Newsletter: Volume 54, January 2004
The first few months of the year are, for many people, the best
time to focus on positive changes in your life. By fine-tuning
exercise, and doing it regularly, vitality improves and a better
feeling of well-being can be achieved—even when under stress.
My experience in working weekly with my e-coaching clients has
renewed my understanding that connecting with other runners can
make running more motivating and enjoyable. This newsletter will
introduce you to some nutritional, training and other resources
and information that have helped a lot of runners with their resolutions.
Above all, I wish for each of you a New Year’s worth of enjoyable
and injury-free running. Let me know if I can help. I hope to see
you at Lost Dutchman, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco or Austin
in the next few weeks. ……jeff galloway
Shedding Pounds Without Atkins
I don’t recommend the Atkins diet. While it often produces
a short term weight loss, research shows that most will end up
weighing more, later. The saturated and trans fat allowed in this
diet are unhealthy and often stimulate bad eating habits which
continue after the diet.
Get a pedometer. The one we like is the Digiwalker. Put it on
and count your steps each day. After you see how many you are averaging
per day, make it a goal to increase that amount by 30% over the
next month. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will
feel, when you walk up stairs instead of taking the elevator, get
off the couch or office chair more often, walk for a few minutes
during the noon hour or go out for a short walk after dinner. The
extra steps add up quickly, are easy to insert and will burn more
Eat small meals 8-10 times a day—good for a pound a month.
Drink water with each meal or snack.
Don’t eat carbohydrates alone—have some protein and
a little fat content.
Eat fiber-rich foods: Grape Nuts cereal, for example, leaves you
satisfied for hours.
If you have a decadent food, eat it half as often and reduce the
amount you eat by 50%.
Try to eliminate sugar drinks, including fruit juice.
Try to dramatically cut down on simple carbohydrates: breads, white
pasta, potatoes and candy.
Fact: if you ate one Krispy Kreme doughnut per day, and stopped
eating it, you’d lose about 30 pounds in a year (assuming
other factors remain constant).
Running Schools in January & February, 2004
1-17- Lost Dutchman Marathon
1-25- Los Angeles Area
1-31- Monterey CA, including Susan Love, motivation coach
2-1- San Francisco, including Runner’s and their feet Dr.
2-14- Austin TX
6-6- Deadwood, SD
Always see a doctor for medical problems, especially one that wants
to get you back out there on the sidewalks or trails. This newsletter
is an offering of information from one runner to another.
Setting Race Goals:
Realism is the key to effective goal-setting. A 59-minute 10K runner
cannot realistically project a 49-minute 10K by the end of the
racing season. Even 54 minutes is too ambitious for that limited
length of time.
Set goals you have a reasonable chance of achieving. We all have
to deal with failure from time to time, but why push yourself into
it? Set up a series of incremental goals, each leading to the other.
Experiencing one small success after another builds confidence.
Then if you surprise yourself and do better than anticipated, it's
an unexpected thrill.
from Galloway's Book on Running (Shelter Publications, 2002),
pp. 89-90 (See also pp. 266-269 for "Predicting Race Performance.")
Race of the Month:
Lost Dutchman Marathon
Jeff is looking forward to this event, which takes place on Jan.
18th, near Phoenix. The desert scenery around Apache Junction is
spectacular. If you can break away that weekend, come and run the
marathon or the half or enjoy the expo. Jeff will be conducting
a running school, Saturday afternoon. “The area is beautiful,
the people are friendly and I highly recommend this event”,
Suggestions for those who need a "jump start" on
The top 5 things that have motivated runners and keep them motivated
are the following:
1. Join a group—the right running group can pull you out
of bed and keep you going. If you don’t join one of the groups
listed on our site, look into others.
2. Get a coach. Jeff Galloway’s e-coaching program is an
example: you get a training program to your goal, check in weekly
for feedback and adjustments and motivation.
3. Pick a goal race that is 3-6 months away which requires you
to improve conditioning.
