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Marathon: You Can Do It – by Jeff Galloway

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Here’s today’s Wall St. Journal “Tricks of the Trade” feature, by Josee Rose:

    When former Olympic marathoner Jeff Galloway buys new running shoes, he always brings his last pair with him. If the old shoes are worn toward the outside, he gets a pair with more cushion. If the wear is on the inside of the foot, he buys a shoe with more stability.

    Mr. Galloway, who has run over 150 marathons, never spends more than about $85 on a pair of shoes – pricier models are loaded with features you probably don’t need, he says. He shies away from pairs that are on sale (they’re probably flawed, he says), and he always tests shoes on a hard surface in the store – not the carpet.

    He switches over to the new shoes gradually. Once a week, he runs his normal route in the old pair, and then jogs around the block in the new pair. That helps break in the new shoes, but also tells him when the older pair no longer has enough support. Shoe companies phase out models every six months, so as soon as he finds a shoe he likes, he buys another pair.

Jeff Galloway is someone worth listening to. He transformed my marathoning experience with this book.

The magical idea: walk one minute after each mile. Even when you’re fresh, after mile one. The reason: you give your body a respite from the ongoing, cumulative pounding it’s taking, and you have something for your mind to look forward to that’s only a few minutes away.

This will add 20 minutes or so to your overall time (you do cover ground while you’re walking, remember), but you’ll finish the race, and in a much better frame of mind than doing it the old, hard way. And, what’s you’re time if you quit because of pain or exhaustion, doing it the traditional way?

Having praised Jeff Galloway, let me say that I disagree with his approach to buying running shoes.

I buy the same model of the same brand – Gel Kayano by ASICS – every six months. Why bother fooling around with unfamiliar shoes when you’ve got one that works for you?

No old shoes to the store, no wear patterns to examine, no trying them out (besides, most stores don’t have an extended area of hard surface anyway), no breaking in new ones. Keep it simple.

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  • Joe

    My wife and I trained for last years Rock and Roll Marathon with a Galloway training group. We met for the weekly long run every Saturday and it was great having route support once the mileage started getting longer. Your mileage may, literally, vary using the walk-run approach but I’ve found its optimal for me to vary my turnover rate rather than walking. Additionally, Galloway recommends that you go beyond your target goal when training, ie. run 28 to 30 miles when training for a marathon. I did that for R and R and experienced some classic overtraining symptoms, so its something to be mindful of. We got to meet Jeff Galloway a couple of times as part of the training group and he’s a great motivator and true ambassador for the sport.

  • zbsports

    I remember my first marathon I thought I can’t finish it…but i conquer the pain and finis the run…now I enjoy my groups we run every marathon event in our area…