Runner’s World August 2006
By Jeff Galloway
The Starting Line
Simple Strategies to Help You Run Better- If you’re really
struggling during the later stages of a race or group run, imagine
that you’re carrying a giant invisible rubber band in your
pocket. As a runner passes you, or when you’re trying to catch
someone just ahead of you, pull out the imaginary band and lasso
that person with it. Feel the pull of the elastic as it springs
you forward. By taking action, even it it’s only imaginary
action, you’ll build the confidence you need to keep moving
forward. You’ll also distract yourself long enough to get
another half mile or so down the road.
Q: I run three days a week. Do I need to vary each workout?
A: Absolutely. Training variety increases motivation and fitness
because you continuously challenge your body in different ways.
Here’s a three-day schedule that balances running for strength,
speed, and endurance.
Tuesday: Between a warmup and cooldown of 10 minutes each, run some
hills to build leg strength. You can either run two to five times
up one moderate hill (200 to 800 meters long) or do a regular training
run in a hilly area.
Thursday: After an easy five minute warmup, practice accelerating
to develop leg speed. Gradually pick up the pace for 25 to 30 steps,
then glide along at that faster pace for another 10 to 15 steps.
Jog for 30 seconds to recover. Repeat the sequence two more times,
increasing the number of steps during the acceleration and gliding
by a couple each time.
Saturday or Sunday: Schedule a long run to increase endurance. Keep
the pace comfortable and insert a one-minute walk break every five
minutes or so. Increase the distance by half to one mile each run
until 10 miles. After your 10-miler, do a long run every other week
(with a five-miler on the alternate weekend).
THE EXCUSE (and how to beat it).
“I don’t race because I’m not a competitive person”.
Most runners in most races could use this excuse. In reality, only
a handful of race participants are actually vying for trophies.
The rest of us are out there for all kind of reasons, many of which
have little to do with seriously competing against others.
The most compelling reason to sign up for a race is the boost in
motivation you’ll receive the minute you pay your registration
fee. Having that race date marked on your calendar will motivate
you to run on days when you may not otherwise get out the door.
And successfully training for and completing a race-regardless of
your finishing time-provides an enormous sense of accomplishment
If none of the above reasons entice you to sign up for a race, remember
this: Runners are upbeat, energetic people. You’re bound to
feel better after spending an hour with them at your local 5-K.
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