Jeff Galloway recently came into the Maine Running Company for the evening and to share his 50 years of running experience and 30 years of coaching experience with us. All of my notes from the clinic are linked at the bottom of this article.
This afternoon I’d like to finish up by summarizing Jeff’s thoughts on various audience questions that didn’t fit into any of the other articles over the past week.
Jeff covered his thoughts on cross training, overcoming injuries, and how his concepts and training methods apply to faster runners.
“The only beneficial cross training is aqua jogging.”
Jeff does not believe that most forms of cross training are all that beneficial to a runner. He only mentioned a few exceptions in his clinic.
The best and most useful form is aqua jogging, which will help you to fine tune your running efficiency. Aqua jogging involves wearing a flotation belt which will keep you upright as you stand in a pool, where you then mimic running as you (very) slowly make your way back and forth. The pressure of the water against your limbs means that you will learn to improve your form as you try to fight the water resistance.
Jeff does not believe that weight training, especially lower body workouts, are very beneficial. He does recommend lifting for postural muscles, however, with 2 specific exercises:
- Arm Running
Arm running involves standing in place but moving your arms briskly in a running like motion with light hand held weights. You would do 9 to 10 reps per set.
Multiple Runs Per Day
“You can’t split up a long run, but you can break up shorter runs.”
Jeff believes that having more of a workload throughout the week is a good thing, so if that means that you need to split up a run into multiple workouts than you should do so.
The only workout that he doesn’t think that you should split up is your long run, since it has a specific purpose in building your endurance and you will not get the same benefit by taking a large rest break in the middle of it. After all, most marathons don’t allow you to complete the race in 2 sessions.
IT Band Injuries
“Replace your runs with equal distance walks.”
If you are suffering from a tight IT band or a similar injury, then Jeff recommends that you use a foam roller 3 times per day. You should roll for 5 minutes before your run, 5 minutes following your run, and 5 minutes before you go to bed.
If you have an injury that prevents you from running, then you should replace your runs with equal distance walks. Jeff has coached people who were unable to run before their marathons but who went out and walked their 20+ mile long runs in order to stay in shape. They weren’t in as good of shape as they might have been had they been able to run, but it maintained their level of fitness so that they were able to bounce back faster once they did recover.
Data on Fast Runners
“Fast runners are outside of my area of expertise because I don’t have enough data on them.”
One thing that Jeff did very little of throughout the evening was talk about how all of this applies to fast runners. The pace charts in his books don’t even go down to Magic Mile numbers that are faster than 5 minutes, so I asked him what he would recommend.
He has very little to say about runners that can run 4 minute miles, because he doesn’t have anywhere near enough data collected on their running habits with his methods or what sort of results they can expect. He has thousands of surveys with data about runners that can manage other paces, but the faster runners usually don’t consider using the run-walk-run method.
Jeff did coach one runner that was a 2:33 marathoner that interspersed a 15 second walk into every mile for the first 20 miles. He felt great for the last 10k, and brought his marathon time down to 2:28 for about a 5 minute improvement.
All in all, Jeff kept the clinic fun and did a good job of addressing all of the audience questions that came up throughout the evening. If you’d like more information about Jeff Galloway or want to join his free email newsletter, you can do so at JeffGalloway.com.