Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Coach Galloway

Jeff Galloway responded today with a work out plan designed to have me break 3:20:00 in the 2007 Boston Marathon - and I received my Boston Marathon confirmation this past week. Jeff thought that a 3:19:59 might be attainable given my 1:34:07 in the First Half Marathon this past Spring.

Here is Jeff's marathon coaching wisdom in all it's glory:


Welcome to my ecoaching program! Above all, I want you to enjoy your running, every day, while staying injury free. The principles below can also allow you to gain control over your exercise experience. Ask questions at any time.

I believe that you are capable of running below 3:25 and possibly below 3:20 at Boston. As you know, the weather will be a prime factor. Your half marathon time says that you are within range of this. I'm sending you a copy of my book Year Round Plan. You will be starting this week, on week 24 with a little adjustment. Please look this over when you get the book to see if I am right. The plan will schedule some drills during the week that will help you improve.

I travel almost every weekend, leaving very early on Friday--so I may not be able to get back to you if you email me Fri-Sun. Your responsibility is to check in with me each week, around Tuesday. Please put "ecoach Vince H" in the Subject line. The address above is the best address (runwalkrun@mindspring.com). But if you don't hear from me within 4 days, resend your report to michele@jeffgalloway.com Here is what what I would like to have listed:

1. What you were assigned for the weekend run: Distance, pace, walk break frequency (or speed workout)
2. What distance you actually ran
3. Pace per mile (noting changes if you made pace changes)
4. Ratio of walk breaks
5. Any aches/pains, questions?
6. Any questions at all?

Weather influences finish times more than anything else. Every degree above 12C will generate a slower finish time. The pace of long runs and the race itself should be slowed by 20 sec/km with each 2C of temperature increase above 14C. The bottom line is that you must slow down from the beginning, on a day that is hotter than 14C. Be prepared to adjust. Many of my Galloway runners bring a thermometer with them to make the adjustments as needed.

At some point, I hope you can join us at a beach retreat--or one-day school. The retreats at Tahoe or the FL panhandle feature motivational experiences, individualized training and nutritional advice, personalized running/walking form evaluation and more. If you are interested, the tuition will be half price, as an e-coach athlete on all programs where I am the sole teacher. My main goals for you are to stay injury free, and blend the best of body, mind and spirit through running. These are the themes in e-coaching. At the retreats and schools I put all of it together at one time.

I am asking you to do a series of "magic mile" time trials (TT) as reality checks on your goal (1600meters). I have plugged them into the schedule. Warm up for these with about 1 mile and warm down the same distance--very slowly. You can do this on a track, timing yourself: 4 laps. Start the watch at the beginning, and keep it running until you cross the finish of the 4th lap. On the first one, just run a little faster than you usually run. You will only run one TT on each day that it is assigned. On each successive one, your mission is to beat that time. After you have run 3 of these you'll see progress and will run them hard enough so that you are huffing and puffing during the second half--and finish feeling like you couldn't go much further at that pace. Try walking for about 30 seconds at the half mile (800 meters). No sprinting! These will help us with pacing and tell us what is realistic as we get closer to race day. After each time trial, run additional miles as directed by the schedule. You can do this as a separate run, later in the day, if you wish.

Medical Issues: My advice is given as one exerciser to another. For medical questions, ask your doctor.

*Let me (and your doctor) know if you have any aches or pains that could be the beginnings of an injury. If we stay below the threshold of irritation of your weak links, for example, with liberal walking, you can train through most of the aches and pains. You don't want to push through pain, swelling, or loss of function in the foot or leg during a run--as this produces a lot of damage quickly. When in doubt, stop the workout and email me. Keep me posted on any possible flareups of any other past injuries. As mentioned above, talk to your doctor about the medical issues of injury.

* Don't stretch the achilles or the calf or the hamstring. In general, I don't recommend stretching. I also recommend that you not do lower body strength work, as this can increase leg muscle recovery.

* Don't exercise if you have a lung infection. If you even think that you might have a lung infection, get your doctor's guidance before resuming strenuous exercise.

* Read the sections in my book on heat disease, heart issues and other medical problems It is unlikely that you will have problems in this area if you follow the conservative guidelines. When in doubt, ask your doc and run the problem by me. Be conservative!

Fluid Intake on long ones: Generally, water is a better choice during a long one because it reduces the chance of nausea, and is absorbed quicker. Marathon Medicial Directors recommend about 4-6 oz, every 1-2 miles--or no more than 27 oz an hour. The day before long ones, and the day after, I recommend Accelerade sports drink (see our website for more information)--about 6 oz, every 2-3 hours, with other fluids as needed.

