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Jan 22, 2021

Have you always wanted to run a 5k or 10k? Maybe you’re a newbie or beginner runner or maybe you’re a veteran looking to improve and PR.

About the Interview

In this episode of Hilary Topper on Air, Hilary interviews Jeff Galloway, America's Coach for running and walking and inventor of the Run Walk Run method.

Jeff will discuss the run walk run method and his newly released book, Galloway’s 5k/10k Running –Training for Runners & Walkers. Learn how runners and walkers don't have to become injured. Evaluate nutrition information, how to improve fitness, and reduce the aches and pains of running.

About Jeff Galloway

Over a million runners and walkers have been coached by Jeff Galloway through his Galloway Training Programs in 50 cities, run injury free schools, fitness retreats (FL and CA) E-coaching, books, and clinics.  But before he became a US Olympian and “America’s Coach”  he was an overweight and lazy 13-year-old who struggled during the first 10 years and understands the problems of non-elite exercisers.  His hard work, research, and direct feedback from over 500,000 clients have resulted in the innovative and highly successful Galloway Method.  This run walk run program has reduced aches/pains and injury risk to almost zero, helped beginners get off the couch and finish 5Ks, marathons, and beyond.  Surprisingly, the method has allowed veterans to improve times in distance events and come back to running when they thought they could not.   Jeff’s mission is to help all levels of exercisers experience the life-changing benefits of running without pain or exhaustion.

About Jeff Galloway Training – Run Walk Run

Jeff Galloway provides walking and running programs for beginners, veterans, and even Boston Marathon runners for 46 years through 30+ books, online clinics, training programs retreats, 60-day challenges. For more information about Jeff and his new book, Galloway’s 5k/10k Running –Training for Runners & Walkers visit

Episode Transcript

Hilary - If you're new to running. And you thought you couldn't run a 5k or a 10 K listen to today's podcast. And if you're a veteran runner who wants to improve your time, this interview is also for you.

I'm Hilary Topper, and this is Hilary Topper on air. Today, I have the great pleasure of speaking with Jeff Galloway. He's America's coach for running and walking. He's an Olympian and the inventor of the run-walk-run method. Welcome back to the show, Jeff.

Jeff - Hilary. I'm great. I'm feeling great to be here. Knowing that I don't have to go out on long Island and run today.

Hilary - So can you remind our listeners about who you are and how you got your start?

Jeff - I was a very, very overweight kid when I started running at age 13, out of shape and lazy because exercise hurt. So I totally identify with beginners cause I went through all of those issues. What happened to me is... very early, within the first two weeks, I got hooked on the socialization of running groups, how we support one another, how there were so many good stories and experiences that people willingly shared. And it just changed my life. I wasn't good when I started, and it took me 14 years before I really started making significant progress a little bit each year and 14 years later, I made the Olympic team. At that point, I had a wonderful career over 10 years at the world-class level, but right after making the Olympic team, I had a lot of reflections during the times when I was giving clinics to high school kids and other groups and which I said to myself, what can I do to use this platform of having made the Olympic team and being asked to talk to help other people. And so what I did decide to do was open up the first running store in the US called Phidippides.

Fortunately, we are still around. Through that, I was able to put on clinics and to have training groups, have retreats and running schools to instruct people. And, as a result, I was able to learn more about what the average person went through. And so my mission, at that point and to this time, is to help people enjoy the amazing benefits of exercise to improve the quality of their lives. And I have now individually talked with over half a million runners and walkers who had various problems and then got back to me to tell me how my suggestions worked. So what I do now is have a vast database to be able to pull out solutions to problems and I'm here to help your folks today.

Hilary - And I want to congratulate you on your new book. The book is called Galloway's 5K and 10K Running, training for runners and walkers, and it looks fantastic. It's not only a great read, but I love the cover as well. So, congratulations to you.

Jeff - Well, thank you very much. It really did turn out well. The folks from a publisher Meyer and Meyer sports publications really are top-notch.

Hilary - So you have a lot of books and they're all fantastic. Can you tell us a little bit about why this one is so different than the rest?

Jeff - Mainly because it deals specifically with the 5K and the 10K. I do have several other books that will include 5K and 10K schedules, but they also have schedules and information about other events.

