A part of Jeff Galloway’s training program is something called the Magic Mile. Every few weeks I’m supposed to run a mile at my top pace with the idea that I shouldn’t be able to go much further at e end. He likes you to warm up with some cadence drills (working on fast foot turn-over) and slow jogging. The recommendation is to go to a track where you have flat terrain and exact measurement of a mile. What makes the Magic Mile so, well, magic? According to Mr. Galloway the Magic Mile is the best predictor of race outcome for endurance races. Apparently you multiple your Magic Mile time by some mysterious “Galloway factor” and get an estimation of your race pace. Obviously the predictive power of this Mile depends on several additional factors: Did you actually do all (or most) of your training runs? Are you healthy and without injury on race day? Is the temperature on race day ideal (obviously extremely hot race day weather will necessitate a slower pace)? But overall it should give a decent idea of what to expect. The conversion factor is x 1.2 for Half Marathon and x 1.3 for Marathon. He even has a handy dandy calculator on his website where you plug in a Magic Mile time and get your predictions.
Although I wasn’t technically scheduled to run a Magic Mile until the fall, I had asked Mr. Galloway if it would be ok to start sooner. He said I could run a Magic Mile whenever I wanted (within preset limitations – it should be done on a weekend with a “short” long run and not a “long” long run). This past weekend I was scheduled to run 3 miles. The prior weekend was 8 miles and this upcoming weekend is 9 miles. My son wanted to come to the track with me anyway so it was a reasonable weekend to give it a go,
Life is never ideal so, of course, I overslept enough that my husband went out for his run before I got up (yes, Tom is getting fit – look out World!). I had to wait for him to return and it was already a warm and muggy morning. Then Nathaniel and I got to the track to find a Men’s soccer game taking place in the field. This wouldn’t affect my run but Nathaniel was planning to kick around a soccer ball while I ran. He declared he was bored before I even started. Despite the obstacles I was determined.
I warmed up with a mile of run 30 sec/walk 30 sec. I was trying to take it easy but clocked in at 12:23. And then it was time. I decided to run 1 lap and then walk 10-20 sec and then run the next lap. I didn’t track my splits. I was pretty spent at the end but clocked in at 9:39! I walked a lap before finishing my 3rd mile with a slow run 20 sec/walk 40 sec for 3 more laps.
I plugged my results into the Galloway Computer and found these results:

Half Marathon 2:31:42 or 11:35 min/mile. That’s close to my target pace for the More Magazine Half back in April. Illness in the weeks before the race and race day temps prevented that goal but it looks like I was on target.
Full Marathon 5:28:41 or 12:33 min/mile. Not far from what I had hoped to achieve in January.

I emailed my results today and Mr. Galloway seemed pleased. He told me that I should expect my Magic Mile time to improve throughout training. And apparently my weekly check-ins are full of useful details (?). I was a little surprised since I’m mostly just using the format he assigned. Do other people pay for ecoaching and then not follow it?

Anyway I’m very pleased with my training right now. I haven’t missed a run since starting ecoaching. I feel like I start each run with an idea of what I need to do. I have someone to answer questions (like how big should my hill be for hill repeats – turns out my hill was too hard). I truly feel like my email is read (I wished Jeff a belated Happy Birthday and he thanked me for that) and e answers help me think about training.

I’ve had many questions about ecoaching. I love it! But it’s not for everyone. I decided to take a leap of faith and do what I’m told (as anyone who knows me well can attest, that is a BIG leap!). The run/walk interval for long runs is much lower than my norm but I’m doing it anyway. I’m slowing down my long runs even when I know I can go faster because that’s what he says to do. I do my half mile repeats on Tuesdays and hill repeats on Thursdays along with cadence drills and acceleration gliders. I think if one is able to let go of preconceived training notions and follow his guidance, this will work for you. For me it’s definitely been a good decision,