Fast Lane 101 – Jeff Galloway Blogger

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Neighborhood tracks are the most convenient place to run for most.  Whether you’re taking your first steps or wanting to improve your time, it’s easy to check your pace by timing each lap. Because I’ve spoken to many runners who mistakenly feel that they are not fast enough to run at the local oval, here are a few simple guidelines:

  • What is the distance of a lap?  Standard distance is 400 meters (@ .25 mile).
  • In which direction should I run?   In most cases, run counterclockwise.  A few tracks alternate direction from day to day,  so follow the direction of the other runners.
  • What lane should I use when running slow or walking?  The inside 3 lanes are reserved for faster runners and those doing speed workouts.  Most runners should use the 2 outside lanes.
  • How do I pass slower runners? Assuming a normal, counterclockwise pattern, move to the right to pass, with a smile.
  • Is it OK for kids to ride bikes and skate on the track? This is not a good idea.  Try to find another place near the track for these activities.
  • Do I have to pay to use a track?  Most tracks are free, but the hours of use may be restricted by the school.
  • Can I run on the track with an iPod? This is up to you but be aware of your surroundings and possible threats or faster runners coming up behind you.  Keep one ear uncovered.
  • Do I need special shoes?  No—you can use the same shoe for road, track or fitness trail—unless you are a competitor doing very fast speedwork.
  • Are there any times that I should not use the track?  If there is a track meet or organized track practice by the local team, find another running area.  Some track teams allow recreational runners to use the outside lane during their workouts.

Say What?
Repeats—These are the fast segments during a speed workout.  Each repeat (usually about 3-5% of the distance of the goal event) is run slightly faster than goal race pace, followed by a rest interval of  walking or slow jogging.  Through a series of workouts, the number of repetitions gradually increases.

The Fix
I always lose count of how many times I’ve run around the track! How can I keep track of it better?  Office supply stores sell “counters” that keep track of the number of laps as you click each time you finish a lap.  Another method: time yourself for the first 2 laps, for two laps in the middle and 2 laps at the end.  Compute an average of the lap times.  You can compute the number of laps by dividing the total time run by the average time per lap.

The Excuse
There are lots of fast-looking people at my track; I’m scared I’ll get in their way. 
 The inside lanes are for faster runners.  If you run in the outside lane, you will not get in their way.

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Jeff Galloway – Mental Training for Runners Book Review

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“We have a powerful mind-body network that is interconnected.” Jeff Galloway.

As I head toward my first marathon, I realize that it’s not only about the body (yes, even a grandma’s body), it’s also about the mental stamina needed to get to the starting line, cross that line and make it to the finish line. As we barrel toward January, there are so many doubts. In fact, I considered downgrading to the half, but unfortunately, the half is now full…go figure.

Plan B… I was looking for material on stepping up my mental game when my sister mentioned that Jeff Galloway had such a book.  Jeff Galloway – Mental Training for Runners – No More Excuses, a rather long title for a book, but no worries, it all fits on the cover page.

Mental Training for Runners (I had to shorten the title), is 205 pages of Jeff Galloway’s best advice, all crammed into 205 glossy pages (literally…glossy). If you’ve ever had the opportunity to hear Jeff Galloway speak at an event, you know he talks about the “monkey brain”. Now, before you go trying to decide if it’s an insult or not, the monkey brain is that part of our subconscious (reflex brain) that sends signals to the rest of our body (that’s how I interpret it anyway). This is the part of our brain that lowers our motivation and lose our focus. The purpose of Mental Training, per Galloway, is to override our monkey brain. This is exactly what I needed.

Mental Training for Runners covers a wide variety of topics and tips, as I said, many of which have been covered in Galloway’s books and speeches, but all in one neat package.  Think of it as a one stop shop.  The book covers everything from various running situations like recovering from injury or illness; what to do when a close running friend moves away and running in the morning or at night after work, just to name a few. It also includes inspirational stories from individuals who have survived cancer; a runner who ran a marathon after the age of 80; running for and after weight loss, and keeping journals.  If you need motivation – this book is definitely for you.

Fav Chapters

Chapter 6 – Setting a motivation training plan – This chapter discusses setting a reality check for your goals. “As you take one conscious step after another, you take control of your attitude and your running experience.” Now, that is what I needed to hear!

Chapter 11 – Cognitive Control over Nutrition – Fat Burning.  There is no denying that weight loss is one side effect I am hoping to achieve. Since kicking up my running, I am happy to report the loss of 10 pounds. (I like to think of it as the equivalent of a 10 pound sack of potatoes). “The monkey brain is programmed to keep eating when food is available-long after we have eaten enough nutrition for the next 24 hours.”

