If the running community had a royal family, Jeff Galloway would definitely be a member of it. He has been running for 52 years (longer than I've been alive!), and has been making his mark in the running world for most of those years. He developed the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Run program and has been teaching/coaching runners how to be injury free runners for life for many years. He has trained thousands of runners and has written many books on the subject that offer training programs for any distance for which you might want to train.
I found Jeff's training program as I was searching for one that would take me to the NYC marathon in a conservative, long term fashion. I embarked on it, making my own modifications to it to customize it for me. As I was doing some online research, I stumbled across Jeff's website & discovered that he offers running clinics/retreats all over the country, and indeed offered one just a few hours away from me in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida (a town name that's filled with irony). I promptly signed up, and have counted the days with eagerness as I continued my training.
If you follow my blog, you will know that my long runs have been nothing short of torture over the summer. So, it was with a great deal of anticipation that I headed to Blue Mountain for our first session.
Jeff's teaching style is very low key. We started with introductions and a short run around Blue Mountain, then went back to the beach retreat for some running discussions. Instead of a classroom setting, we sat in the living room and had questions and answers with Jeff offering tons of helpful information. Saturday morning started with a 3 mile run along a beautiful, shaded trail, followed by more instructional time, then drills outside and a dip in the pool to talk about pool running. Sunday morning's run dawned a little earlier to try to beat the heat, then more question/answer time as we wrapped up a very motivational & instructional weekend. We discussed everything from black toenails, nutrition, heat running, speed training, and even the 1972 Munich Olympics. Jeff weaves stories from his experiences that include running greats such as Steve Prefontaine and Frank Shorter. Great stuff!
Jeff offered specific advice for each of us, based on our goals and experience. I've struggled with long runs in the heat and GI distress on all runs and he had some excellent suggestions that I can't wait to implement. This weekend was the confidence boost that I needed to get me through the weeks leading up to NYC.
Welcome back, running mojo!! I've missed you, old friend!