Tag Archive | Jeff Galloway

half marathon training: day 1

I just wrote an entire blog entry for today and somehow, some way, before I hit publish, WordPress deleted it! Without saving a draft! Major epic fail WordPress. Just wanted to get that frustration out. And now I’m going to use it to prove a point. When I realized my entire entry for the day was no where to be found, I wanted to turn off my computer and walk away. Screw it. I’m not writing that again. Forget this. I’ll do it tomorrow. BUT, I decided not to let the immediate obstacle in my environment control me and I decided to prevail. I decided not to give up. I decided to pick up my keyboard from the corner of the room from whence I’d thrown it, and write again. Because that is what training is all about. Not giving up. 

The philosophical correlation between what just happened on my computer and beginning to train for a half marathon may have been stretch, but humor me people. I have to make some lemonade from these lemons or I’m just going to keep throwing my keyboard against the wall. Go with it.

What I wrote before WordPress sabotaged me was that… it’s the first day of Disneyland Half Marathon training! Hurray! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. If you still have an inkling of uncertainty as to whether you are going to go through with training to run 13.1 miles or 3.1 miles, depending on whether you’re running the half marathon or the 5K, decide now. Commit. The time to question and deliberate is over. If you’re still wondering whether or not you’ll be able to do it, you will. You can. You just need to jump in. Stop thinking about it too much. Stop it! Join the brigade and… just do it.

If you need more of a nudge, allow me. Here’s the number one reason to begin training with me today: it’s fun. With each ounce of anxiety about whether you can complete the steps along the way comes double the elation when you actually do. You will start to look forward to the time carved out for yourself to run. You will count down the days until you get to prove to yourself that you can do pretty much anything. And, let’s get serious, probably even more than that you’ll count down the days that you get to go to DISNEYLAND! The countdown begins today. 67 days until race day. Here’s today’s schedule:

Half Marathon: 3 miles. However long it takes you doesn’t matter. Just get a 3 mile run or run/walk in.

I’m going to put those of you training for the Family Fun Run on the Couch-to-5K® schedule. This is a streamlined and fantastic program for beginning runners. You can read all of the details of this great running program on its official website, right here. They also have a running app to accompany the schedule, so make sure you download that. It’s available for both iOS and Android. Beware, there are many Couch-to-5K® impersonators. The real one is made by a company called Cool Running and is distributed through Active.com.

Here is the day 1 workout for those on the 5K training plan:

Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

I subscribe to Jeff Galloway’s philosophy regarding stretching. Don’t do it. Sounds crazy, I know, but I do believe what he says it’s true. Stretching immediately before or after you run puts your muscles and joints at a higher risk for injury. Better to warm up with a few minutes of jumping jacks. Get your muscles warm. Don’t overextend them. If you do decide to stretch, do it on your rest days, and take it easy.

Some other thought:

1) Need more motivation to go through with it? Read this

2) Need to be reminded of the training schedule? Read this

3) Decided previously that you couldn’t do it so you didn’t sign up, but now think you might have it in you? Try this

Now get running!

Would love your feedback in the comments below. Are you excited/anxious/eager to begin training? Have you ever run a race before? Any advice for newbies that you’d like to share?

it’s the most wonderful time of the year… it’s training time!!

It’s getting to be my favorite time of year. The sun is getting hot, the ocean is getting warm just above freezing, the camping gear is coming out of storage, it’s almost my birthday, and most importantly… official training for the Disneyland Half Marathon is about to begin! I love training. Not only does it get me in great shape and push me to achieve new goals, but it acts as a physical countdown to one of the best events on the yearly calendar, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. This marks the third year Brad and I will participate in this event and it’s going to be the best yet. I’ve got my mom and Dennis signed up for the 5K, AND my brother will be there to cheer us on! I’ve promised myself two things: that I’ll cut at least 15 minutes off of my total time, and that I’ll help train anyone who needs guidance via this blog. So here we go! Let the training begin!

First of all,  a few quick thoughts about my philosophy on training for a race.

1) I am not a certified trainer. Any advice, guidance or plans that I offer are based solely on my own personal experience with running. You should definitely consult with a certified trainer or physician if you have concerns about how running may affect your health.