4. Get a training program from a good book. Examples follow:
- Marathon: MARATHON by Jeff Galloway
- 5K, 10K, Half Marathon: GALLOWAY’S BOOK ON RUNNING 2ND
5. Help another runner set up a training program, and mentor him
6. Go to a motivational running retreat or running school.
7. Run with a friend whenever possible.
What is a Running Retreat?
These gatherings offer a giant motivational push. Running on natural
trails, on the beach, with other runners that share the joy of
running re-connects you with the best of running. The individual
running form evaluation, help with your training program and information
in key areas will help you sort out the good info from the bad.
Cost starts at $249. Rooms are also available.
Jeff conducts retreats in Blue Mountain Beach FL as follows:
* March 5-7 “Getting Faster – for all levels” (The
Seaside Half Marathon is held at this time, in this area)
* March 12-14 with Jeff and Nancy Clark—a leading expert
in sports nutrition and diet
* March 26-28 with Jeff and John Bingham—“the Penguin”
January 18 - Lost Dutchman Marathon
February 1 – The Home Depot San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
February 15 – Motorola Marathon
February 29 – Nokia Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Marathon
March 7 – Seaside Half Marathon & 5K Run
May 29 – Prince of Wales International Marathon -
June 6 - Deadwood Midkelson Trail Marathon & Half Marathon
Why run faster? Good question! When the benefits are few and the
challenges significant and many, you must answer this question
before and throughout the program to maintain consistent motivation.
Every person needs to dig down and come up with his or her own
The first rule is that your goals must be realistic. Setting a
goal that is too ambitious will only lead to disappointment and
frustration. But if you stage a series of goals that are within
your reach, you’ll build your running capacity and your confidence.
Base Before Speed. Before attempting any speedwork, you must have
built a good base, consisting of
One year of running
At least two months (and preferably three) of aerobic running
4-6 weeks of hill training (see Galloway’s Book on Running,
pp. 39-40, for more info)
Your hill training strengthens the key running muscles in your
lower legs, allowing you to shift your weight a bit farther forward
on your feet and to use your ankles for efficient mechanical advantage – gaining
a stronger push-off. Now you’re ready for the fast stuff!
The primary benefit of speedwork is to teach the body how to run
anaerobically – to run fast when the muscles can’t
get enough oxygen. To run faster than you have ever run before,
you must go beyond your capacity. Speed workouts take you beyond
in a regular series of small extensions. By the end of a series
of speed training sessions, you should have simulated the anaerobic
demands of the race itself.
Each week you go beyond your efforts of the previous week. The
lactic acid which pours into the muscles during the latter stages
of a workout must be handled or the muscles will slow down. As
the body restores the torn muscles cells and recharges the mitochondria
(see p. 25 in Galloway’s Book on Training for more info),
it is able to go farther and faster before producing lactic acid.
By dealing with this weekly dose of waste, the muscle cells learn
how to cope with it. In some cases the muscles learn to process
it out of the system more efficiently; in other cases they direct
the waste into every available crevice. The mind learns that the
body can go quite a bit farther even though it feels increasingly
Speedwork brings you to a peak of performance and prepares you
to race. When you have completed each of the small speed workouts
in succession, you are at least physiologically ready to go. Of
course you still have to take off at the crack of the gun and do
it. Nevertheless, you’ll have the confidence of being prepared.
Endurance First. Before you can run a 10K fast, you must first
be able to run a 10K. The first component of a speed program is
a long run which increases each two weeks until it’s longer
than the race distance by at least 20%. Starting from the length
of your longest run in the previous two weeks, add 1-2 miles once
a week until you reach 11-12 miles. Then add 2-3 miles to each
long one and run them every 14 days. You’ll need this extra
time between long runs. If your long runs exceed 17 miles, you
should run them every third week.
You should include one-minute walk breaks, every 2-9 minutes from
the beginning of all long runs, to make it easy for the body to
adapt, and recover fast. These runs build endurance only and are
not designed to improve speed. (Advanced runners will also benefit
from walk breaks, at least one minute after 9 minutes of running).
The pace of long runs should be at least two minutes per mile slower
than you could race the distance that you’re running on that
day. When in doubt, slow down.
Goal Minimum For Top
Race Miles Performance
10K 8 15-17
Half-marathon 15 19-20
Marathon 26 28-30
A Short History of Speedwork.
