Being on the road about 70% of the time, I get to sample running venues and share running stories with a wonderful variety of people.  During the last 7 days I’ve been to Charlotte, Baltimore, Washington DC, Milwaukee and San Francisco, as well as in my home town of Atlanta.  I had a wonderful conversation with Lance Armstrong and have communicated with a former drug addict that is helping others climb out–and a terminally ill woman who wants to qualify for Boston.  This week and next, I will tell you about it.

Charlotte is a beautiful city–even in the rain.  The downtown district is going through a wonderful renaissance and our Galloway group is finding a steady increase in interest.  John Lineberger has led this year-round program and made it the largest of it’s kind, for a year round total.  He has a variety of offerings from beginning programs to potential Boston Marathon qualifiers.

My Baltimore clinic was sponsored by the Fleet Feet owned by Karen and Bobby Lewin.  They have created a community of runners through the training program, fun runs, special events and the care for the individual runner.  For those who came out early, before my clinic, I showed how to glide downhill, do the acceleration-gliders and cadence drills, and how to minimize effort when running uphill.  I was asked which book describes these in the best detail and it is YEAR ROUND PLAN.

I haven’t found any large urban area that has more running trails than the Washington DC area.  Our new Galloway program leader, Bob, has done a great job in getting the word out, for we had the best turnout for my clinic ever.  This will be a major year for our group in DC.  Many of our Galloway members and ecoach clients when visiting DC run with this group.  They run on the Mt Vernon trail along the river, starting just south of National airport.

Our new program in Milwaukee is led by Cristin, who used to be the director in Phoenix.  The turnout for my running school was the largest first year attendance ever.  We also had great interest and initial signup for the training program in that area.  We drove their local marathon course and it is very scenic and as flat as I’ve seen.  If you’re looking for a flat fall marathon, look into this.

Free Runs:  If you have friends who live in any of our Galloway program cities, and you’d like for them to have a fun group for motivation, tell them to sample our group.  Contact the local program director from (training programs) and find out where the run will be for that week.  There is no obligation to try it out for a couple of times.  Because of regular walk breaks, each group can talk, share stories, and bond together. 

Lance Armstrong
I’ve been a fan of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s for some time.  He is one of the few medical experts on television who is making a serious effort to help viewers understand the joy of exercise, and the continuing stream of benefits from even gentle participation.  He is energetic, quick with ideas, and motivating.  I was flattered to be invited on his show.  When Lance Armstrong was also booked on the show I was excited.

I arrived early hoping to have a few moments to talk to Lance and was rewarded.  As we waited to go on, we shared stories and philosophy.  As he disclosed the details of his NYC Marathon effort I generated a new respect for his talent and his ability to handle pain.  His longest run had been about 13 miles.  He came into the race with an undiagnosed stress fracture which got worse.  I can’t imagine the pain during the last 6 miles.  The aggravation of the marathon forced him to stop running for 4 months.  He is so happy to be back on the roads now.  Running, he said, is his primary form of fitness.

Summer Camp
In 1975 I was training for the ’76 Olympic Trials and wanted to get out of the steamy conditions of my Florida home.  Having visited the Lake Tahoe area several times, I asked friends and various running club organizers if this would be of interest to them.  Most said that they would love to look at something like this.  One of the first ones to say he was coming was Steve Prefontaine.  I arrived in May and stayed until late August.  I vowed to hold a running retreat there every summer.  Except for the summer of ’76, I’ve made good on this promise.

After training on the mountain for a few weeks, I ran into Pre at a meet in Berkeley and he gave me his brand new business card.  He had just been appointed to his first corporate position and was so excited.  He had several ideas that he wanted to talk about when he was scheduled to come up to my Tahoe training camp in about 2 weeks.  He never made it, as he died in a traffic accident just before the trip was planned.

Hundreds have joined the extended Galloway family, at Squaw Valley.  This is far from a group of intense competitors, but a growing group of warm friends who catch up, invite new folks into the "family" and laugh a lot.  Even those who haven’t been running much, get in a lot of miles that week because of walk breaks and the beauty of the trails, the inspiration from the speakers, and the great weather.  Practically every day it’s sunny, dry and relaxing.  I hope you can join us.

You don’t have to actually enter a race. I hear from a growing number of people who get a copy of my HALF MARATHON or MARATHON books just to build endurance.  They use the schedules to build endurance, feel "on a mission", eat better, and just feel better.  If you don’t want to commit to a date for a race, just get a plan and stick with it.

Next week:

How to tell what your long run pace should be

Half marathons are more popular than full marathons

Big Sur Marathon,

A new LA training program

Running away from drug addiction

Stay posted!

BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL! Get Jeff's new nutrition program, A Healthier YoU, for $60 off!