2) I love Jeff Galloway. I subscribe to many philosophies of his. I, however, do not personally practice the Run-Walk-Run method. I think it’s a brilliant method that works for a lot of people, but it’s just not for me. At least, not at this point in my running life. If you think the Run-Walk-Run method would be more right for you, you can learn more about it here. It’s really changed my Mom’s life, if you ask me. She was not a runner before at all, then she started the Jeff Galloway program and now she’s finishing 6 miles and more! So proud of her! So if you want to Run-Walk-Run, get a schedule from Jeff, and then head back here to Running to Tahiti for lots of other training tips 🙂

3) Have fun. Running should never be a punishment. It should be hard. It should be challenging, it should push you to your max, but not punish you. You should feel great about yourself after every training run. Some days you will feel wiped out, but still incredibly accomplished. If you don’t, you might be pushing yourself too hard or doing something that is negatively affecting your performance. Don’t do that! If you find that to be the case as you are training, contact me. Get to know the difference between good pain and bad pain. Let me know what’s causing you difficulty and we’ll try and figure out how to get you back on the path of enjoying yourself.

Those are the main bullet points I wanted to hit before we all begin training. Aren’t you excited??? Brad and I DEFINITELY are…

Today I’m going to get started on the Half Marathon Training. Next week I’ll talk about training for the Family Fun Run 5k. 

Here’s the skinny of what our training schedule will look like for all you half marathon runners out there. I employ a 10 week training plan. I think anything longer than that is too long. You’ll get burnt out by the time you get to the race. That being said, you should not go from having never run 1 mile to starting the 10 week training schedule. No no no no. You should be able to run a solid 3 miles without, as I like to say, feeling like you’re going to die. This is very important. It’s okay if you’re winded and tired, but your recovery time should only be about 1 minute. If it’s taking 5-10 minutes to recover from a 3 mile run, you need to keep hitting the treadmill until you bring up that endurance before we begin training. Got it? Any questions? Moving on.

Official training begins on Monday, June 25th. Here is the calendar from that point on:

10-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 3 Rest 3 3 Rest 4 Rest 13
2 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 5 Rest 15
3 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 6 Rest 16
4 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 8 Rest 19
5 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 10 Rest 21
6 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 11 Rest 24
7 4 Rest 6 4 Rest 12 Rest 26
8 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 9 Rest 22
9 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 8 Rest 18
10 3 Rest 3 Walk 2 Rest 13.1


Rest 21.1

I’ve used this schedule for the past two years and I love it. It’s really worked for me. I’ve finished 2 half marathons using this training schedule and you know what they say, if it ain’t broke… so I’m going to be using it again this year. Print it out, bookmark this page, enter it into your phone, tape it to your forehead, whatever you need to do. You’ll need to keep track of this schedule. I’ll post what we should be running on a daily basis, but make sure you have your own copy of this calendar in a place you’ll look at it all the time. It will remind you of what you’ve challenged yourself to do. It will motivate you. It will excite you. It’s like a Christmas countdown Advent calendar, minus the chocolate. And to give credit where credit is due, I did not invent this schedule. I found it on this running website and I love it.

As you can see we start the first week off with easy 3s, and finish on Saturday with a 4.  So take heed to what I said earlier. Make sure you can run an easy breezy 3 miles before we begin officially training. It will really propel you into the process. If you start from a place where 3 miles is a huge challenge, the entire training block is going to feel like a brutal uphill battle. If you listen to what I say and get 3 relatively painless miles under your belt before June 25th, you will be propelled into the 10 weeks of training like a slingshot. It really makes a difference.

That’s all for today friends! Please let me know your thoughts. Do you have any questions? Are you excited to start training???

supergirls eat gummy bears

I keep delaying the epic post regarding our massive success at the Disneyland Half Marathon until Brad has time to edit the footage he took during the race. Until then I will systematically work through all of the little details that made the day so successful. Today, we shall talk about the magic of gummy bears.

