Jeff Galloway: A Yogic Approach To Marathons
Here I am with Jeff:
Jeff is the man behind the “run walk run” method of running. Jeff himself says he runs for 15 seconds and then slows for 15 seconds, then speeds back up. He does this 15:15 ratio for the entire marathon! More common, however, is running for 3/4/5 minutes and then walking for a minute.
The idea behind run-walk-run is to prevent fatigue. To rest before your body needs to rest, so that you have maximum energy by the end of your marathon. (And no injuries!!) Jeff wants runners to be LIFE-LONG runners…and that requires a lot of mindfulness, moving from intelligence, and body awareness.
Jeff’s method appeals to me for it’s similarities to yoga. I have to confess, I am the world’s worst person when it comes to practicing run walk run. In my races, I LOVE to run run run and never slow down or walk unless I absolutely have to (or I’m drinking water/having an energy gel/etc. that requires slowing down not to choke.) And that’s not the way to shave my race times. OR to run when I’m 75!
For a yogi, I am embarrassed to confess that I let my EGO get in the way when it comes to races. Jeff says that you slow down IMMEDIATELY in the first mile you let yourself slow down and repeat the entire race. That is hard to do mentally! YET–that is precisely why we should slow down early. Our ego and the need to push push push at the beginning is what causes us to slow down on those last miles or result in some kind of injury during the race. I know that it doesn’t matter what others are doing and yet I love to run fast fast fast at the start of my races…Precisely what I should not do!
I’m going to revisit the Galloway method this fall for some of my long training runs. I would love to have a 1:45 half marathon, which would mean I would need to keep consistent 8 minute miles up…. And not “slow down” towards the end. To do that, I need to train up and let my body rest early–to “trick” it into going the long haul effortlessly! I already apply this technique to yoga and it is time to really bring the yoga to my running.
Do you practice the Galloway method? Why or why not? Do you have trouble letting your body rest on races before it NEEDS to rest? Do you let your ego get in the way of your running safety?