Distance runners in the early 1900s believed that to run faster
one must run repeated race simulations: full-speed races with
rest in between. By the mid-1920s, athletes found they could
improve more by breaking the race distance into many short segments
and running each faster than race pace with rest in between.
Two forms of speedwork thus emerged: fartlek and interval training.
Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. It’s a simple,
natural form of speed training that can be worked into any daily
run. During a run of a given distance, you accelerate – to
the next telephone pole, to a tree, to any landmark. When you have
pushed as long and as fast as you want (or can), you jog to recover.
Then when you feel like it, you take off again.
Fartlek is speed training at your own pace. It is intuitive, free-form,
without prescribed distances or speeds. You can run according to
how you feel on that day, at that moment. Fartlek is speedwork,
but it can be playful and creative.
Lasse Viren, the four-time Olympic gold medalist in 5K and 10K
from Finland, did none of his speed training on the track during
his 8 years of Olympic training. Fartlek can give you all the speed
training you need, plus psychological strength benefits.
Not for Beginners. Fartlek does not give a beginner enough structure
or feedback to learn a sense of pace. Many veterans who are already “pace-wise,” however,
can benefit from a fartlek session. While interval training gives
the beginner exact feedback, it confines the veteran. Fartlek allows
you to play with your limits of speed, tiredness, and endurance
without stopping at the end of the lap. In this way you learn to
cope with race-like discomfort and the anxiety of not knowing how
long you can cope before slowing down. Beginners run a high risk
of injury in fartlek training while veterans, more sensitive to
stress, should know when to back off.
What Is It? Interval training breaks up the race distance into
segments, called repetitions, or “reps.” You run
each rep slightly faster than goal race pace, then either jog
or walk during the rest interval to recover. (Only advanced runners
should jog; others should walk about half the distance of the
repetition distance.) The number of reps is gradually increased
over a series of weekly workouts. When preparing for the 10K
race or less, the eventual total will be close to, or will equal,
race distance. But the total distance of speedwork for a marathon
will add up to only about one-half the race distance.
Repeating these segments may sometimes be boring, but the method
gives you an invaluable lesson in judging pace. One of the most
important skills of distance running is being able to intuitively
feel whether you are running too fast or too slow. Interval training
is exact and has several advantages over fartlek:
With a measured distance, you get timed feedback on each lap.
By controlling the pace of each rep, you’ll learn how to
run an even pace.
When you first do speedwork, you are often lost when you try fartlek
because you can only guess at distance, speed and total amount
Basic Interval Training Principles
Choose the distance of your repetition: ¼ mile, ½ mile
or one mile. It’s typical to use 440 yards for a 5K or 10K
and half miles for the half-marathon.
Run each rep slightly faster (5-7 seconds x 440) than goal pace.
This makes race pace seem easier. (Note: goal pace –speed
which will lead you to your time goal)
Hold back a little. You need a tiring workout but shouldn’t “total” yourself.
Finish the speed day feeling tired yet capable of running more.
Walk between repetitions to recover. For 5K and 10K speedwork,
only advanced competitive runners should jog during recovery. When
you start each speed program, start with a long rest period, walking
at least half of the “rep” distance. If you recover
easily, then decrease the rest interval. Walking is recommended
for everyone during marathon speedwork.
Start with a few repetitions and increase the number in each weekly
workout. At the end of 10K speed training, you’ll be doing
18-20 reps of a 440, with rest in between each one. At the end
of half-marathon speed training you’ll be doing about 10
reps of an 800, with rest in between.
Plenty of rest. Take at least two days of rest after each speed
day: at least one day off and at least one easy running day. If
a given speed workout leaves you feeling tired, rest even more
after the next one to avoid injury or lingering, dead-legged fatigue.
Length of speed program. Speed programs for the 10K or shorter
events are intense and should last no more than 10 weeks.
