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Set a Personal Record While Running Slow

Before you start training for a half or full marathon, wait!

At the starting line of a marathon

image ID #532444, stock.xchng

Have you checked out Jeff Galloway’s formulas for training on his website, By running a one mile test called the Magic Mile and entering the time into his Magic Mile Pace Calculator, you can get an accurate prediction of your race time. But what you need to know is that you must follow Jeff Galloway’s training plan for the best result. This means sticking to his pace suggestions during long training runs.

When I first started training with the Jeff Galloway method for a half marathon, I was fresh off a 12-week half marathon training regimen that included speed drills starting in week 3 and continuing until 4 days before race day. Hills were built into the long runs. Toward the end of training I was running 5 days a week. Mind you, this training program was designed for beginners! By week 8, my legs and motivation were burnt out, and I barely crossed the finish line of the race.

Before I made the switch to the Jeff Galloway method, my mind was completely conditioned to believe that I must run hard and fast throughout training programs, even during long runs. Boy, was I wrong!

Build Your Endurance and Mental Momentum

The Jeff Galloway method is designed to build your endurance and mental momentum while keeping your legs fresh.

How, you ask? The answer is in the long run.

Jeff Galloway’s training programs include 3 run days a week, one of which is a long run every weekend. On these weekend runs, you focus on building endurance while running at a slower pace.

By going slowly, you can burn more fat, push back your endurance barriers and go faster at shorter distance races. – Jeff Galloway

Use the Magic Mile

How slow should you run on the long runs? Use Jeff Galloway’s formula to predict your race pace and training long runs. You can find the formulas in many of Jeff Galloway’s books on running and on his website at Here’s the short version of the half marathon long run formula.

  1. Run a Magic Mile.
  2. Take your Magic Mile time and multiply it by 1.2. This is the pace you can realistically expect to run during a half marathon race after using Jeff Galloway’s training schedule.
  3. Your long run training pace is at least 2 minutes per mile slower than your race pace.

My last Magic Mile was 9 minutes (540 seconds). 9 minutes multiplied by 1.2 is 10:48. This is the pace I can realistically expect to run a half marathon after completing a Jeff Galloway Training Program.

This means that during training, my long run pace should be at least 12:48 per mile. What’s cool is that I can still include speed drills on my shorter run days.

Save Your Legs for Race Day

Why is Jeff Galloway’s long run formula so important to training for a race? Because you build endurance while preserving your legs for race day at the same time.

This makes so much sense because we’re all hoping to set a PR on race day. Instead of legs burned out from months of training potentially sabotaging your chances of a PR, you’ll run with fresh legs and the very best chance of a PR.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Training Group is into its 3rd week of training. We’re set to run our first Magic Mile on Saturday, March 30. The goal: to get everyone safely across the finish line of the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon, and as Jeff Galloway says, “in the upright position, smiling, and wanting to do it again.”

For regular updates and tips on training using the Jeff Galloway training method, subscribe to this blog.

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