Not quite fav, but not bad…

Keep in mind, this is a Jeff Galloway production so there are going to be mentions of his books and products throughout.  You can look at it a couple of ways – mini-commercials, or the opportunity to read about additional helpful resources. For example, I saw a couple of books that sound like they might be my next purchase – Nutrition for Runners and also Running and Fat Burning for Women. Hopefully you won’t let these strategically-placed product endorsements deter you from taking full advantage of all this book has to offer.

Well, for me, I’ve found Mental Training for Runners – No More Excuses to be extremely helpful in trying to tame my brain.

A FAMILY THAT RUNS TOGETHER

I’ve seen a lot of discussion on social media recently about running with spouses and questions about what age is appropriate for kids to enter races. As an official Jeff Galloway Blogger, it is my pleasure to bring you his latest article.  It’s time to make more healthy, family fun!

Family runs together

Kids think and learn better when they exercise regularly, according to research. Whether you run with your child, a niece/nephew/grandchild, or a neighborhood kid, you can make a positive impact on a young life.

True Confession: I was a fat and lazy kid, and a poor student, at the age of 13. Joining a group of cross country runners changed my attitude for the better, and challenged me to be a better student. The bonding of most running groups creates positive growth experiences.

Why is running with kids such a great thing to do? Most kids like to do things with an adult. By running comfortably with a child you can positively imprint exercise as a natural and expected part of the daily routine, that is fun.

What does running do for kids–better than other sports? Kids who run tend to have better self-esteem, better grades, and are happier. Unlike other sports, that require specific skills, any kid can run and walk. When running, you have one of the best opportunity for quality time. The most powerful reward for most kids is the special attention an adult gives to a child during and after a run.

How do I know when a child is ready to run? Running is a natural activity. Unfortunately, many kids have had bad experiences because they have run until they were exhausted. Tell the child that you really want to go on a walk/run with him or her. Offer a simple reward (a special snack such as juice, a toy). Insert walk breaks every minute, before the child huffs and puffs, and stop before the child is tired.

My kid runs around when she plays all the time—does that mean she’s actually fit enough to go for a real run? Yes! Short segments of running are natural for kids. Playing chase games is a great way to introduce running, such as racing Dad to the mailbox. Walk gently between running segments and talk about how good the exertion feels.

For kids ages 6 and under:

How long should I let a kid this age run? Usually between 10 and 20 seconds at first.

How much of our ‘run’ should be spent walking? Walk for a minute or two between run segments.

What should I be careful of? Most kids can run farther and faster than they should at this age. Make sure the segments are short so that there is no huffing and puffing. Make each session playful and stop before the child is really tired.

Ages 7 to 9:

How long should I let a kid run? Start with about a quarter of a mile (one lap around a track). Increase by 1-2 tenths of a mile each run until you reach one mile. For kids that really enjoy running, you could gradually increase the distance to 3.5 miles (one day a week) and enter a 5K. Be sure to keep the pace slow during the first mile of the first race, with walk breaks every 1-2 minutes.

What is a good run/walk ratio for a kid this age? Jog for 10-20 seconds/walk for 40-50 seconds. After two weeks, if this seems “too easy”, increase the amount of running each week by 5 seconds and decrease the walking by 5 seconds until you are using 30 seconds/30 seconds. For the kids that want more, gradually increase to one min/one min, then 2 min run while inserting 1 min walk. As kids want to run more, you can increase the running but walk when the child starts to huff and puff.

What should I be careful of (are they prone to going to hard and crashing and burning?) If you sense that the kid is struggling, walk more. This usually improves attitude and conserves energy for a strong finish. It’s OK to run a little faster at the end but don’t run all-out. It is OK to let the child “win” each run.

Ages 10 to 12:

How long? Beginner kids that are out of shape should follow the suggestion for ages 7-9 at first. For moderately active 10-12 year olds (soccer players, etc.) start with about half a mile. Increase by about a quarter of a mile on each run until you reach 1.5 to 2 miles—or whatever distance seems to feel comfortable but satisfying.

What’s a good run/walk ratio for this age group? Kids that are just starting, should follow the suggestion for ages 7-9. Kids that have been running (soccer, etc.) can jog for 10-20 seconds each minute during a 10-minute warmup and find the ratio that avoids huffing and puffing: 1-1, 2 min run/1min walk, then 3-1, and only 4-1 if a kid has no problem with this.

What should I be aware of (are they actually likely to kick my butt?) Many 10 to 12 year olds can run very fast at the beginning, and burn out later. Keep the pace slow for the first third of the run.

Is this age child old enough to run a 10-K? Most kids who gradually build mileage to 6.5 miles, once a week, will have no problem with a 10K if you help them start slowly, with walk breaks every2- 3 minutes or so.

How is it possible to get a real workout in when running with a kid? Don’t worry about your workout, try to make the child’s experience a good one. Many adult mentors run their workouts before or after running with the child athlete.

