on October 15, 2003
...Respecting the Distance.
Jeff Galloway is an Olympian who has run 130 marathons. That's why I chose to use his training program for my first marathon, because I believe he must know something about running. I am in my seventh week of training and doing wonderfully. People need to realize that Galloway's program is intentionally designed to get you to the starting line and through the marathon injury free and enjoying yourself, not hurting and tortured (although it's still going to be hard). There is nothing second-rate about walk breaks; he even gives the history of marathoning as having included walk breaks in the early days, and examples of modern record setters who took walk breaks. So posh on the nay sayers. When I added walk breaks to my program, the fun immediately came back and I was able to run twice as far with a smile on my face the whole time, enjoying scenery, rather than plodding along like a mule. He backs up his advice with scientific reasoning that makes total sense: when you give the running muscles a brief rest from the beginning and throughout the race, your legs stay fresh. You don't lose time because of this, and then you get to pass people later on, all while minimizing the risk of injury. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would turn up their nose at that. Hopefully I'll be passing some of them on the course.
As for the reviewer below who said that Galloway doesn't mention goo, that is just inaccurate.
The important thing to remember (!) is that 26.2 miles is a LONG way. Anyone who crosses the finish line is a marathoner, period, whether you ran, walked or crawled. Galloway's training programs (there are 11 to choose from depending on your goals, even time goals for the competitive reviewer below...HELLO! CAN YOU RUN A 2:39?! Galloway has a program for that, did you try it?) are designed to get you trained and through the race safely and ready to keep running more races or at least running for life. Hopefully with a smile on your face. What more could you possibly want?
The other wonderful part are the mental tricks he suggests, such as "Anti-Gravity Fluid" and "Magic Words". This is a great book.
Includes chapters on: Long Run, Walk Breaks, Running Form, Cross Training, Training Programs (11), a whole section on inspiration and motivation, what race day is like, Running Faster (speed and hill work), section on food and fat burning, advice on getting older and running, gear, an Appendix and many tables and charts.
on June 5, 2004
I've long enjoyed Jeff Galloway's articles in "Runners World" and his other running books. This one ranks up there with the best guides on ho w to train for a marathon. It's not preachy or sanctimonious and it offers some sensible tips on how to get yourself in shape to run 26.2 miles. The book is dated, and if you do much of your training on a treadmill, you're out of luck. The book was written before treadmills became a practical way to train indoors in your own home. Aside from this "defect," the rest of the book is excellent. Whether you're an avowed coach potato, or someone who runs 10 miles a week, the book will get you to the starting line and, hopefully, get you to finish your first race.
Running is a joyous activity and one which brings many individual rewards. Finishing your first marathon is one of life's great memories and hopefully, there will be many more for you to savor as you gain experience and fitness. If you're a serious, addicted runner who has never run a marathon, you'll love this book, but the beginners will reap the greatest rewards. It's well-written, fun to read and instructive. Highly recommended.
on September 17, 2002
I recently read this book beginning to end and have to say that the poor quality of the writing made it hard to follow at times. Galloway repeats the same sentence throughout the book in inappropriate or unexpected places. He is clearly a runner and not a writer.
I have to say though, that his advice and methods are sound and will work. I was relieved to find out that I would not be running all 26 miles, but taking short walk breaks to recover. Some of the book sounded a little dated (he never mentions goo as an alternative to Powerbars) but overall it is a good first step for people considering running their first marathon.