Olympian Offers Tips For Marathon Hopefuls
By COSHANDRA DILLARD
There's a throng of people wanting to be marathon runners these days. Jeff Galloway, a 1972 Olympic runner said this trend is fueled mostly by women and people who have not participated in regular exercise before.
Galloway has written several books on training for long distance runs and is a
Runner's World magazine. With running comes great health benefits and for each hour a person runs, it extends their life by two hours, Galloway said. The former Olympian gave some tips to marathon runners and health
journalists during a conference in Atlanta on Thursday.
Galloway on seeking the health benefits of running versus feeding the ego:
Galloway said the human body was not made to run fast or run far. The
competitiveness of marathon running is what motivates many people, but health benefits can be achieved by having a steady pace, taking walking breaks and not feeding too much into conflicting advice about speed training.
"If you take control of your pacing, you can do what you want to and feel great ..." Galloway said. "It doesn't hurt anybody to run slower. ... You don't have to work hard to get benefits.
More and more the life-sustaining patterns are minimal if you just do them regularly. Researchers on Paleolithic times believe our ancestors walked at a pretty slow pace to gather food all day long, but they ended up covering 15 to 20 miles because they kept moving most of the day and part of the night."
He added, "Our circuits in our brains really relate better to exercise that is gentle, rather than really hard. Almost everybody can do it. Almost everybody can accomplish one of these empowering goals and change their life in the process."
On varying running advice:
Much information found in runners' magazines or online is geared toward building speed while on a long run. This is more about marathon running as a competitive sport. Galloway said most injuries are incurred while doing speed training.
"What was supposed to be the best thing last month could be the worst thing the next month," he said. "You're going to get conflicting opinions on this thing, and of course, with the Internet, it exploded. ... If you can find a program that doesn't injure you, engages you, motivates you, then it's OK to have some of the faster stuff."
On eating/nutrition during a long run:
Some runners get sick because they drink too much water or eat too much while on a long run. Because the stomach can only absorb so much, Galloway said runners need to ingest only about 2 to 4 ounces of water every 2 miles. In addition, runners only need 30 to 40 calories every 2 miles. This may be sugar sources such as sugar cubes, gummy bears and hard candies such as Lifesavers.