Wednesday, February 03rd, 2010

By Olympian Jeff Galloway

Whether you let your fitness slide a bit over the holidays or you are stuck in a lazy rut with your running, a race date on a calendar can help to rev up the motivation. If you haven’t run a neighborhood or charity based 5K, understand that these are not large events like the Peachtree Road Race or Boston Marathon. Most of these events are laid-back and fun.

1. Write the date on your appointment calendar and enter the race. These two actions have been the most common “inertia breakers”: the beginning of a fulfilling year of running.
2. Come into a good running store for a shoe check. Trained experts can often find a more comfortable shoe that responds better to the way your foot moves.
3. Use the program below to train. Make sure you are running so slow that you are not huffing and puffing–even at the end.
4. Use the run-walk-run strategies listed below on long runs to avoid aches, pains and injuries.
5. Recruit a friend to join you. Having a running partner improves motivation. Copy this article and send it to a friend.
6. It is also motivating to join a group. We have several options of Galloway groups in various locations that have pace groups at your current fitness level.
7. Get a massage every day to loosen sore and tight muscles, improve circulation, and reduce stress. Doing this will help in your training immensely. The best way to do this is what I do—get a Human Touch massage chair.
8. You’ll find more information on training from my books, particularly GETTING STARTED & 5K/10K. These books have all of the information you need and make great gifts (order, autographed from

The longer run is the key to fitness, and to finishing a 5K with strength. By going a bit further than 5K distance, you know that you are ready. Each long run should be so slow that you are never huffing and puffing—even at the end.

To maintain the endurance from the long run, you only need to do two other runs of 20 minutes each week. It’s best to spread out the running days—Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday—for example.

Walk breaks will allow the body to recover, even as you are increasing distance. If you walk early and often, you can erase fatigue from the beginning. Start by trying a 1-1 (run a minute/walk a minute). Some need more walking at first (run 15 to 20 seconds/walk 40-45 seconds). For those who have been running comfortably at the following paces, the run-walk-run strategies are listed below:

9 min/mi—run 4 min/walk 1 min (4-1)
10 min/mi—3-1
11 min/mi—2:30-1
12 min/mi—2-1
13 min/mi—1-1
14 min/mi—30 sec/30 sec
15 min/mi—30 sec run/45 sec walk
16 min/mi—20 sec run/40 sec walk
17 min/mi—15 sec run/45 sec walk
18 min/mi—10 sec run/50 sec walk

Note: We have a vibrating timer in the store ($20) which signals when to run and when to walk.

Long Run Schedule (done on one day each week)
Week 1–1 mile
Week 2–1.5 miles
Week 3–2 miles
Week 4–2.5 miles
Week 5–3 miles
Week 6–3.5 miles
Week 7–Race

Note: Over a million exercisers have attended Jeff Galloway clinics, running schools, wonderful retreats, training programs or read his books. To subscribe to his free newsletter and/or blog, visit

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