This book gets into the 5K and 10K whether you just want to finish it, or whether you want to improve your time, or whether you really want to put yourself out on a ledge and go for a stretch time. So, just about anybody who wants to run a 5K or 10K can find something that can really help them.

Hilary - Talk to me about why you felt compelled to write this book. If you had information about the 5K and 10K in other books.

Jeff - There are a lot of individual issues that runners have presented to me about 5K and 10K over the years. And in a book that covers a number of different other distances, I can't get into the details for the 5K and the 10K like I can and did in this book.

Hilary - Before we go on, I want to just say that I am so appreciative of our sponsors and must take the time out to thank them. Please support our sponsors and tell them that you heard about them on Hilary Topper on air. Special thanks to the Russo Law Group, The Profit Express, Pop International Galleries, Gold Benes LLP, and Pegalis Law Group. Now, back to you, Jeff. So we're talking about your new book. Galloway's 5K 10 K running training for runners and walkers and you give a number of plans. Can you talk a little bit about this?

Jeff - Yes, the plans are gradual in terms of how they progress in the book. We start with a to-finish program, somebody who is a beginner and just wants to get to the finish line. A lot of folks who don't have time goals will use that to-finish program every single time that they train for a 5K or 10K, but, a good percentage of the folks that buy the book, I would say far more than 50% want to improve in some way.

And the book has a wide range of ways that you can improve. The schedules are oriented to gradually increase the length of the long run every two weeks and, then, to put in some speed work every week in the form of quarter-mile repetitions that can allow the body to get used to what's called an oxygen debt.

And that's what you experience more in a 5K in 10K than you will experience in a half marathon or a marathon. And, therefore, by building up the number of these quarter-mile repetitions with a little rest in between you get yourself prepared for the mental and the physical demands that you're going to have at the end of your goal race.

Hilary - Very interesting. So, the other thing that's really interesting in the book is you talk about injuries and you talk about aches and pains, especially as we age when it comes to running, what do you recommend?

Jeff - There are two things that I need to mention first. The first one is that there are a number of runners who don't use my run-walk-run method who buy my book because the schedules will work whether you use run-walk-run or not. Now, the data that I've collected over the years shows very clearly that those who use run-walk-run tend to run faster than those who try to run nonstop even in a 5K. But it's your choice. I mean, each one of us is the captain of our ship, so we can determine whether we do this or not.

So as a runner gets into these schedules, the main thing that they need to focus on to avoid injury is to be sensitive to the weak links. And this is covered quite well in the book, but, to do the cliff notes on that, if you experience any possible signs that you're going into an injury, there are three main signs. The three main signs are inflammation, loss of function, and then pain that doesn't go away when you take an extended walk break of three to five minutes.

So those three tell you “I must take three to five days off and then treat whatever the area is with some form of remediation”, such as an ice massage if it's a tendon next to the skin or anti-inflammatories if your doctor feels that those are needed for whatever injury you have. And then massage is the best treatment for a muscle type issue.

Hilary - Hmm. Interesting. There are several people that I know that just keep reinjuring themselves. What would you recommend for people like that?

Jeff - There are almost always one to three main reasons why this happens and they usually involve these concepts:

The first one is not backing off enough after hard workouts. The body is designed to be able to push a little bit farther than you have pushed yourself in the past, so, with the increase in the long runs that you will see on my schedule and also the increase in the number of quarter-mile repetitions, you're not overwhelming your system in a great way. You're just overwhelming it in a very small amount, which the body is usually fine with. Now, the mistakes that the type of people you're talking about make, because they get injured quite often, is that they don't back off at the first sign of an injury like I just mentioned, and they don't allow enough recovery time because it's during the recovery time that the body rebuilds and readapt and becomes better. And if you're hammering yourself day after day after day, the body can't rebuild.

Hilary - So let's switch gears a little bit and talk about nutrition because you do talk about that in the book. Can you talk about why it's so important and what advice you would give runners out there?

Jeff - Nutrition is obviously important for overall health. And, to be honest, most of the people that I have worked with over the years who have also worked with a registered dietician and gotten feedback, have discovered that they're not very far off on the type of general nutrition that they need. So I'm not going to get into general nutrition other than to say that health wise, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of simple sugars, and it's not a good idea to eat saturated fat regularly. So now that said, there are a lot of choices out there that are healthy and tastes really, really good.

