Reboot: Running with The Galloway Method

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After a few years of running and some weight “fluctuations” (i.e., minor gains), I decided to reboot my cardio and weight training. For weight training, I selected Stronglifts 5×5. I’ll talk about that in a different post. This post is about cardio, specifically, running using the Galloway Method.

Photo break on a training run in front of the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville.
Photo break on a training run in front of the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville.

The Galloway Method is the method used by seasoned runner/walker trainer Jeff Galloway. I first heard of this method via 26.2 with Donna (the marathon to Finish Breast Cancer), a cause in which I’ve participated over the past few years.

Galloway’s theory is that running/walking or running at a steady, what might seem like slower-than-normal pace, one can not only reduce the incidence of injury, but also run long distances strongly. Furthermore, Galloway has shown that it is possible to run/walk and perform better than you would if you continually ran the same distance (the recovery from walking helps you run stronger in the run intervals).

The basic elements of the method are this (I urge you to look at Galloway’s site and/or read his books before diving in – this is greatly abbreviated): time your fastest mile (your “Magic Mile” (MM)). Multiply your MM by a factor for your target race distance; that’s your “race pace”. Add 2 minutes; now you have your “training pace”. My most recent MM is 9:12. I’m training for a 1/2 marathon, so multiply my MM by 1.2 and that gives me a race pace of 11:02 and a training pace of 13:02.

I’ve never been super speedy, but 13 minute miles feel very sloooooow. And yet, finishing a 10K (6.2 mile) run breathing normally and feeling like you could go another few miles is pretty neat. I’ve never been able to picture running a whole marathon, but now it seems completely probable.

I’m looking forward to using this method to finish the 15K (9.3mi) Gate River Run for the 2nd time this year. While it may be a little slower (last year I was in the 9:15min/mi range), it’ll be cool to see how I feel at the finish line and throughout the race with this new pace and conditioning.

I highly recommend anyone give the Galloway Method a try, and stick with it even though it might feel like you’re moving slowly. It’s low risk, high defense against injury and high reward, especially for long-distance running.

Thanks for reading!

Next: Rebooting weight training with Stronglifts 5×5.

4 Things That Will Enhance Your Running Experience

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… or at least they enhance my running experience and I think they’d be good for you, too!

I’m still a novice runner; I actually don’t even truly “run”, I am still doing jogging/walking intervals.  Today I ran a 5K route with a jog 6 minutes/walk 1 minute interval.  And I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I ever have!  Here are the things that I’ve done or added recently that made this the best run to date:

1. Professional Shoe Fitting at Jacksonville Running Company

You know how everybody is like an a**hole because they all have opinions and advice (or something like that)?  Well, the one piece of advice that I finally took was to get a professional shoe fitting.  I’d been using some old cross trainers and while they basically protected my feet from the elements I did find it a little taxing to run in them.

So I went to Jacksonville Running Company and Bobby, the Training/Events Manager, took the time to learn about my running experience and plans, measured my feet, do a couple of computer/video analyses and let me try on and try out (actually jog with) several pairs of shoes until I had one that was just right.  Not only did he walk through all the analysis, he explained everything along the way without making me feel ignorant as a new runner or overwhelmed by information.

I love my shoes I (a great pair of Brooks shoes which are highly rated for heavier men)!  Wide enough for my feet but not too loose, good support for my high arches and very stable.  As I was at the store there were two other customers who each received the same personal attention as I.  This is a great store, great staff, and an extremely valuable service.  Highly recommended!  While there I also picked up…

2. Yurbuds Sport Earphones

These ingenious “twist-lock” earbuds are designed to stay in your ear and pipe the music right where it should go without letting sweat or moisture in.

Not only are Yurbuds fantastic earphones out of the box, the little twist lock earbud covers easily slip off and slip on to other earbuds.  I love that feature because I like to use my iPhone’s earbuds with the mic and remote (great to be able to adjust volume, use Siri or take/end a call while on the bike or on the run).  I slip the twist-lock piece on and I get the same benefits as the native Yurbuds headset.