What’s the best way to bring a child along on my runs—even if she can’t keep up on her own two feet? Slow down and walk more. Playing games allows for the distance to go by quickly. If the child is laughing and running you have been a successful coach.

Hurry up and SAVE! Jeff Galloway 13.1 race registration price increases on September 2nd! Join the 3rd Annual Jeff Galloway 13.1 Race Weekend! December 9-11, 2016

Register now – http://www.jeffgalloway131.com  Beat the increase

5K a Day Weekend

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Training for the half and the full is in “full” swing. I really challenged myself this weekend. I decided how cool would it be to run a 5K a day for three straight days – Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. I must admit, what sounded like a great plan on Friday, didn’t seem like such a great idea by Saturday morning. I hate when that happens! Determined to follow through, I finished my plan for the weekend. In fact, not only did I complete a 5K each day, but I managed to knock off two minutes a day!

Not only did I manage my 5K a day, but I also managed to stay hydrated with the help of my trusty Nuun. If it’s one thing I learned from my last half is that hydration plays a big part when running.

The weekend is almost over. I get to bask in the goal of my accomplishment. Feeling pretty good today, because now I know that I can finish a 5K a day for at least three days in a row. I’m wondering if I should try for a fourth day tomorrow or rest with a cross training day. Either way, this grandma is on the move…getting it done. The fall season is full of races and I’m determined to be prepared! Here I come #mcm10K #runDisney #marathonweekend, #Princesshalf.

My Running Self-Training Program Day

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There are so many training programs out there, each one promising to train me better than the next. Promises to make me half marathon or marathon ready in five to ten weeks. So here is the problem, which one do you choose? Is there really any difference? Some are three day programs, some are four day programs – they all include cross training and rest days. Is one any better than the other?

Just for today, I created my own training program. It was supposed to be a run day, since I’ve been cross-training for the past two.  I just wasn’t in the mood to run in 90 degree weather, yep I’m a wimp. No running in heat, no running in cold…so I headed to the gym. No real plan in mind, just a determination to stay at least an hour.

It’s Sunday. The building was supposed to be empty, but there was one person and she was on my favorite treadmill and looking at the sign in sheet, she had only been there for five minutes.  Oh well, let’s see self-train. The first 30 minutes I used free weights and the machines…arms and legs…not bad. I didn’t think I would work up the sweat I did, but I did and it felt good. It’s going to hurt later and there might be some bruising, but while I was doing it, I felt like a boss.

Next 30 minutes, she finally got off MY treadmill and had moved to an elliptical, but I would have felt funny jumping on the one she just vacated, not to mention the fact that she didn’t clean it off. I hopped on the front treadmill and worked the next 30 minutes a combo of running, walking and speed incline walking. Not sure what possessed me, but I feel like I was making headway. I got my hour in.

Back at home, I was feeling pretty accomplished so I decided to pop in a CIZE DVD since I hadn’t done one in a while. I chose the 34 minute – Full Out session. Another 34 minutes of getting it done.

All in all, it was a good day.  Will there be soreness tonight? Most likely, but just for today I did my own thing. My own training program and it was a good day. A proud day. #countdowntofirstmarathon

Vacation Run Secrets

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All my followers who love Jeff Galloway, it’s been a minute since I posted as a JG Blogger and as we head into the summer vacation months, Jeff Galloway has some great vacation run ideas! Check them out!

The best, more efficient workout when you’re at the beach…

Running into the dawn: In Summer, it’s best to run before the sun rises above the horizon.  Since it’s common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach.    Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point.  Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.

When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.

On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.

When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.  Many of the hotels in areas like Disneyworld, have designated areas for running.  In some cases you can run to the parks.  Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes.  Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day.  This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run.  As you mention how you are planning your run, you’ll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.  Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there.  Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes.  When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide.  If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.

A home-based vacation.  If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run.  Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids.  Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs.  Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.

Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at http://www.JeffGalloway.com

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Two Mile Tuesday

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The first week of training for the marathon and I must say, I started strong, in my opinion anyway. Today was two mile Tuesday. It was actually a little over two miles because the training plan required me to run for 30 minutes…and run I did, slow as a turtle learning to crawl backwards, but I actually used the Jeff Galloway run-walk-run method which, personally, is very different from the walk-run-walk method. The walk-run-walk method implies that I do more walking then running. Today, however, was a good day as I ran for four minutes and walked for 45 seconds until I had covered the posted training time.

Motivation? It could have been the Whopper Jr. that I inhaled at lunch in between meetings today. No time for healthy eating? No, actually more like I didn’t make time for healthy eating. My mantra – if I could eat that, I could run this.  My chant – the marathon is 245 days and a little over three hours away. Miles to go before I rest. The journey has begun!