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



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.