During our many years of running at Disney, Christine and I have enjoyed getting to know Jeff and his lovely wife Barbara. I actually ran with them for the Princess Half Marathon last year and find his run/walk training plan to be just fantastic for both new and experienced runners. When moving up to a new race distance, having those longer runs incorporate some walking makes them much easier to manage.
|Our Princess Half group post race!|
Training to get faster is a whole other topic and one that has been a focus of mine for the past 6-12 months. After qualifying for Boston last March, I ran very few races for a PR for the remainder of the year. One race was an automatic PR since I had never run the distance before (Tower of Terror 10 miler) but other than that, my times were just okay. It certainly made it crystal clear why speed training and tempo runs are critical for race improvement. Once 2015 arrived, I knew I needed to PR my 10k and half marathon races that were from several years prior. My first opportunity at the half marathon distance was the Princess Half. Most runners run the Disney races for fun, but what could be more fun than setting a new PR regardless of where you are racing? The other "monkey on my back" PR was eliminated this weekend when I ran the Tinkerbell 10k. Except for hill work due to flat Wilmington, my training through my coached group includes most of what Jeff recommends.
As Jeff Galloway bloggers, we receive periodic tips to share with readers and this time Jeff is sharing what he recommends for you to improve your speed.
Longer Long Runs: Statistics from Jeff's clients have proven that increasing your marathon long run from 20 to 26 miles has shown an average time improvement of 13 minutes for the marathon race. When you consider that, why wouldn't you run a long run of 26 miles? Jeff offers a year round plan book that covers all race distances and gives you the appropriate long mileage distance for comparable improvements in time at the 5k, 10k and half marathon level.
Speed Repetitions: Jeff's runners improve by an average of 6 minutes for the marathon and 3 for the half marathon by increasing the number of speed repetitions of 800 and 1600 meters. He offers very specific guidance in his training books and will give you speed and number of intervals for your level and needs.
Improve Running Form: Unless you are an elite runner, improved running form should help tremendously in your quest to become a speedier runner. Cadence drills and water running are two of the ways Jeff recommends for form improvement. An interesting fact is that by running 15 minutes in water without touching the ground, your legs will find the most efficient way through the water. This will be improved form!
Race in Shorter Events: As a runner who prefers longer race distances I avoid short races. However, I will now embrace them, maybe not frequently but they certainly will help with improved speed. By running a shorter distance race, your body learns to adapt to a higher level of oxygen debt and your mechanics can improve. If you are training for a marathon, choose a 10k or half marathon during your training cycle. As always, Jeff has more information available in his books.
Hill Training: There are not many runners I know who relish the challenge of hills, but by training on hills you will also improve your strength and speed as a runner. Be sure to shorten your stride as you go up the hill and pick up your turnover of your feet. By running hill repeats you will gain strength and perform better when you do speed work sessions. You will also have better times for those hilly races.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful as you work towards your next race day goals. Do you use the Galloway run/walk method?