I just returned from the Carrefour Polmaraton in Warsaw, Poland, where I introduced my method to Eastern Europe. My wife Barbara and I led a Timex pace group of about 65 beginners through a half marathon. Many had never run more than a mile before. Yes, there were a few tired puppies during the last 5K, but everyone finished strong. Our lingering rewards were the joyful smiles afterward.
In December, I set up a training program for this race, on the website and through email newsletters. Immediately I began receiving the same type of questions I receive in the US, Italy, Japan and other countries where we are working on Galloway groups:
"I feel so strong in the beginning, why do I have to walk?"
"How can walking every minute or two train me to cover a half marathon distance?"
"What will other runners think of me if I take walk breaks?"
"Should I take walk breaks in the race itself?"
"Are you sure that a very overweight person with no exercise background can do this?"
Many Warsaw citizens speak English, and a number of the new runners acquired my books Half Marathon and Galloway Training Programs. From the questions they asked by email and during the weekend, they read and absorbed every paragraph. It is estimated that several hundred used my program in various ways during the training. On race day, most just lined up in the crowd with the other runners. But Barbara and I used a 1-1 ratio (run a minute/walk a minute) to pull our folks through.
Along the way we talked, as runners do, about eating, the interesting sights on the course, family, shoes, aches, and how great we feel when we run. There were a number of runners who translated for other runners as we ran…one minute at a time. As is common in Europe, many used massage therapists to deal with aches and pains from training. I shared my success in using the Human Touch massage chair.
Barbara took a group of the “advanced beginners” and finished in a net time of 2:24:58. I kept the others together, including a number of folks who had run no more than 6 miles in training. The 1-1 worked again as everyone stayed together and we finished in a net time of just over 2:30. The glow of endorphins resulted in the same type of comments after a race in the US:
“Only because of your run-walk-run could I do this. I couldn't run a kilometer when running continuously.”
“I feel so good after each walk break and at the finish…I am a runner now!”
“It works! I feel strong as I go farther than ever in each long run.
“I wasn't going to do this race because I had only run 10K before. Because of 1-1, I did it!
“I have never felt so good!”
We just arrived home after a 12 hour voyage. The Human Touch Massage Chair helps one deal with jet lag, also.
Note: Over a million exercisers have attended my clinics, running schools, wonderful retreats, training programs or read my books. To subscribe to my free newsletter visit www.JeffGalloway.com.