Since I’m hell-bent on using my iPhone, might as well use a great app to track and time my runs…

3. Track with the iMapMyFitness App

The iMapMyFitness app is one of the best apps I’ve found to log and record workouts.  I used to use the one by the company with the swoosh logo but it had a couple of shortcomings (only for running, voice feedback is buggy, poor GPS responsiveness).  The app is great at recording workouts using GPS tracking (includes linear and elevation measurements), and it works for cycling or running.  You can also log swimming workouts, gym workouts, adventure workouts, and so on.

This goes to the App Store, but also available for Android

Another great feature is the “stats” view.  While you’re running or riding you can view your workout map or you can switch to view a screen of 4 stats (time, speed,  and a host of others that you can set, including ones that interact with other devices like ANT+ heart rate monitors).

You can also pre-map routes on the website for the app.  And you can connect w/ friends who use the app, and then see them while they’re on their workouts.  And… you can post your runs to Facebook and twitter, including a link to the map of your run/ride…  So many great features and the app is free! (There’s an advanced, ad-free $1.99 version of the app that I’m going to upgrade to, but the free version is really fantastic and the ads are very unobtrusive. )

Listening to music while on the run or ride is great, but you do need to be aware of what’s going on around you. While the Yurbuds still allow ambient noise, you never know who or what might trip you up on a run, so just in case…

4. Get a Road ID (

Road ID is a nice little piece of insurance.  For less than $30 you can get a wristband (or dog tag, like I have) that has your name, emergency contact info and even a code that First Responders can use to look up a full personal profile in the event that something happens to you on the trail or road or ocean.   RoadID is one of the most professional, engaging, quality service organizations I’ve encountered.  They are amazing communicators and really know how to anticipate your questions and make sure that when you buy your ID it’s an effortless and satisfying process.

Go to today and get one for you and/or a runner, cyclist, swimmer or outdoorsy type that you love.  It’s the best money you can spend for a little peace of mind while braving the great outdoors.

So there are 4 things that I think can make your running (or cycling or outdoor activity) a little more comfortable, enjoyable, productive and safe.  They’re definitely doing the trick for me so far.  If you have any experiences with any of the above to share, my readers and I would love to hear them!

Thanks for listening!


Valet Parking for Park and King?

Valet Parking for Park and King?

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In the revitalized Riverside neighborhood at Park Street and King Street, there is a lot of consternation about current and potential parking problems. There are many thriving restaurants in the area, led by the success of Kickbacks Gastropub (go there if you haven’t – it’s an awesome place: delicious food, tons of different beers and eclectic design), and this means more people who need to park their cars in the commercial and residential space.

While parking is not an overwhelming problem now, Kickbacks is planning on opening a new restaurant that will seat about 250 more people in the area (with maybe the best Dr. Seussian name ever: “Goozlepipe and Guttyworks”). Many residents and groups, including the Riverside Avondale Preservation Society (RAP) are protesting the expansion, largely because the area can not support another wave of parked cars on a regular basis.

So here’s my ill-formed idea on how to help the parking situation and raise funds to support a long-term solution:  valet parking!

1. Lot between College St. and the railroad tracks

The first hurdle I see is: Where will the valets park the cars?  There appears to be some paved (possibly not maintained, but partially paved) land just a couple blocks east of Kickbacks on College Street next to the train tracks.  It would take some money to secure the area and possibly do a little resurfacing, but it looks like several cars could be parked there and it wouldn’t be so far away that it would take too long to retrieve the cars if…

2. Bicycling valets

The lot I’m suggesting is a little too far for valets to efficiently run back and forth from the King St. area, but cycling valets could get back and forth pretty effortlessly.  Cycling is immensely popular in Jax and I’m sure one of the area cycle shops could donate some bikes for the cause.  And that also opens up the possibility of…

3. Bicycle rickshaws

They have those bicycle rickshaws around the Jags’ stadium, why not put some in the Park/King area to get people to remote lots or from one part of the area to another?

The rickshaws and the valet service would not be free, but small fees for the services would provide funding to offset some of the costs involved (and I’m sure there are businesses and passionate residents that might donate to help fund such a solution if it were found to be feasible), and eventually support some type of parking structure for the area.

What do you think?  Got something better?  Look forward to hearing your comments!