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  • Writer's pictureBetsy

How to start running

Several customers have asked me lately basically some form of, “I want to start running. I haven’t done it in a while, or ever, really. How do I begin without hurting myself or having it feel terrible.”

My answer to them all has been, check out the Jeff Galloway program.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Jeff Galloway or the Galloway Program – just a fan of his work and have used a version of it myself when coming back from an injury.

To get this Galloway Party started, here is a photo of Jeff and my bestie Georganne at a Galloway event a couple years ago (this man does more appearances and engagements in a year than the queen, I swear):

And here we have Jeff with my other buddy Marie at the July 4th Peachtree Road Race expo in Atlanta, GA (which Jeff casually won the first year of its inception). Both Jeff and Marie went to FSU. You can tell they get each other.

Jeff Galloway “America’s Coach”

Here is a little background about Jeff. He grew up in Georgia and eventually became the high school Georgia state champion in the 2-mile run, All-American at Wesleyan University, and ultimately 10k Olympian (while a graduate student at Florida State University) in the 10,000 meters in the 1972 Munich Olympics and American Record Holder in the 10 mile run (49:47). He has the chops and knows running.

Moreover, his heart is really in helping people. Case in point; Jeff is largely credited in ensuring his training partner earned a spot on the marathon Olympic team (Jeff’s stronger event) by pacing his friend for the entire 26.2 miles (over 2 hours of HARD running), then holding back at the finish line. His friend, Jack Bachelor, earned the third and final spot on the team. Jeff ended up 4th. It's all good though, because Jeff had already earned a spot in the 10k. What a champ.

Following his Olympic experience, Jeff opened up specialty running stores and began coaching beginner runners. He soon realized that walking breaks were necessary to get his fledgling group to complete the assigned laps around the track. From these early experiences, Jeff perfected his coaching philosophy. The resulting Galloway method is a variation on the theme of run a little, walk a little, then get back to running a little. Repeat until the run and race is complete!

Run-Walk-Run Program Principles (from

· Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue

· The longer the run, the more fatigue

· Run-walk-run is a form of interval training

· Conservation of resources helps you finish

· Quicker recovery

· Less stress on “weak links”

· Ability to enjoy endorphins and still enjoy and accomplish tasks of daily life and work (even after a long run!)

· Reduces core body temperature (important for Floridians or anyone running in the summer)

Here is an example of a week from Galloway’s Run-walk-Run 12-week program for a 5k novice

Week 4 of 12 Week Training Program for 5k Beginner

Monday – cross-train (cycle, yoga, swimming, water aerobics - whatever floats your boat)

Tuesday – easy 21 minutes total. Run-walk-run. Running times varies depending on fitness level, 30 seconds walk

Wednesday –Walk 24 minutes

Thursday – same as Tuesday

Friday – Walk 26 minutes

Saturday – Rest, recover, and focus on nutrition.

Sunday – 30 minutes of Run-Walk-Run. Walking segment is 30 seconds.

The full plans are available for 5k-marathon distances. They also range from beginner ($19.95) to intermediate ($24.95) plans. His site also offers everything from books to in depth online personalized coaching.

If you are also wanting to start a more formalized running program and want to have the awesome feeling of completing a run, but not the negatives of extremely sore muscles, fatigue, and injury risks, visit and see if this program could be a good fit for you.

The myth. The man. The legend. And me.

Stay well, FitFooters and Happy run-walk-running!

-Betsy :)

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