How Fast and How Long? The longer the reps, the slower the pace:
400 meter: 5-7 seconds faster than goal pace
800 meter: 10 seconds faster than goal pace for 5K or 10K, 12-18
seconds faster than half-marathon goal pace
1 mile: 15-20 seconds faster than goal pace for 5K or 10K speedwork,
20-30 seconds faster for half-marathon/marathon speedwork
There is obviously a trade-off here. The longer segments will
more closely simulate race conditions, but make it harder to stay “on
pace.” The longer ones also take a longer recovery period.
Walking between segments will speed recovery.
Where? Accurate distance is very important. A 400-meter track
(1/4 mile) is obviously a good choice for accuracy, but you can
run roads, trails, athletic fields, anywhere, as long as the measurements
are accurate. A car odometer and even highway markers are notoriously
inaccurate. There are several running accelerometer devices (worn
on the shoe) which are extremely accurate.
How Often? You should run one speed workout per week for the 5K-10K,
and less frequently for the half-marathon (averaging about every
From Galloway’s Book on Running (Shelter Publications, 2002),
The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark, MS, RD
Changing for Good: Tips for Athletes Who Want to Invest in Health
These words "I know what I should do to lose weight, I just
don't do it" are inevitably the first words a new client confesses
at his or her initial consultation with me or "I know I should
vegetables; I just don't do it" or "I know I should drink
less? My family would be thrilled; I just don't do it."
Why is it so hard to lose weight, improve eating behaviors, drink
less alcohol and eat healthier? -like you know you should? Because
changing the way you function in your daily life is difficult.
weight takes more than just willpower and is far more complex than
simply eating less and exercising more. Eating fewer treats at
night often means feeling the loneliness that might have otherwise
been smothered with hot fudge sauce. Eating more fruit might mean
candy (your treat). Drinking less beer could mean spending less
time with friends at the pub.
Change rarely happens overnight, in a single step. Change is a
complex process. That is, you are unlikely to just "stop drinking." First,
you need to do mental preparation, including making a detailed
plan of action before you actually try to change. And don't get
discouraged if you revert to old ways. Change often involves taking
one step forwards, two steps backwards.
The Benefits of Change
When you can enjoy benefits from the change, you'll find yourself
progressing through the stages of change. For example, for Peter,
a high school athlete who initially saw no benefits from eating
breakfast, the stages looked like this:
1. Why would I even want to eat breakfast? I'm not hungry...
2. I might eat a mid-morning snack; I am hungry by 10:00.
3. I sometimes eat candy at 10:30 so I'm not starving by noon.
4. I generally eat a bagel with peanut butter on my way to school;
I'm far more alert and more productive when I do.
5. I always eat a hearty breakfast, even if it means waking up
earlier. Breakfast helps me concentrate better, curbs my sweet
cravings, improves my afternoon workouts, and helps control my
weight. Breakfast is the most important meal of my sports diet!
In this example, you can see how Peter enjoyed benefits from his
changes. Like Peter, you'll maintain dietary improvements when
the benefits of the change become more desirable than the negative
aspects. For example, you'll choose to eat a good breakfast when
it feels better
than being hungry at 10:00. You'll choose to lose weight when you're
tired of worrying about your high blood pressure and health. You'll
choose to drink less beer when you find yourself enjoying waking
up fresh instead of hungover.
The Stages of Change
If you are contemplating making changes that will enhance your
health (a common vow on January 1st, a 49th birthday, a 25th
high school reunion year), you might want to read James Prochaska's
informative book Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage
Program for Overcoming Bad
Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. The information
explains the complex process of change and can help you change "for
good"? - not lose 20 pounds only to quickly regain 25 (and
feel demoralized, depressed, embarrassed). The following are a
few tips based on Prochaska's theory of change. They might enable
you to enjoy 2004 with better eating habits, better nutrition and
. Get in touch with your personal values. That is, do you really
want to put excessive amounts of pepperoni into your body and clog
your arteries? Do you really want heavy drinking to be your preferred
lifestyle--especially ten years from now when you will likely have
lost most of what you cared for? Could life be better without overeating
or overdrinking? What are the pros and cons of trying to overcome
your problem behaviors? For Sherri, a runner who wanted to stop
having Pepsi for breakfast and lunch and instead consume better
meals, the pros included better fueled
muscles, better workouts and less moodiness. But the cons were
feelings of deprivation, added responsibility of food shopping,
and more meal preparation. Over time, the desire to take care of
her body became stronger than the urge for Pepsi.
