Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips #2, or: “Move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy…”

blggalloway2Continuing our partnership with the always awesome and inspirational Jeff Galloway, Hokeyblog is pleased as a pigeon to present the second installment of Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips. The hope is that you — our epic readers who epitomize badassery at every quantum pinch — find these tips helpful, inspiring, perhaps even illuminating?

I like ‘illuminating’. It’s very Promethean! I mean, except for the whole ‘mythological titan strapped to a rock and having his liver torn out by birds’ sort of thing. I was a mythology nerd growing up. Can you tell?

As always, Jeff’s tips will be in bold, followed by my own thoughts in… not bold. So whaddaya say? Let’s boogie!

The training journey for a marathon or half marathon raises your body’s physical performance capability and your sense of what you can do in life.

A great point, and one that goes without saying, except that it’s fun to say… so let’s say it! Any obstacle — athletic, educational, professional, personal, whatever it is — presents more than its fair share of challenges. Overcoming them through sheer willpower and laser-focused determination makes you feel like a freakin’ superhero, and then you carry that over to every aspect of your life. Nothing seems quite so impossible anymore.

I would still love to be a dance instructor on a cruise. With a stage name of ‘Pedro Pantalones’. Dream big, folks.



Running helps to bring body, mind and spirit together in a unique and wonderful way.

In researching my book MENTAL TRAINING I discovered that running turns on brain circuits for a better attitude more vitality and empowerment better than other activities studied.

Agreed, and I’ll add that running is probably the best meditative experience I’ve ever encountered. Sure, you get the physical workout and a sense of accomplishment after a good run, but the soul feels so damn SMOOTH afterward. Hard to describe it in words. Take my word for it. Your spirit is like a Sade song made aetheric…

In researching my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100 I found numerous studies showing that runners have healthier orthopedic units than non runners even after decades of running.

I wanted to get a consult on this one, so I reached out to the most brilliant orthopedic surgeon and scholar I know: My Dad. He in turn wondered why I was wasting my time blogging instead of developing a mobile app that would net me billions. *sigh* This happens a lot. Anyway, whether this is true or not is for more educated minds than mine to determine, but from personal experience I’ve never felt stronger and healthier in my bones, joints, and ligaments. That’s not to say I’ve never had injuries, but the vast majority of them were minor, resolved quickly, and did not cause any lasting issues.

ALL of them -- runners in life!

ALL of them — runners in life!

When a runner takes walk breaks early and often enough for the individual the muscles are strong to the end. See RUN WALK RUN at for recommendations by pace per mile.

Intervals really work. I’ve been using them for years for anything above a 5K. They brought me to where I am today. I’m hip. I’m with it. Tokka tokka tokka tokka… HUP!

The “exhaustion wall” can be avoided by running longer long runs up to or beyond race distance-using the appropriate run-walk-run strategy.

Marathoners tend to improve time by an average of more than 15 minutes when they increase their longest run from 20 miles to 26 miles.

This is an interesting set of tips, and the subject matter comes up for debate a LOT when talking about training and long runs. Simply put, many people believe that you don’t need to go the full distance of the race for which you’re training, in order to be truly prepared for it. For example, if you’re training for a marathon, some believe your longest training run should be no more than 21 miles. “Oh, if you can run 21, you’re ready for 26.”

I disagree. I would say that if you can run 21 miles, yes, you can definitely cross the Finish Line at 26 miles. But you might not finish strong, upright, or at the pace/time you were hoping for. Those last few miles might be a glorified Death Shuffle in which you’re making the physical actions of running, but you’re barely moving at any kind of real pace, you’re completely, utterly depleted of energy, and you feel like Crap on Two Legs.

Basically, if you plan on running 13.1/26.2 miles — especially for the first time — you should include a training run that goes or even exceeds the entire distance. It’s a mental boost as well, because you’ve already proven to yourself that you CAN push yourself to complete the desired mileage, or even more. By the time you get to Race Day, you’re prepared, more confident, and perhaps a bit… peppy? Pep is good. Pep is REAL good. Don’t neglect the pep!

Don't end up like THIS!

Don’t end up like THIS!

To recover fast, run the long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than you could currently run in a marathon.

This is probably good advice, but I’ll admit that I don’t consciously do this. My race pace is not exactly the fastest in the world — although it’s certainly faster than my training pace. Going 2 min/mile slower would probably take me all weekend. It’s definitely something to consider and remember, and long runs are definitely NOT the time to try to set new land speed records anyhow.

The right run-walk-run strategy from the beginning of each run, gives any runner control over fatigue, injury-elimination, and recovery.

In numerous surveys, runners improved over 13 minutes when they shifted from running continuously to use of the right run-walk-run strategy.

Folks: how many times has this happened to you? You’re at your race corral with your training buddies, ready to make your way to the Start Line and begin your smooth move towards greatness. Suddenly one of your training partners explodes with excitement and proclaims some variation of the following:

  • “Let’s do the first few miles without intervals and then switch back to run-walk…”
  • “Let’s forget the walk breaks, and only stop to walk at water stations for a little…”
  • “OMG! I’m so pumped up! Let’s run the whole thing!!”

Unless they’ve specifically trained this way on their long runs, this is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. I’ve seen it countless times with my own eyes. Almost always they are completely burned-out by Mile 4 or 5, with a whole lot of race to go. If you’ve trained with intervals, race with intervals. Really. You’ll run faster, more consistently, and feel stronger at the end.

And there you have it! Thanks for joining us for this round of tips and motivation. As always, here’s the video:

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