Meb Minutes

“Meb Minutes” is a weekly series of videos that gives an inside look into Meb’s preparation for Boston. Get training tips and a raw, inside look with no photo-shoot set-ups, no staged workouts, no re-do. We simply wanted to catch Meb “doing what he does” and he was nice enough to let us show up and do just that. We’ll cover topics from his mental approach and training philosophy to workouts, cross-training and “the small things” that have made his career long and successful. Find out what those “small things” are and how you can incorporate them into your training here on Meb Minutes.

Meb Minutes Promo[cjtoolbox name=’meb1′]

Episode 1 – Meb’s Key Tips – Meb Minutes [cjtoolbox name=’meb2′]


Run-Walk-Run: It began in 1974

by: Jeff Galloway

I was asked to teach a class in beginning running a few months after opening my specialty running store, Phidippides in 1973. Through this class I saw an opportunity to help non-runners enjoy the benefits of running.  Since business was slow at the store, I also wanted to increase the number of potential customers.

During the class I discovered that none of my students had been running for at least five years.  About one third had never done any regularly scheduled exercise during their lifetime. During the first lap around the track I realized that walk breaks would be crucial if I wanted each class member to finish either a 5K or 10K without injury or exhaustion.

As I ran with each group, I focused on breathing rate. The “huff and puff” rule emerged: when you hear huffing and puffing, take more frequent walk breaks and slow the pace.

Throughout the first class, I adjusted the run-walk-run amounts so that each person felt successful in completing the distance – which gradually increased during one run each week. Most admitted that they started to look forward to each run because of the improved attitude during and afterward.

At the end of the 10 week term was the “exam”: either a 5K or a 10K. Each student finished!  When I polled each at the end I received my best reward: none of them had been injured!

During the next two years, I experimented with various ratios of walk breaks as I worked with beginning runners at my store. In 1976, Galloway Training Program began. I continued to find that walk breaks could almost eliminate injury.

Many of the veteran marathoners refused to take walk breaks at first. As the former beginners moved into longer distance events such as marathons, they continued to adjust to walk breaks and started to record faster times than the veterans. This led to the use of walk breaks in all pace groups.

Principles behind run-walk-run:

• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue

• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue

• Run-walk-run is a form of interval training

• Conservation of resources

• Quicker recovery

• Less stress on the “weak links”

• Ability to enjoy endorphins

• Reduce core body temperature

The Galloway run-walk-run method

• A smart way to run – by giving you congnitive control over each workout.

• Allows you to carry on all of your life activities – even after long runs

• Motivates beginners to get off of the couch and run

• Bestows running joy to non-stop runners who had given up

• Helps improve finish times in all races

• Gives all runners control over fatigue

• Delivers all of the running enhancements without exhaustion or pain

Why do some runners have trouble taking walk breaks?

Research has shown that the lessons in the early school years are powerfully embedded in the subconscious brain. While it is natural to feel anxious and then receive negative hormones when we depart from these hard-wired patterns, concious actions can re-train this ancient brain. The cognitive focus on specific run segments/set amount of walks can hard-wire new patterns into the reflex brain. This gives you control over your attitude as you feel the positive results from using strategic walk breaks. Through the use of mantras and systematic actions, you empower the concious brain to take control. This frontal lobe component can over-ride the subconcious brain and retrain it to accept and embrace run-walk-run.

Walk breaks…

• Speed you up: an average of 7 minutes faster in a 13.1 mile race when non-stop runners

• Shift to the correct run-walk-run ratio – and more than 13 minutes faster in the marathon

• Give you control over the way you feel during and after

• Erase fatigue

• Push back your wall of exhaustion or soreness

• Allow for endorphins to collect during each walk break

• Break up the distance into manageable units

• Speed recovery

• Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury

• Allow older or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good as in the younger (slimmer) days

• Activate the frontal lobe – maintaining your control over attitude and motivation

How to determine the right run-walk-run ratio? Use the Magic Mile prediction tool.

About Jeff Galloway:

Over a million runners and walkers have read Galloway books, attended his retreats / running schools, received E-coaching or individual consultation or joined his training programs. His doable plans have opened up the life-changing experience of finishing a distance event to almost everyone. His methods have reduced aches, pains and injuries to almost zero. Jeff is in front of an audience motivating and teaching over 200 times a year–helping those of all abilities to enjoy exercise until they are 100!