Blood Sugar intake: For most of the exercisers I've worked with, the gel products have worked best. The most successful formula on long runs, for the largest number of people, is the following: Put several packets of your favorite product (I recommend trying Accelgel) into a plastic bottle with a pop-top (Fuel Belt makes a great product). Starting between 3-7 miles, start taking 2-3 squirts of the gel, with 3-4 sips of water, every mile or two. Check our website for more info on these products.

The most important time to reload your important glycogen energy stores is within 30 min of finishing exercise--particularly a long one. I recommend taking 200-300 calories of a fuel that has 80% carbohydrate and 20% protein. The product Endurox R4 has this in the mix.

1. "Long one" pace: slow enough so that you are not huffing and puffing at any time--even at the end. I recommend a pace of 6:30 per kilometer or slower. The slower long run pace, and the more liberal walk breaks (run 3 min/walk 1 min) should allow you to do all of your normal activities after the long runs, and recover fast--while getting in all of the endurance you need. Remember to watch the temperature and slow down by 20 sec/km for every 2 degrees above 14C. On hot days, the best time for the long training runs is scheduling to finish before the sun gets above the horizon, being aware of safety issues, of course.

2. On long ones, whether walking or running, keep a short stride, with feet low to the ground--as in a shuffle. I don't recommend power walk or race walk. It is OK to walk fast by using quicker turnover with a short stride through practice.

3. Taking Endurox Excel pills an hour before hard days, and Endurox R4 after hard ones should speed recovery. If you use a sports drink, Accelerade is the best I've found for promoting recovery & fluid replacement, according to the research.

4. All of the elements in the schedule are explained in the books: MARATHON & A YEAR-ROUND PLAN. Please ask any questions about anything.

5. It is best to take a day of rest, the day before long runs.

6. To improve your ability to maintain pace at the end of the marathon, I've included mile repeat speedwork in the book. It is best to do these on a track. Warm up and warm down as you would do for the magic mile TT listed above. Run the first 1600 in 7:20. Gradually bring the time down to 7:10 or so, if you can do this by running smoothly in the middle and run the last 1-2 in 7:15. Walk for 5 min between each mile repeat. During each mile, walk for 15 seconds at the half--keeping the watch running.

Again, I am giving advice only as one exerciser to another.

I look forward to working with you! Here's the schedule of weekend runs:

Dec 17--4 x 1600
Dec 24--27K
Dec 31--6 x 1600
Jan 7--10K with TT
Jan 14--32K
Jan 21--8 x 1600
Jan 28--10K with TT
Feb 4--37K
Feb 11--10 x 1600
Feb 18--12K with Tt
Feb 25--42K
Mar 4--12 x 1600
Mar 11--12K with a TT
Mar 18--47K
Mar 25--10K easy
Apr 1--14 x 1600
Apr 8--12K easy
Apr 16--Boston!
Apr 22--7-10K
Apr 29--10-15K
May 6--15-20K

You Can Do It!!

Jeff Galloway
US Olympian

E-coaching to your goals

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bouncing Around

My weight is bouncing around 189-190 pounds. I have kind of settled into my usual Boston Marathon diet mode, so it isn't too difficult to be mindful of what I am putting into my body.

And speaking of bodies, there was a sobering article in the New York Times this morning for middle-aged fat men with marathon dreams everywhere. If watching Lance Armstrong run the New York Marathon was an inspiration for men of a certain vintage this November to try a Spring marathon, they should definitely read this article:

Is Marathoning Too Much of a Good Thing for Your Heart? - New York Times


As for this middle-aged fat man, your ever-humble correspondent has signed up for e-coaching by Jeff Galloway.

I think it will be interesting to see what Jeff Galloway has to offer in the way of training tips and insight to see if I can lower my marathon time in Boston in 2007.

Here were my responses to Jeff's ten questions:

1. How did you hear about this program?

From the www.jeffgalloway.com newsletter.

2. Goal (s) in joining this program and date of event?

Running the 2007 Boston Marathon in a new Personal Best. My Goal is 3:19:59. I ran a 3:30:38 in the 2006 Boston Marathon.

3. Longest run in the last 3-4 weeks, and date of run?

I ran 35K on November 5, 2006.

4. 5K time in last 6 months?