And it would take us a couple of hours to get through nutrition for life thing, which we won't do, but nutrition for running is important. The first major mistake that people make is not keeping their blood sugar level up, especially when it's a day, when they're doing a significant workout, like a long run or a fast run. If the blood sugar level is low, motivation is going to be low. And also you're not going to have fuel for the muscles you need during that workout. One simple, fix for those that have busy days and work out in the afternoon, is if your blood sugars level is a little low, then eating a hundred-calorie snack within 30 minutes before you start your workout has usually been enough to be able to allow the blood sugar level to come up. And if it's taken within 30 minutes before the start of the workout, it's very unlikely that you're going to get an insulin response from taking sugar before that workout. So those two things are the first item.

Now, the other item of nutrition is at the other end of the workout is immediately after the workout and the recovery snack. This is a very important snack for those in an endurance program, it's probably the most important type of nutrition that you can have. The idea is within 30 minutes, you want to have a reloading snack of 100 calories if the run is four miles or less. And 300 calories if your run is 13 miles or more. And then of course in-between, if it's in between. If you did a speed workout and the total of that workout didn't add up to two, four or five, six miles or whatever the intensity of the speed workout could bump up the number of calories consumed to another a hundred calories so you could go up to 200 calories after a speed workout.

Hilary - Wow. I'm curious now. Again, I'm switching gears back to this COVID-19 pandemic. How has your training been going and what do you hear from the general public about training alone or virtually or in small groups?

Jeff - Well, we at Galloway productions have, quite honestly, been devastated financially by this. And we, our whole mission is to keep people motivated because this is the way that the community of runners will be able to keep going. The most powerful thing runners have is that connection with one another. And so we, our whole purpose in the alternative things we've done since we can't hold races anymore and most of our programs are not allowed to run in groups anymore. What we have done is a shift to online clinics and also to challenges. We have a challenge coming up this weekend, for example, that deals with our race in Atlanta.

They used to be an actual race, but we can't get a permit and I totally understand why the city won't issue us a permit with the COVID situation. So we have a virtual, but it's better than any other virtual that I've ever heard because we have a charge running app, which allows for a broadcast that goes on during the race. And not only do you get a pep talk from me because I'm on the microphone the whole way, but we're actually going to have three other famous runners, Bill Rogers, who's won the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon four times, Amby Burfoot also a Boston Marathon winner and Dean Karnazes a friend of mine who is an amazing ultra-marathoner. They're going to come on the show with me and cheer for the average runners out there that are going through their 13.1 miles.

We also are putting this on an on-demand recording, so that, runners who couldn't go with us on Sunday or Saturday for Barb's 5k, will have that recording and be able to do it. And this is all a response to the answer to your question “What are runners going through now?”.

Well, it's really adrift because you not only can't go to races or usually not run with other people. But there's no end game to it right now. We don't know when it's going to start back up, we know it will, we just don't know when.

Hilary - Right, right. Well, this is a great motivational book too, and I think it will help a lot of people get through these tough times, along with your virtual race. How can people get in touch with you and learn more about Galloway's 5K 10K running training for runners and walkers?

Jeff - Well, I'm going to give all your listeners my direct email address. This doesn't go through anybody but me and it's real simple. It's

Hilary - Awesome. Thank you so much. And we also have a bunch of giveaways that Meyer & Meyer Sports is giving out. So if you comment on this podcast, at the bottom of, you can be eligible to win one of these free books. So that's very, very exciting. And I thank you. And I thank the publisher for doing this.

Jeff - Let me tell you, Hillary, you're doing a great job. I mean, I do a lot of podcasts these days and yours is right up there at the top of the list.

Hilary - Thank you very much. I appreciate that, Jeff, and thank you so much for being on the show and taking the time out there for you. I also want to thank our sponsors, The Russo Law group, The Profit Express, Pop International Galleries, Gold Benes LLP, and Pegalis Law firm.

And last but not least, I want to thank you our listeners for tuning in each week. If you want more information on this show or any other show, you can visit our website Or you can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google play, and even, Amazon Alexa. Have a great week and we'll see you next time...