Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips #1, or: “Beyond the seas of thought, beyond the realm of what…”

blgjeffgallowayWelcome to the first of what will hopefully be an engagingly ongoing series, in which your awesome buddies at Hokeyblog are teaming with Jeff Galloway to discuss training and motivation tips. The tips come straight from Jeff himself, with personal commentary from yours truly. The hope is that you — our gentle readers — find such discussions illuminating and exciting.

Let’s start up with a brief introduction to our tip-meister extraordinaire:

Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached over a million runners to their goals through his clinics, wonderful retreats, training programs, books and e-coaching. Sign up for his free newsletter at

Jeff’s tips will be in bold, followed by my own thoughts in… not bold. So with all that said, let us hit the ground running, shall we?

Eesh. Running metaphors.

Let us keep those at a minimum too…

When paced correctly, running delivers the best attitude boost you can get. Sustain this by pacing yourself gently during the first mile or three.

Attitude boost? Without question. And I don’t mean the so-called “Runner’s High” or whatever they’re calling it this week, but rather that feeling of self-contained, expansive joy of solitude you get after your strap on a pair of sneakers and hit the pavement. Even if you run with a partner, group, or friends, running provides the perfect gateway for a True Psychonautic Adventure; a meditative clearing of the mind which allows you to follow your consciousness on a most amazing journey. So make it last, and let it build up over time. If you’re too busy obsessing over your pace, your overall experience will be less potent and rewarding.

A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day. Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.

It’s always a great idea to finish with a negative split. Aside from that, I really wish I ran more mornings. My weekend long runs are always starting anywhere between 3:30 and 6:30 AM (distance depending, of course), but during the week I’m usually stuck with after-work workouts. Still, there have been those exceptions — times that I’ve had to run anywhere from a quick 3-mile jaunt to an 18-mile endeavor before daybreak, followed by a quick drive over to the local LA Fitness for a shower and change of clothes, and then arrival at the office before 9 AM. On days like those, I feel sharp, focused, energized, and motivated beyond measure.

"Not all who wander are lost."

“Not all who wander are lost.”

If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.

I’ve been doing intervals for years, and I swear by them. Everyone is different, but if you use run/walk intervals, always remember that you are still a runner. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’ve seen interval runners finish a full marathon at competitive times… and have enough strength and energy left (along with a complete lack of post-race agony!) to start doing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance. Honestly. I saw this.

Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

See my diatribe above about the True Psychonautic Adventure. I always feel incredibly balanced and even-keeled after a good run.

I've seen this happen at the Finish Line of a 26.2-mile race. Really.

I’ve seen this happen at the Finish Line of a 26.2-mile race. Really.

Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens. A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

I’m 6’2″ tall, kind of gangling with long legs and a generally ridiculous style of movement. In fact if you think of Goofy himself, you pretty much got me nailed. But my running form still consists of a shorter stride and higher cadence, especially for someone of my size. The last thing I need to do is blow out a hamstring or Achilles tendon trying to get as big a stride as possible. Nuts to that! I try to stay as light on my feet as possible, and it works for me. It felt a bit unnatural at first, but I quickly get used to it. Thankfully, I’ve never had any serious injuries… which, given my body frame, is something of a miracle!

The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.

Accomplishment is always its own reward. Remind me to remind myself of that the next time I’m complaining about some lousy performance during a race. I can beat myself up as thoroughly as anyone else can. But while we’re being so ridiculously hard on ourselves, we can easily forget that “HELLO, STUPID: YOU JUST RACED A TON OF MILES AT THE BUTT-CRACK OF DAWN AND THOROUGHLY CHALLENGED YOURSELF PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY WHILE MOST PEOPLE ARE BARELY AWAKE AFTER A NIGHT OF HARD-DRINKING AND MAYBE KOREAN KARAOKE TOO!!” I love Korean Karaoke. Anyway… pushing yourself beyond your self-imposed limitations — especially after a long run — is a feeling akin to pulling Excalibur out of that rock, man. Or Caledvwlch, if you prefer the Welsh Arthurian legends. I know I do.

Something like this...

Something like this…

You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks. You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

This is so entirely too true on your long run. Many times during those epic runs, I’ve taken a full walk interval to recharge; in other words, if I’m doing 5:1’s — five minutes running, one minute walking — I might walk for six minutes around Mile 15 to reset my body. I’ve had other training runs that might have included a full mile (or more) of walking if I’m overheated, aching, sore, or just plain out of energy. Distance traveled is distance earned. It might not feel like it at the time, trust me. You might even get the sensation of “giving up” or “wussing out”. DESTROY THAT SENSATION ENTIRELY. If you’re running, or jogging, or walking, crawling, rolling like a Rolo… you’re moving, and you’re gaining the endurance you need to go the distance.

Well that’s it for today. I hope you’ll stick around for our next installment of Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips. Happy running, Hokeyfolks! Here’s the video:

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