Say, kids! Welcome back to the glittering pageantry of Hokeyblog and our ongoing partnership with all-around swell guy and running guru Jeff Galloway as we present another round of Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips, in which we here at HokeyCo International are tickled pink to share Jeff’s running wisdom to our vast cadre of cultivated, upscale, beau monde readers, and yes that includes you too Skippy Feinbaum. Feinbaums are good people.
Even more exciting, we’re joined today by our wondrously buttkickin’ buddy Sarah from Sparkly Runner, who has ever so graciously agreed to share her sagacious prose and worldly-wise wisdom as she and I share a discussion of Jeff’s tips for today. Sarah and I go *way* back, and by “way back” I mean to August of 2013 when she stalked me at the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon expo. She also photographs a lot better than I do, as you can tell by this picture taken at that moment (on your left).
Anyway, Sarah and I are going to discuss Señor Jefe’s training and motivations tips and add our own experiences to the mix, along with just a touch of entertainment and personality that hopefully will keep such a discussion from being the blogging equivalent of dry, red-eye. The dream is that you guys — all our epic readers who epitomize the phrase ‘extraordinary magnitude’ at each and every hootenanny of wondrous delight — will find these tips helpful, inspiring, perhaps even a bit… you know what, I think Sarah expressed it succinctly like this:
Slick, eh? Jeff’s tips will be in bold, whereas our responses will be in… not bold, and color-coded for your pleasure, just like USA Today! Sarah in purple, myself in red. Isn’t that a peach? On with the show then!
Training and Motivation Tips
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
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Jeff Galloway 13.1!
Be aware of irritation of weak links.
The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees – Feet – Calf – Achilles – Hip – Glute/piriformis/sciatica. But the body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.
SR: Yup, those dang weak links will get you every time! Since I’ve been recovering from injury, I have been paying attention to every little ache and pain and addressing concerns as they come up. Knowing that I have cranky feet, I keep all that’s connected to my feet (knees, hips, glutes, core, etc.) strong through yoga and different strengthening workouts.
Also, it’s worth taking stock of your form. Use the self-timer on your camera or have someone snap some pictures of you mid-run so you can see maybe why certain areas are always painful for you. I can clearly see how I heel strike in almost all of the photos of me running… that’s probably why my feet aren’t in the best shape. I’m working on this, I promise!
HB: I’m holding you to that promise, Sarah. Otherwise you’re getting the next round of Dole Whips. For a year!
Back on topic, I’m suddenly reminded of Karl Malden’s reverend character in the classic Disney film Pollyanna…
He delivers this firebrand “DEATH COMES UNEXPECTEDLY!!!” speech early in the film, but if you will, substitute the rather downer subject of mortality with that of running injuries.
They come unexpectedly. When you least expect them. And many times they are completely avoidable… if you pay attention!
You know, sometimes the hardest part about running is the self-consciousness of it all. I mean, unless you have limitless confidence (as opposed to my own brand of schmucky arrogance), there’s always that part of you which is perpetually concerned about how you look pounding pavement, as opposed to how you feel… more specifically, how you feel in relation to how you’re running. Maybe it’s not until mile 3 or 4 of a long run when you realize you’ve been striking with the upper side of your foot or your shoulders are locked in place and your back’s too stiff, and of course by the time the pain comes it’s pretty much too late to steer back on course.
So definitely pay attention to your injured areas first and foremost, but keep a close vigil on your form. And by all means call an audible if something feels “off”; there’s never any shame on taking a break to walk, stop, or stretch, even mid-race, if it means protecting your most valuable running investment (besides your Garmin, those $200 shoes, and Run Disney registration fees).
Stress buildup due to the way we train.
- Training schedule is too intense-not enough rest between stress.
HB: Señor Jefe advocates a three-day a week running schedule, and this is really all the run time you need to go the distance. It allows plenty of time for cross-training and rest. Both are critical for long-term health and success. Besides, you gotta allow for one day of blissful nothingness!
SR: TAKE A DAY OR TWO OFF! Seriously, I talk to runners all the time who run every day — you really don’t need to and doing so can lead to injury. So take a breather at least once a week — it won’t affect your training negatively. I trained for the Dopey Challenge running only three times a week.
