

45 minutes of running with 2×6 minute Tempo runs

42 minutes of running with 6 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 4 to 6 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 3

80 minutes

42 minutes of running with 1×8 minute Tempo run

40 minutes of running with 4 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 2 to 4 – 800’s with 1 minute break

Week 4

90 minutes

40 minutes of running with 1×6 minute Tempo run

38 minutes of running with 2 hill repeats

After 10 minute warm up – 2 to 4 – 800’s with 1 minute break

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July 30, 2008

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FOOTWEAR, the Foundational Step

July 25, 2008

At the outset, I have to admit that all equipment is important from socks, to shorts, to tops, to undergarments and even a runners best friend …. Vaseline. Yes, Vaseline can and is the most important accessory that you will ever possess, at least as a runner. It will stop chafing in the worst places, act as a layer of clothing on your face in the bitter cold of winter and prevent blisters on your feet even if you have the right shoes. It is a great source of laughter and discussion amongst your running group, especially if you purchase it in the mega size bottles and offer your friends the opportunity to use the communal bottle.  It also provides for a great source of humour if it has baby powder added.

All of that said however, running shoes are the most important of all pieces of equipment you will own and one should make certain that they buy the right shoes. Just to put this in perspective, in a marathon participants take over 30,000 steps, and that obviously does not include the number of steps that are taken in training. On average one takes about 700 to 725 steps for each kilometer that they run. This quickly translates to a lot of footsteps, and as the old song that we learned as children states so eloquently, “The foot bone is connected to the shin bone and the shin bone is connected to the knee bone and the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone ….” and on it goes. So, it does not take a “rocket scientist” or Sherlock Holmes to deduce that in order to reduce the chance of injury, a proper shoe is an absolute necessity.

When I refer to a “proper running shoe” I do not mean going to a generic running shop and buying the most expensive, the cheapest, the prettiest, the most popular or the most colourful shoe in the store. Everyone is an individual, and as such everyone is blessed with an individual gait that requires separate attention when it comes to purchasing shoes. Add to that everyone’s varying height, weight, leg length, foot size, foot type (flat footed or otherwise), training regime, preferred substrate upon which to run, goals and objectives and many other intangibles far too numerous to mention and you have a recipe for problems if you buy a pair of shoes that someone else recommends.

Although one may be immediately intimidated by these variables and therefore not willing to learn anything, in order to simplify matters there are specialty running stores that will assess your foot strike and recommend the proper shoe for you. And so it is my suggestion that you go to one of these stores with an old pair of running or walking shoes (these are of great help to the salesperson) and ask that you be assessed. Basically the clerk will watch you jog or walk in shoes and make his/her suggestions. You should listen to them and for the most part follow their suggestions. But make certain that the shoe fits properly. The toe box should be loose and you should not feel any rubbing anywhere in the shoe. On the other hand the heel box should be fairly tight so as to avoid as much as possible blistering.

During the assessment process you should be made aware of whether you are a pronator, a neutral runner or a suppinator. This determination will allow the clerk to recommend from one of these three basic types of shoe, a Stability Shoe, a Motion Control Shoe or a Cushioned/Neutral Shoe.

You can look up each of these terms but to help you;-

Pronator is a runner has a foot that rolls inward during the weight-bearing phase of the stride. A very low or flat arch, and heavier people often have feet of this type. A pronator strikes the ground with their heel and rolls excessively in toward the big toe.

Suppinator or under pronator is a person who’s foot hits the ground at the heel and then tends to roll out toward the little toe. Suppination is the rarest gait type.

Neutral Runner will hit the ground with the outside of the heel and then roll in toward to big toe. Neutral runners do not require gait correction from their running shoes.

Now go out and get yourself a proper pair of running shoes and next I will address the Galloway Method of training and how it can be utilized to get you running.

The Application of the Unnamed Runner’s Rules

July 23, 2008

You know when most of us joined the 6 AM Runners club we knew that things would never be the same. The first indication was that the run starts any where from 5 am to 5:35 am not even close to a 6 o’clock start. If you do show up at 6 you might as well head to the coffee shop because the first group of (finishing first is not important people) will be rounding the bend in 5 or ten minutes.

I always thought that running consisted of putting one foot in front of the other a little quicker then when I walk. But in the last year one of our members has decided to ruin my early morning runs by telling me there is a science to it. He even questions our sanity ” many people will provide you many different answers, that are either LUCID or perhaps not so clear, but often leaving you to doubt their level of sanity.”