I have blood sugar issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with diabetes or hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia but my blood sugar is very sensitive and fickle. I’ve shared before the horrors of a blood sugar crash during a long run and I was so worried that would happen this year. It didn’t. I performed with fabulous endurance and vitality. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t get nauseous. I didn’t feel dizzy. My blood sugar remained steady throughout. I could posit that this has everything to do with the rigorous discipline I put into the Supergirl diet in the days leading up to race, but I might be lying to you. The truth is, I think it has everything to do with Gummy Bears.

 I have a bit of a celebrity athlete crush on Jeff Galloway. He is totally the Chef Gusteau of the running world. He’s a class act, world-class actually, yet he makes running a completely accessible sport for anyone and everyone. He’s a guru, but down to earth. He runs something like 20 marathons every year and he believes that YOU can too. He’s even got my mom believing in herself enough to train for a half marathon. He’s like a magical running elf. He also happens to be the official trainer for the runDisney program. Disney picked the right guy to promote their running division for sure.

Okay, gush over. What I wanted to point out was that Jeff Galloway spoke at the Health & Fitness Expo hosted at the Disneyland Hotel the day before the race. I’m so glad that I got to hear him speak this year because one by one he addressed all of my issues with running that keep coming back to haunt me and gave me completely reasonable solutions. He talked about getting nauseous, trick ankles, what to eat before you run, hydration, heat, sleep, blood sugar. He hit all of the big topics. For now let’s discuss blood sugar. Jeff Galloway broke it down for us. It only takes about 20 minutes to burn through all of the glucose stores in your blood. After that, it starts to burn whatever else it can find like fat or muscle, but those are not as efficient forms of fuel as glucose. On a normal 3-5 mile run this is fine and even helps to burn fat, but if you go too long without replenishing your glucose stores (like you would on a half marathon) your body heads towards the sugar in your brain for fuel. Bad idea. It’s like you turn into a confused zombie that wants to eat its own brain. You should never let your sugar get that low. You can start to feel nauseous (check), dizzy (check), irritable (check) and disoriented (check). All of those things have happened to me. If not taken seriously this can actually lead to permanent brain damage or death and to quote Jeff Galloway, “I’m against death.”

“So how do we keep our         glucose levels steady in a long run?” Yes Jeff. How? I must know. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried nuts, I’ve tried sports drinks, I’ve tried muscle milk, I’ve tried bananas, I’ve tried Gu. Eeew! Gu. Wait, suddenly I hear Jeff talking about Gu. I have to hear this. He goes on to say that for many people Gu is an excellent sugar replacement. No Jeff no! I hate G… “BUT some people can’t digest it very well,” he finishes. What?! That’s me. He’s talking about me. He goes on to explain how the other properties in Gu, the electrolytes and stuff, are hard for some people to digest and actually make them feel nauseous. So I’m NOT crazy! In all my years as a runner, everyone tells me that Gu is the salvation. Gu will keep my blood sugar from dropping and will prevent me from puking. For me however, the very sight of Gu invokes a gag reflex. I thought my blood sugar must have been created on opposite day. I didn’t understand why Gu worked for every runner in the WORLD except me. Turns out it doesn’t. Oh Jeff. You’ve just restored my sanity. 

He goes on to explain that the only thing in Gu that you need to keep your blood sugar up is the sugar. Just pure sugar. So if you’re the type of person that can’t digest Gu then you should just try life savers, a sugar cube, or gummy bears. Gummy bears? Really? Did an Olympic champion just tell me to eat gummy bears during a half marathon? Yes. Yes he did. 

Well I give it a whirl. I buy some gummy bears at the Disney store and count out exactly how many I will need to get me through the race. Galloway suggests 4 bears every 3 miles so I put about 20 in my wrist pouch just to be safe.

Friends, it worked. I think these particular gummy bears may have actually been magic. I never felt my blood sugar dip in the slightest. I never got dizzy or pukey. I actually increased my speed at the last mile, powered by glee, gummy bears, and Jeff Galloway. After two weeks of eating strictly raw almonds, rice, vegetables and hummus, the key to my performance success turned out to be nature’s enemy… high fructose corn syrup. Fine by me. Since I burned every single gram of gummy sugar I put into my body while running it’s really not unhealthy. I just had to remind myself to stop eating them after crossing the finish line. Now go get yourself some gummy bears!

i even look like a gummy bear