Marathon: You Can Do It!
About the Author

In the 1970s, Jeff Galloway was one of a group of young American runners who would change distance running forever. Jeff and his running buddies — Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Steve Prefontaine, Don Kardong, Amby Burfoot, Kenny Moore, and others — captured the attention of a new generation of fitness-minded Americans, and the running boom was born. What had been a sport for the few became an activity for the millions.

Jeff was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, started running in the 8th grade, as a fat kid. Five years later he was was state champion in the 2-mile. He attended Wesleyan University and was All-American in crosscountry and track. In preparing for the 1972 Olympics, Jeff, along with Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler, spent two months training in the mountains at Vail, Colorado, and all three made the Olympic team that year. Jeff, according to runner/writer Joe Henderson “ . . . should have been an Olympic marathoner, but instead made the team in the 10K and then helped friend Jack Bacheler make it in the longer distance.”

In 1973 Jeff set an American record in the 10-mile. He won the first Atlanta Marathon at age 18, and was the first winner of Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race in 1970. In the mid-’70s he began to follow a training program that emphasized more rest and less weekly mileage, coupled with a long run every other week. At age 35 he ran the Houston-Tenneco Marathon in a personal lifetime record of 2:16.

Jeff Galloway’s Competitive Career

High school: 1-mile: 4:28;
2-mile: 9:48
College: 1-mile: 4:12;
2-mile: 9:06;
3-mile: 14:10
Other times: 6-mile: 27:21;
10K: 28:29;
10-mile: 47:49 (U.S. record, 1973)

Jeff met his wife Barbara at the Florida State track. Barbara was on the FSU women’s track team. They were married in 1976. Barbara runs practically every day and has competed in over 70 marathons. Her best 10K time is 41:50 and marathon time, 3:18.

Jeff is now on the road over half the time. Because of his busy schedule, he often runs 2–5 miles, two or three times per day. He generally totals about 40 miles a week. He has currently run 150 marathons, at the rate of 6–7 per year. Every ten years he returned to the site of his first victory, Atlanta, and beat his time of 2:56 as an 18-year-old. In 1993, at age 48, he ran just under 2:51.

Jeff and Barbara live in Atlanta, Georgia and their beach retreat: Blue Mountain Beach, Florida. Their two adult sons, Brennan and Westin, like their parents, are (naturally!) runners.