. Change is threatening; it feels less secure. Who will you be
if you are no longer 20 pounds overweight? Will you be more attractive?
A sex object? Will people expect more of you? Will you feel like
a failure if you get slimmer and are still single?
Yes, achieving a healthful weight is wise but the paralyzing fear
of failure can make people hesitant to try to change. Sometimes
just "wishing I could lose weight" feels safer than actually
losing weight. Sound familiar? Confront your fears; believe in
. For some people, a barrier to making changes is that serious
consequences seem too far in the future. (I doubt these donuts
will give me a heart attack...") If you can bring the consequences
more into the present, they'll feel more real. ("I feel better
about myself when I eat
more quality calories and less junk food.")
. Think before you skip a meal. Think before you eat that second
piece of cake. Think before you drink. Will any of these behaviors
help you reach your health and performance goals? Will they really
make you feel better? What benefit will you get from eating more
cake: Is this your
last chance" (before going back on your diet) to have a treat
that tastes good? (If so, you need to have cake more often; plan
to eat a small slice every day!) Are you feeling sad and cake will
smother your feelings (for the moment)? Are you angry at your boss
and are retaliating by eating? Do you "deserve" a second
piece of cake because you exercised extra hard today?
The goal is to try to not let that one little self-indulgent part
of you take over the whole of you that truly prefers to be healthier.
By stopping to think and reflect and figure out what (short term)
benefit you get, you can then gain a sense of control over the
undesired behavior. Perhaps you are just bored, not hungry?
. What will your life be like if you do not change? Will you hurt
your athletic performance? Get heart disease or cancer? Be less
available for your children? How will you think and fell about
yourself when you do change? Will you feel relieved? Freer? Healthier?
The answers are obvious. Just do it, step by step, that is!
Nancy Clark, MS, RD offers private nutrition consultations at SportsMedicine
Associates in Brookline MA (617-739-2003). Her new Sports Nutrition
Guidebook, Third Edition ($23) and Food Guide for Marathoners:
Tips for Everyday Champions ($20) are available here.
From Runner’s World, January 2004:
* Heat, Drink, Be Merry: Why hot chocolate is the best postrun
After your next chilly run, warm up with a mug of cocoa. New research
suggests the soothing power of hot cocoa isn't just a sweet treat
- it could also help your muscles recover from a run.
Chang Yong Lee, Ph.D., and colleagues from Cornell University in
New York found that hot cocoa packs twice as many antioxidant chemicals
(phenols and flavonoids) as red wine and almost five times as many
as black tea. Antioxidants are known to neutralize molecules that
promote cancer and heart disease. They also can reduce cell damage
that results from strenuous exercise, says Lee, who drinks at lest
two cups of hot cocoa per week.
The hot cocoa used in the study was made with two tablespoons of
Hershey's cocoa powder and hot water. For a sweeter, creamier version,
mix the cocoa with skim milk and add sugar - it'll increase the
calorie content, but won't detract from the antioxidant power.
The study didn't include instant cocoa mixes because the packets
contain other ingredients, and researchers wanted the results to
be cocoa-specific. Even so, instant varieties do contain cocoa,
so while the antioxidant content may not be as high as the pure
stuff, you could still reap some benefit. (p. 24)Adam Kleiner
* Did You Know? The 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials are approaching.
Track & Field, July 9-18, Sacramento; Men's Marathon, February
7, Birmingham, AL; Women's Marathon, April 3, St. Louis. (p. 24)
* The Road to Athens: NBC has all Olympic-related TV rights in
the United States, but has decided not to do live, national coverage
of either the Men's or Women's (April 3) Olympic Marathon Trials.
You'll find the most complete coverage on the RUNNER'S WORLD web
site at runnersworld.com/roadtoathens, we'll have dozens of interviews,
late-breaking news as February 7 grows closer, and mile-by-mile
Internet reports from Birmingham as the race unfolds. (p. 61)
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