  • US Olympian, 1972, 10,000 meters (also an alternate on the marathon team)
  • Trained with Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Jack Bacheler
  • Author of North America’s best selling running book: Galloway’s Book on Running
  • Runner’s World monthly columnist
  • Official Training Consultant for runDisney series of races- with video clips and training programs on this site
  • Founder of the Run-Walk-Run® method- opened up running to millions
  • Founder and owner of Phidippides–the oldest running specialty store (since 1973)
  • Producer of the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program in Atlanta- which has enrolled 20,000 participants (2012 – 30th
  • Coached ESPN and MSNBC segments with celebrity runners Sage Steele and Megan Price
  • Jeff has run for over 50 years, over thirty of those without injury.
  • Over 350,000 runners and walkers have reported achieving their goals by using Galloway Training Programs.

– See more at:

The #1 Rule of Endurance Training

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | By Jim Vance

Amidst the intervals, data, devices, diets and all the other ways that athletes are trying to “gain an edge” in endurance training, it can be easy to forget the basics. The number one most important rule of training, which is often forgotten, is consistency. There is no training program or workout any coach can devise that can make up for a lack of consistency in training. The higher your goals are as an athlete, the more important consistency is.

“As a coach, I repeatedly see the differences in performance and improvement between the athlete who is consistent in their training and the athlete who isn’t.”

As a coach, I repeatedly see the differences in performance and improvement between the athlete who is consistent in their training and the athlete who isn’t. You lose fitness at a rate of almost three times as fast as you gain it, so missing a workout or two may not hurt you, but miss a few on a regular basis and you will have a hard time making performance gains. You have to make training a daily priority.

Chronic Training Load

One of the best ways to see how consistent you are in your training is to follow your Chronic Training Load (CTL) in your Performance Management Chart (PMC). The PMC is a Premium feature within TrainingPeaks® and is also available in TrainingPeaks WKO+.

Your CTL is a 42 day exponentially-weighted average of your daily Training Stress Score® (TSS®). It is very representative of your fitness level since it rises slowly as you accumulate workouts, but falls very quickly when workouts are missed. Your daily TSS score is determined after a swim, bike or run automatically provided you have set your Functional Threshold Power, Threshold Pace or Threshold Heart Rate values. On the bike, power is the most accurate way to measure TSS while on the run pace is the most accurate measurement. In both cases, heart rate can also be used to gain an accurate TSS value. An accurate daily TSS is crucial to maintaining an accurate CTL. You can read more about TSS and threshold here.

Consistency and Peak Performance

Here’s an example of excellent consistency represented by the nice, steady climb of the CTL (blue line). This is pictured in TrainingPeaks WKO+ desktop software.

You can see this athlete’s CTL rising at about 10% every two weeks through the final 5 plus months heading into the peak CTL and taper. Though the amount of your increase may vary on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, this consistent rate of increase in the CTL shows the athlete has been very consistent in training. A steady increase in training stress average also helps to limit injuries, sickness and over-training, which leads to performance gains.

Here’s an example of an athlete who lacks consistency in their run training. The blue CTL line doesn’t rise steadily, has large gaps and drops, and never really changes much in value from late January to mid-September, (low of about 20, high of about 33).

You’ll notice in the inconsistent chart that I overlaid the athlete’s top 10 run performances for different time intervals, ranging from 6 minutes to 2 hours, for this period (speed is in kph). Where the athlete had the most consistent and steady training, in the first third of the chart, is where the largest concentration of top 10 performances are. This isn’t just a coincidence.

Now look at this next PMC and you can see the lack of consistent training for the first half of the year, before the athlete changes and gets consistent in his training. The result is a huge concentration of top 10 performance outputs from 6 minutes to 2 hours, all clustered near each other, as the athlete heads into his peak race.

This is visual, graphic proof of the benefit of consistency in training. An athlete wants to see their best performances of the season happening in the most recent past and in the build-up to their “A” race, not spread out randomly over the course of the season.

Prescribing Correct Training Loads

Take a closer look at your PMC, specifically your CTL, and assess how consistent you were throughout your season. You can also look to cross-reference these charts with your TrainingPeaks training log to see when you might have over-reached in your training, wreaking havoc on your consistency. This allows you to better assess how to prescribe your training loads in the future.

Get your consistency right, make your training a daily priority and you will likely see a great PMC. More than just a good looking chart with clusters of your best performances, you will achieve results when it matters the most.

Good luck!