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Marathon Misconceptions

by Jeff Galloway

1.       Running will damage my knees.

Although widely believed, this statement is false. Research has shown that running helps strengthen and lubricate the knee joint and surrounding muscles, making it less susceptible to sprains and strains. Non-active individuals are actually more susceptible to knee problems due to the strain put on the joints by excess body weight.

 2.      I’ll have to kiss my personal life goodbye to train for a marathon.

Wrong. It is possible to train for a long distance event and have a life. With the Jeff Galloway Training Program, you only have to make time for two 30-minute runs during the week and a long, group run on the weekend. So there is no need to worry about sacrificing time with your kids, missing your favorite television shows, or not having time to complete homework. This training program is designed to fit your life, not consume it.

3.   You have to be thin and in shape to run a marathon.

The beauty of the Jeff Galloway Training Program is that it is geared towards people of all shapes, sizes, and athletic abilities. Sure, it helps to be thin and in shape, but even the most devout couch potatoes can work up to running a marathon in 30-weeks using Jeff’s run/walk method. Running is actually one of the best exercises for losing weight and is noted by experts as the fastest growing activity in the field of exercise.

4.   Only people under 30 run marathons.

Completely untrue. The average age of today’s runner/walker is 40+. In fact, the 80+ category is the fastest growing segment of a steadily increasing running population. The joys of running can be experienced at any age as long as you’re conservative and use walk breaks.     

5.    I don’t run fast enough to be able to complete a marathon.

Speed is not the name of the game with the Jeff Galloway Training Program. It’s endurance and staying power that count. You actually can’t go too slowly on long runs. The slower you go, the faster you will recover, while still receiving all the benefits of covering the distance.

6.   Running hurts and will cause long-term injuries.

If this happens, you are the one responsible. You have almost complete control over this situation.  Most injuries come from going too fast on long training sessions and not taking breaks, as well as exercising too many days per week. By going at a conservative pace, with the right amount of running and walking, you will feel better and more energized after the run than before and be free of worrisome aches and pains.

 7.    I’ll have to spend tons of extra time stretching before and after a run.

Contrary to what Physical Therapists and other medical professionals tell you, stretching does not warm you up for a run/walk or help you go faster in that workout. Stretching is actually the third leading cause of injury among runners/walkers due to improper technique. Thus, the Jeff Galloway Training Program encourages runners/walkers not to stretch and replace it instead with easy walking or very slow jogging.

8.   Running in cold weather will damage my lungs.

There is no need to be held hostage by the weather. Experts in extreme temperature research say there’s no reason to be concerned about lung damage even at temperatures below -30° F as long as you dress appropriately. A trip to a good running, walking, or ski store will help you figure out what to wear to protect you from the elements. The Jeff Galloway Training Program allows you opportunities to take walk breaks and warm up by switching out clothing or readjusting gear.

9.      Running in hot weather can lead to a heart attack.

Running in hot weather does take a toll on the body. But you can reduce your risk of heart attack and other heat-induced ailments, as well as improve your recovery time, by adhering to the Jeff Galloway Training Program principles of running slowly, taking regular walk breaks from the beginning of your workout, and ensuring you are properly hydrated.

10.   Marathon running is an individual sport.

Just because you cross the finish line by yourself on race day, doesn’t mean you have to train by yourself. The Jeff Galloway Training Program provides the group support structure necessary to help you push through the challenges and struggles of training to accomplish your personal and shared group goals. As a team, all things are possible, even running/walking 26.2 miles.

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