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.