Iconic runner uses own innovative training method for Disney Half-Marathon after heart attack

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jeff Galloway has been called the most important person in the history of distance running.


It’s not an exaggeration to say his “Galloway Method” of training has changed the sport, making it more accessible to everyone.

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“We start usually with only five to 10 seconds of running, and 30 to 60 seconds of walking,” Galloway explained.

It’s impossible to calculate how many runners have used Galloway’s method to train for marathons. Now, Galloway says it probably saved his own life.

“Actually had a heart attack in April,” Galloway said. “So I’m on a comeback journey now, and the half is the longest I’ve done since that incident.”

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Galloway had just finished a training session  when he says he felt dizzy, and at one point, his heart stopped completely.

Galloway had to have five stents and a pacemaker installed. Running again, he thought, was never going to be an option.

“I was told by my cardiac team that you just have to do one step at a time, which I did,” Galloway recalled. “As I started my comeback, which started two and a half months after my incident, I started with only three seconds of running and then 45 to 60 seconds of walking.”

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Galloway was able to run the Disney Half-Marathon Saturday, finishing in just over 3 hours, 40 minutes.

It feels a little funny to say - but that was my hardest half marathon I have ever run! It was hard physically, it was...

Posted by Jeff Galloway on Saturday, January 8, 2022

At 76 years old, Galloway is also hoping to be back to running the full marathon by next year.

Even in his absence, the Galloway Method was visible all over the marathon course.

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“The Galloway method really helps me to get through the race, and also the recovery time,” marathon runner Brian Hurwitz said.

Hurwitz completed his 100th marathon over the weekend. He says he never would have made it without the Galloway method.

Galloway was an All-American at Florida State University and ran for Team USA in the 1972 Olympics.

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He developed his method shortly after when he was asked to coach a class for beginning runners.

“I do hear from people every single week who may come back similar to what I have done,” Galloway said. “I actually look forward to helping people do that, because my mission is to help people improve the quality of their lives, and these races allow that to happen.

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Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner, WFTV.com

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.

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