- Adverse Training Components — speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
HB: Running is a slow-burn, long-haul commitment. Like anything else in life, you need to grow and develop into your own space, at your own pace. This is not just for beginners but experienced runners as well. If you haven’t hit the road for a long time (due to injury, life commitments, lethargy, whatever), you can’t rush back into where you were at your peak. ESPECIALLY if you signed up for a race and think you can just condense training into a few short days or weeks. Start slow and build up again.
SR: Did you know that it can take a month or more for your bones to respond to increased distance/speed training? Basically, your bones take a longer time to strengthen than your muscles, heart, and respiratory system. So even though you can feel improvement in those areas, don’t rush the training too fast — give your skeletal system time to catch up!
- Running form-too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.
HB: You ever see those bouncy runners, the ones whose form seem to indicate that they took personal exemption from the laws of gravity and wind up several inches off the ground with each step, knees high in the air, almost effortless with their lithe, deeply expressionist panther-like movements? You don’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent to foretell the painful arthroscopic surgeries in their future… I just showed my age there 🙁
SR: Just remember the “marathon shuffle:” quick turn-over, short stride, feet low to the ground. It helps prevent injury and keeps you from expending too much energy too early.
So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury
Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries
- Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
SR: Coming back from the stress fracture, I started with 4:1 intervals- four minutes walking, one minute running. It’s what helped me ease back into distance running after four months off.
HB: I’m actually surprised at how much resistance there is to intervals among so many, even new runners. They’re convinced that it’s not ‘real’ running. You know what’s not ‘real’ running? Laying on the couch with your foot wrapped, iced, elevated, and out of commission due to a blown Achilles tendon or PF.
- Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
SR: I like to call this the “marathon shuffle” and during long runs I keep my feet as close to the ground as possible.
HB: As opposed to my “zombie shuffle”, which is when I hit the wall at Mile 20 and where I’m making running motions but moving barely past walking speed, while hungering for brains and looking at the flowers! Or something. No but seriously, short and quick is the way to go if you really want to go the distance.
- Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
SR: I pretty much have one speed — nice and easy, with plenty of walk breaks.
HB: You and me both. With my size and body frame, I’ll never be Barry Allen or Pietro Maximoff (NERD ALERT!), but what I strive for in my long runs is consistency and endurance. Slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race.
- Avoid Stretching
SR: I’m definitely an advocate of stretching- but only AFTER running when your muscles are warm and pliable. Doing any kind of stretching when your muscles are cold doesn’t benefit you and can actually lead to injury.
HB: I’ve heard Señor Jefe on several podcasts advocating not stretching at all, either before or after. Obviously do what feels right to you, but static stretching before running is a definite no-no. I’m a firm believer in your first mile or two being adequate warm-up, but there’s nothing wrong with doing some light jogging or determined walks before a long run.
- Be careful when running speed sessions
SR: Yeah, see my comment for #3. I don’t feel the need for speed 🙂
HB: I feel the need… the need for a Speedo! But that’s neither here nor there… (awkward) *ahem* ANYWAY speed work at the track or on a treadmill is definitely beneficial in helping increase your overall speed… but yikes, please don’t kill yourself. I see these people at the gym all the time, with the treadmill jacked up at 8, 9, even up to 10 mph… and as they desperately try to keep up with this demanding velocity, THEY’RE HOLDING ON TO THE SIDES OF THE MACHINE FOR DEAR LIFE! Schadenfreude notwithstanding, it’s still a disaster waiting to happen.
And there you have it my friends… we want to thank our buddy Sarah for ever so kindly agreeing to this awesome cross-blogging infotainment, and of course the great Jeff Galloway for dispensing it to us for dissemination, debate, discussion, and other d-words that quite frankly I’m too tired to go look up. But do go look up Sarah’s blog at SparklyRunner.com, because she’s enthusiastically brilliant and great people. The Dream Team thanks you kindly, and as always here’s the video:
When she’s not running or spending way too much time on social media, you can find her blogging at Sparkly Runner. She also enjoys
stalking meeting up with her favorite bloggers at races; especially that time she got to meet Hokeyboy live in person at the Disneyland Half Marathon expo! What a treat! Sarah lives with her boyfriend Matthew and their adorable pug Koda (named after Brother Bear) in a tiny, tiny town in south central Pennsylvania. Obsessed with all things Disney, they are always planning their next trip to WDW and dream of one day working for the Mouse.