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Program to Train People to Run in Marathons

Photo Courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

A program that starts tonight in Springfield is aimed at helping people train for half or full marathons without extreme fatigue and injury.

Jeff Galloway developed the program.  He says he wasn’t a good competitive runner in high school and college, but he had to learn.  And, in the process of learning, he realized he’d found a method that could help others, too…

"I made my way to the Olympic team by a series of hard work and other learning experiences and, after the Olympics in 1972, I opened a store, and out of that store there was a continuing stream of people that wanted advice and I told them what worked.  They got back to me.  Today that number of people that has gotten back with me after using my training programs numbers over 300,000," he said.

The Galloway method has a good success rate—more than 98% of those who have gone through the program have completed a half or full marathon.

According to Galloway, there are several unique elements to the program that allow someone who’s never been active to become a runner or to help a runner improve his or her times while avoiding injury…

"First of all, we have pace groups based on the ability of the person.  That means that we have a little test--reality check on people's ability that we call the magic mile, and that allows us to group people into homogeneous pace groups so that the snails are with the snails and the greyhounds are with the greyhounds and the others are with their own kind.  And as a result, nobody has to be pushed too hard," he said.

Runners in the program to the distance they plan to run three to four weeks prior to the marathon or half-marathon.  And walk breaks are inserted early and often in every long run…

"For example, somone who is running at a pace of ten minutes per mile three minutes and walk a minute.  And during that minute at that pace the fatigue is erased and there's not that extraordinary exhaustion that people normally expect to have after long runs," he said.

Galloway says you don’t have to spend a lot of time training for a marathon.  He has his clients train 30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and only about an hour most weekends. 

He’ll be at Cox Health Fitness Centers at the Meyer Center tonight (4/17) at 6 to kick off the program and to answer questions about it.

For more information or to register, 269-3282.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.