Olympic Advice At Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The popular run-walk method has helped many finish their first 13.1-mile race.

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Jeff Galloway’s popular run-walk method has helped many finish their first 13.1-mile race.

Saturdays are usually my off days, but when you’re presented the rare opportunity to run with a former Olympian, you ditch the snooze button. So, I jumped on the chance to run with Jeff Galloway at the runDisney Meet-Up social media event held last Saturday.

The “Galloway’s Book of Running Author” and runDisney training consultant led 46 other runners at 6 a.m. on a brisk two-mile jog through Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure to practice his run-walk method. Due to time constraints, runners had to maintain a faster pace than the required 12-minute per mile, which was a challenge for some members of the diverse group.

Related Article: Jeff Galloway’s Tips For Running Injury-Free

The run finished at the Animation Academy at California Adventure where we gathered for keynote presentations by several speakers. John Phelan, show director for Disney Sports, spoke about the magic behind a runDisney event and the organization’s ultimate goal of story-telling throughout the course, while Lori Lovell, a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, talked about social media and her connection to the local endurance community.

“Rules of Engagement” actress Megyn Price, who recently finished the Nautica New York City Triathlon, was also in attendance to talk about her four-month training for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon­ – her first 13.1-mile race.

Finally, Galloway took to the stage in an open forum to discuss the benefits of his run-walk method, as well as his advice for those new to running. “The goal is to never huff and puff when you’re running and walking,” said Galloway. “You should be running at a comfortable pace and putting more walking into the mix. If you’re a beginner, run for 20 seconds and walk for 40 seconds to maintain the adaptation.”

Many participants praised Galloway during the presentation for the benefits they’ve seen, but for one runner, it has helped her pursue a passion otherwise hindered by a health condition.

Despite battling asthma, Annapolis, Md. resident Laura Manchester has completed 16 half marathons since she took up running in 2007 and has lost more than 70 pounds. The 36-year-old says the runDisney races are her favorite series and attributes Galloway’s run-walk method as the reason behind her ability to continue to run.

“I love running but can’t run too long because I’ll start to wheeze. When I discovered the run-walk method, I was able to train for longer races and not feel like I’m holding myself back just because I have asthma.” Manchester is a member of several running groups, including the Disney Running of the Ears club.

Participants for the runDisney Meet-Up event were selected on an invitation basis. The event was held in conjunction with the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend, which attracted more than 12,000 runners at the Disneyland Resort.

Jeff Galloway’s Race Day Tips for Beginners

* Consume 30-40 calories every two miles and limit your water intake to avoid an upset stomach.

* Eat 300 calories within 30 minutes of finishing your race, but if you’re going to eat a bigger meal, wait at least one hour.

* He doesn’t recommend carbo-loading post-race, but rather, a combination of 80 percent protein and 20 percent simple carbs.

* Get a massage three to four days after your race to avoid agitating your muscles.

* There’s always time in your schedule to train. Even if you only have 60 minutes to exercise during the weekdays, you can train for a half or full marathon.