This gentleman (I beginning to doubt this quality, have you seen his manly pictures lately of the flowers, give me a break) states that “I want to tell you how well over 200 runners started with my encouragement, and in doing so, I want you to know that although I do not know the actual statistics, I believe that well over 160 of these are still doing some running”. Where did those Stats come from, I have stopped more then 160 runners in the morning and asked them have they ever heard of this unnamed runner. You would think at least one of them after 2 years of running in the morning would not have that look of bewilderment or ran away. I beginning to wonder where this unnamed runner gets his stats.

Maybe his 160 “friends” have adopted his philosophy “If you want to go fast, then you have to go slow – and – if you think you are going too slow, then SLOW DOWN.” and have simple slowed down to where they as Gomer puts it, “have stopped running”.

Our unnamed runner George says “If you want to get to it, you have to get at it.” I am still trying to figure that one out as I just don’t get it, do you?

George’s, I mean the unnamed runner other saying, that makes little sense is “time on your feet”. He makes it sound like that is a good thing. Go ask any retail clerk (oops Sales Associate) , Car Salesman (outside the Fredericton Area), what time on your feet really means and they’ll say, Bunions, blisters, varicose veins and well overall just generally pain. His PC statement (or as we say in the club call the JL philosophy “lets feel the love”comment) “ For older people, and those of you who did any type of training 20 to 30 years ago this may be foreign to your thought process.” Sends a clear message that older people can not be trained to do new things as he really was saying “ you can’t teach an old dog new trick”.

So after reading his last runner’s advice column and applying his rules you get this. Since older people can’t learn new things you’re going to end up with lots of pain and lower limb aliment as you get older because of the time on your feet rule. Please take note George the unnamed runner is older,( hence the first rule of learning new things applies to him).

Applying his rule of “it does not matter if you finish first, just finish”, is easily said when you look behind you and everyone seems to be chasing you.


July 22, 2008

If you wonder why people run in the first place, then let me warn you, many people will provide you many different answers, that are either LUCID or perhaps not so clear, but often leaving you to doubt their level of sanity.  But in the end, the only way your question can be truly answered is to actually experience running for yourself. 

But here is the problem, to experience running you must first get started – “If you want to get to it, you have to get at it.  And unfortunately, far too many people forget that they are no longer 25 years of age with the immortality that goes along with youth.  As a result, many of the best plans are destined to failure even before they begin, simply because of one’s exuberance. 

So, over the next couple of articles (which I am trying to keep shorter due to certain allegations about the longevity of my former articles) I want to tell you how well over 200 runners started with my encouragement, and in doing so, I want you to know that although I do not know the actual statistics, I believe that well over 160 of these are still doing some running. 

There are two Golden Rules that I will stress over and over, the first and perhaps most important rule that not only applies to beginning runners, but equally to experienced runners is “If you want to go fast, then you have to go slow – and – if you think you are going too slow, then SLOW DOWN.”  Although this approach may seem counter intuitive, let me suggest the opposite.  If you are like me then you will relate to this as our everyday life is filled with examples.  I am always surprised by the number of times I have rushed about to complete a task of some sort, only either to have messed up something else or created a mess of the project I am working on.  In any event, the result is A MAKE (MORE) WORK PROJECT.  In fact you have all heard of the Carpenters Rule – Measure Twice and Cut once.  Well it applies to all of us, especially when it comes to running. 

The second rule that is equally vital is that the distance that you cover is not all that important rather the more important measuring tool is what I like to simply refer to as “Time on Your Feet.”  For older people, and those of you who did any type of training 20 to 30 years ago this may be foreign to your thought process.  But it has been proven over and over again through scientific studies and through anecdotal evidence that the most important aspect to your fitness regime is not the miles you log, but the time you are active.  That is why most health models refer to doing exercise for so many minutes a day, rather than telling you how many miles or kilometers you must log.

So with these two rules, I will follow up with the following three topics of discussion over the next little while.  First, I want to speak about types of footwear and what one should do to purchase same; secondly I want to speak about the Galloway method of training that was introduced by the world famous running coach Jeff Galloway and that introduces, much to the chagrin of purists, the concept walking interspersed with running and finally, I want to expand upon the “Time on Your Feet” concept.

Please note this article is only 598 words.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t stray off the Trail…

July 21, 2008

Recently we have acquired some maps which show “certain runners” “activities”. Please take note of the green points…

PODCAST # 7 – 6AM Runners

July 17, 2008


This podcast is/was broadcast live at 6:30am on Friday, July 18.

We attempt to cover the following topics:
– why people run
– running in the Olympics
– George’s Running Tips
– Running Stories & odd events while running
– Best Run & worst Run ever