5. A sample of 2 weeks of day to day workouts.

3 or 4 10Ks per week, plus a long slow Sunday run every week, cycling 20K, 25K, 30K and 35K every month. During a marathon training cycle, I like to over-distance train – with a long run out to 45K. I also stretch out my Friday 10K to 20K.

6. Any limiting problems (past injuries, etc.)

I’m old… (born August 8th, 1960)

8. Walk-run ratio-currently.

Ten and ones on my long Sunday run.

9. Have you completed a ½ or full marathon before? If so what was the date and your time?

I have run 19 marathons. The 2007 Boston Marathon will be my twentieth marathon. My current PB is 3:29:39 in October of 2005. Best 10K time in 2006, 42:11. Best Half Marathon time in 2006, 1:34:07.

10. Tshirt size


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Perfect Christmas Gift for the Marathon Runner

I ran an easy 10K in the ice and snow with my regular Sunday running buddies.

And found the perfect Christmas gift idea for marathon runners in my e-mail in-box this past week!

Jeff Galloway's Training Program


Getting you to the finish line injury-free.

Online Registration

e-Coaching by Jeff Galloway
$ 249.00

This Individual "e-Coaching" Program gives you a training program designed by Jeff and direct, priority access to him when you have questions or clarifications. Whether you just want to run without pain, or qualify for the Boston Marathon, we will provide you with 6 months of coaching support, a day-by-day program to your goals, and many other items.

Jeff's overall training philosophy is to provide you with a program toward your goals while "having a life", family, career. At every level, Jeff recommends lower mileage, fewer days per week, walk breaks. Over the years, over 98% of his participants have success in finishing marathons, and similar success rates at other distances.

Here's what you'll receive:

1. Jeff will work within your time available for training

2. He will help you set up a realistic goal

3. He will design a schedule to your goal

4. Weekly e-conferences, with fine tuning of workouts

5. Prioirity email access to Jeff

6. Train for a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon with Jeff's help!

Other things you'll receive:

Individual Training Program to the goal of your choice by Jeff Galloway
Direct email access to Jeff, for questions and clarifications, with priority
Jeff's training journal
Free Monthly E Newsletter
Opportunity to ride on the Galloway Bus for the New York City Marathon start
Discounts on Fitness Vacations at Lake Tahoe
Meet and run with other Galloway Members at races around the world
For more info, email Michele (michele.langevin@jeffgalloway.com).

Fee for six month e-training:

- $249 New Registrant OR

- $149 if an Alumni to this E-coaching Program ONLY

Online Registration - sign up today!

I think I'll have to do just that!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Enjoying the Simple Pleasures

Saturday morning, early. The mercury hovering around the freezing point.

Weighed in this morning at 189.

Ran just under sixteen kilometres in an hour and a half with Patrick, who had to head out of town on a business trip Sunday morning. We were layered head to toe and headed out around the Sea Wall.

The skies had cleared, and despite the chill and the snow and ice crackling and snapping underfoot, with the sun breaking through it was a glorious morning for a run. Ten kilometres an hour was a perfect pace, our breathing easy as our exhalations left steamy clouds in our wake. The winter sun struggled to warm our faces and in the end I had to pull my gloves off.

Followed the run with farm eggs over easy, whole wheat slices toasted to crunchy perfection, savory Italian sausages and homefries and washed it all down with steaming hot cups of coffee.

Add the company and the conversation of a good friend and it's hard to beat the simple pleasures in life.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fighting Trim

The process of registering for the Boston Marathon, securing a hotel room and starting my Boston training has all helped to refocus my marathon mindset.

So has my father's recent struggles with his health, as his heart attack brought home many of the reasons why I took up marathon training in the first place some six years ago.

Since early November I have largely been on my Boston diet. I add the caveat that I am going to follow it a little less stringently between December 15th and New Year's.

Today I tipped the scales at about 190 pounds, the lightest I have been since finding out I had skin cancer in May of this year.

My goal weight for this Boston, in what I hope will be a legitimate shot at a new personal best is the 175-180 pound range.

Because of the snow and the rain and the short hours of daylight, I also gave myself a gym membership for Christmas. I plan to supplement my outdoor runs with several sessions per week on the tread mill, a training strategy I have used in the past to recover from injury.

So, starting this week, I am back running a minimum of four days a week, five in a best case scenario. Because I had intended to run the Seattle Marathon, my long run training is pretty current. I have run an easy twenty miles or longer at least once a month now for nearly a year and a half.

My efforts to crack 3:20 this time around will be to focus on my weight, my speed work and my love affair with hill training.

Only four and a half months to go...