The Orlando Galloway Fall season kicked off this past Sunday, June 9th. After the early morning kick-off fun at the track, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Jeff’s Running School which was taking place at Track Shack. Jeff puts his Running School throughout the year all over and it lasts about 3 hours. The class covers running faster, training for YOUR goal, nutrition, motivation, fat burning, building Endurance and lots of Q&A time.
Jeff is an awesome speaker, I could listen to him talk for hours and stay inspired. He just has such a calming and friendly voice and just knows how to communicate and teach others. He started out talking about mental training which is the topic of one of his most recent books, Mental Training for Runners. I own the book, and it really was an aid for me in getting through a lot of mental barriers in my training and races.
According to Jeff Galloway, we all need a mantra to help release the negativity from your head. A mantra is a cognitive or creative thought that helps you shift to the conscious brain. If you have cognitive strategies, you can empower yourself to release the pain you may be experiencing during a rough run. Three tips you can use from Jeff to help you are:
1. Mental Rehearsal. By mentally rehearsing, you can prepare yourself for action and focus.
2. Magic Words. Choose words that mean something to you. Jeff’s words include relax, power and glide.
3. Dirty Tricks. An example of this is a giant rubber band, you envision yourself using it to propel yourself ahead with other runners in front of you. Anything to amuse and motivate yourself during a hard race.
A big subject he spoke about was running in the heat. This was especially important for my group as we run in the thick humidity and hot temperatures here in Central Florida. When running in temperatures above 60 degrees, slow down by 30 seconds per mile. If you try to run too fast in the heat, you’ll hit “the wall” sooner than you’d expect. Take more frequent walk breaks when the humidity and heat are high.
Nutrition-wise, it’s important to know that it takes 36 hours for the food you eat to metabolize in your body. This is something to remember when you think you need to carbo-load the night before a race. Use common sense, don’t overeat, cut down the quantity of food you consume. Also, the more bland the better for keeping your system happy and not causing stomach upset. A good plan is to drink eight glasses of fluid, one being some sort of electrolyte containing beverage.
During training runs or a race, the best time to eat something is about 30 minutes beforehand. That’s the best time for your blood sugar. More simple sugars are best as they get to the brain quicker. Drink 2-4oz of water every 2 miles that you run and you only need 30-40 calories for every 2 miles. Jeff states that eating before a race isn’t necessarily needed for every runner especially for a short run of 3 miles or less. But, it’s really up to the individual on that. However, you should drink 6oz of water upon waking up. This doesn’t make up for not hydrating enough the days prior, as that is still very important.
After a long training run or race, you should have a reload snack within 30 minutes. This snack should be consisting of 80% simple carbs and 20% protein. For a short run, you only need 100 calories afterwards, while you need 300 calories after a half or full marathon distance. We need to replenish glycogen post-run as it’s your brain’s fuel. Concerning the whole chocolate milk after a race, Jeff isn’t a fan. His reasons are that it curdles easily, a lot of folks are lactose intolerant and fat slow down absorption of carbohydrates.
When it comes to fat burning, it comes back to cognitive control. Use the frontal lobe to control eating. To help with this, you should write down everything that you consume, this helps with behavior control. Then you can look back and analyze your food journal to see your good and bad choices. Review your journal regularly to help with your success with losing weight or avoiding overeating. Avoid large amounts of food, best to have smaller meals and snacks throughout a given day. Also, Jeff recommends getting a pedometer to track your steps a day, and shoot for at least 10,000. Walking burns fat from the beginning, while the first 30 minutes of a run is using stored glycogen.
Finally, Jeff does not advocate stretching for runners. He states that it is actually a negative for those of us that run. It can cause more harm than good. No study shows that stretching is a help to distance runners. And, it’s definitely the worst thing you can do with an injury, as it tends to keep tearing up the injury. The IT band is the only exception to the stretching “rule.”
A few other tips/tidbits from Jeff:
— Icing and massage is a great way to heal up after a hard run or during an injury
— If you do get injured, take 3 to 5 days to rest up and stop running.
— Every hour of exercise increases your life by two hours.
— The cause of cramps during a run is muscle exhaustion.
— Lots of walking can help with plantar fasciitis.
— Only 4/10s of the population has completed a half marathon.
If you’d like more information on Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run training program, please head over to his website at http://www.jeffgalloway.com.