Train to Run: The Galloway Training Method

galloway method Maria PontilloIf you are new to long distance running and ready to check a 5K, 10K or marathon off of your personal bucket list, the Galloway Training Method can help you achieve your fitness goals! Founded by a world-class Olympian athlete, Jeff Galloway, this exceptional training method that has become an industry standard across the world. Jeff has accomplished so much in his fitness career including breaking the U.S. 10-mile record (47:49) in 1973 and has a six-mile best of 27:21. In addition, he has competed in famous running events like the Peachtree Road Race, Honolulu Marathon, Atlanta Marathon and he was even a top place finisher in many prominent U.S. races such as the Boston Marathon.

As a licensed physical therapist, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I have seen first-hand how the Galloway Training Method has helped experienced and inexperienced runners advance their fitness and running level while improving overall cardiovascular endurance. I am an advocate of Galloway’s running-walking intervals, because no matter what distance or fitness level you are in, it pushes you to achieve efficient results and  most importantly, helps to reduce your risk of injury!

Galloway Training Method Basics:

The Galloway Training Method is simply a series of running and walking intervals that is based on your average run or walk mile time (refer to chart).  Each interval  includes regular “walk breaks” to allow the body to recover from the run intervals, which thus,  lowers the risk of injury.! From a physical therapists perspective, I have seen dozens of patients suffer from, lower body muscle and joint injuries that could have easily been prevented, simply by training with the Galloway Method.  With this training program, participants are required to dedicate two days to easy running intervals and one day to a longer, more strenuous run. Even the long run incorporates walk breaks, making the pacing of the long run 4 minutes slower than your mile time. For advanced runners with a time goal, the pacing should be 3 minutes slower than your mile time.

An important factor to consider when using the Galloway Training Method is consistency. In order to maximize your running endurance and fitness level, participants must be willing to run three times a week and incorporate circuit and weight training into their fitness regiment on their off-running days. Not only will this process help you become more lean and fit, it will make you more disciplined and durable, which are both tremendous attributes that will help you finish your running event within your desired time.

With the Galloway Training Method, it’s important to understand that you are conditioning your muscles in different ways from the first day of training. This allows your legs to keep their bounce as they conserve resources. According to Galloway, “When a muscle group, such as your calf, is used continuously step by step, it fatigues relatively soon. The weak areas get overused and force you to slow down later or scream at you in pain afterward. By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. For veteran marathoners, this is often the difference between achieving a time goal or not.”

Every year, I conduct an 8 week 5K program referred to as “Land Sharks” at Nova Southeastern University where I use the principles of the Galloway Training Method to eventually lead up to a 5K run. The next program starts in August – if you are interested in improving your cardiovascular endurance with a run-walk training program, email me your name and telephone number to Info@MariaPontillo.com. In addition to this program, you will get notified about various Summer fitness and weight loss programs that I will be hosting!

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