Jason had been running for about two decades, and encouraged his wife, Chris to join a Galloway program to start running. The Run-Walk-Run method allowed her to ease into running while meeting a great group of new friends. When she heard stories of faster running times by using the method she told Jason, but he knew that it wouldn’t work for him – he had qualified and run in the Boston Marathon several times.

After failing to qualify for Boston 3 years in a row, Jason stepped up his training to run 3:10 or better — the time needed for his age group. He was on track for 17 miles and then painfully felt his pace get slower and slower, finishing in a 3:23. Sensing that the method would avoid the slowdown, Chris struck a deal. She wrote the family checks and he wanted a certain electronic product.

She said that if he would simply try using the Run-Walk-Run in his next marathon, as written in Galloway Training programs, she would buy him the equipment. But if he qualified he had to get up in front of the group and give his testimonial.

The day before his attempt, Jason came up to me, saying he wanted to clarify some points from my book. After asking him some questions about his pacing in several races I suggested a 6/1 strategy: running 6 minutes and walking 1 minute. I could tell that he was skeptical. A few weeks went by before I heard the outcome. Chris notified me that Jason had qualified and would tell the story before one of my upcoming clinics.

He explained to the group how Chris had offered the “bet”. He did the same training he had been doing for a few years but did not believe in the Run-Walk-Run method. This marathon had one purpose only – to win his bet from Chris. The first 18 miles were right on pace, as before, but this time he used the 6/1. He said that this mental strategy was just the opposite of the placebo effect – he knew he was going to fail. By 20 miles he was surprised that he was still on pace for his goal. By 23 miles he was tired but still strong and he ran in: 3:09.