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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Galloway’

Jeff Galloway on Running…a Business (2 of 2)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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In 1975 Jeff Galloway started his first running training camp, starting with Lake Tahoe, California.  Jeff says, “I just wanted an excuse to go train out in Tahoe.”  This excuse grew into the extensive network of training groups and retreats all across the United States which Jeff still conducts today.  He also has expanded these retreats Internationally to Greece and soon to Japan, for a total of 90 Galloway training events a year.  Typically Jeff will conduct 5-hour schools in each city where he will go over individuals’ form and give initial evaluations.  From there, runners contact Jeff via email as he monitors their progress and alters their training schedules based off performance and how they are feeling during the training plan.  So how does Jeff have to the time to do all this?  He constantly works.  He said, “I answer every email sent to me, it may be 2 months before you get a response, but I’ll answer it.”  Jeff estimates he responds to about 100 runner’s questions a day!  This may take a lot of work, but this is what Jeff attributes his business success to, helping people and making connections.  Jeff always wanted to help people and improve their quality of life and is at heart a teacher.  Because of this, he talks to a lot of people which has helped his business.  Jeff says, “The best marketing is word of mouth.”  Another marketing technique of Jeff Galloway’s ventures is event driven, like the event happening at his store Phidippides at Ansley Mall in Atlanta, GA, this Saturday where you can get a chance to run with and speak with Jeff Galloway himself!  An free event like that is sure to create some buzz!

Jeff also said that from listening and working with so many different types of runners he is able to improve his expertise in running.  Someone who has helped train over 250,000 people has probably seen it all, but that doesn’t stop Jeff Galloway from continuing to learn and modify his training plans.  When asked what is greatest accomplishment has been he didn’t say winning the first Peachtree Road Race or running the Olympic games, he said,”Helping so many people and being able to hear from them.”  Jeff is amazed at how strong running has gotten and that people who are out of shape are taking up running, and some with his help are running marathons!  Something he never imagined would ever be possible!  However, I think the running boom of the early 1980s is something he helped make possible from the word of mouth buzz he created from his shoes stores to his books to his training programs.  Jeff Galloway has positively touched many people’s lives throughout his business career and continues to do it today.  Why?  Because he enjoys helping people.  Probably the best strategic business plan ever.

Jeff Galloway on Running…a Business (1 of 2)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

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I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Galloway on building and running a business.  Not only is Jeff a very accomplished athlete, being on the 1972 Olympic team, breaking the U.S. 10-mile record in 1973, and winning such races as the very first Peachtree Road Race, the Honolulu Marathon, and the Atlanta Marathon, but he has also become very successful in the running industry.  Jeff Galloway has become an expert in the sport of running, writing best-selling books such as “Galloway’s Book on Running,” starting Phidipiddes Running specialty store, starting many inaugural races, and training over 250,000 people in Jeff Galloway’s Training Programs.  As a runner and an aspiring entrepreneur, Jeff Galloway inspires me.  That is why I wanted to ask Jeff some questions about his experience in the business of running.

Jeff Galloway’s first entrepreneurial venture was Phidippides running specialty store in 1973.  He started the first one in Tallahassee, Florida with a partner who was one of his professors in graduate school.  While Jeff wanted to keep the sporting goods store running specific, his partner wanted to expand the product line.  In 1975 Jeff and his partner decided to part ways so Jeff could start a running specialty store in Atlanta.  Phidippides was one of the first running specialty stores in North America.  Here Jeff developed their unique running shoe fitting process which enables Phidippides employees to match the right shoe to the person.  Phidippides still uses this superior fit process today without special gadgetry, which has given better results than the fit processes of their competitors.  This superior process, along with being one of the first to the running specialty stores market, made a perfect opportunity to franchise Phidippides.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s Phidippides was franchised for a nominal fee.

From Phidippides, Jeff Galloway’s other entrepreneurial ventures were bred.  Jeff says, “A lot of entrepreneurial things came out of the store, the most important thing is to wait until demand reaches a critical mass, then you react.”  In 1978, at the request of many of his Phidippides customers, Jeff began developing training plans and giving running advice.  He would conduct training sessions in Atlanta and also began to communicate training plans with other runners outside of Atlanta via phone, fax, or even letter.  This lead to his very successful training clinics, events, and retreats that he currently conducts all across the Nation and the World!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about how Jeff was able to leverage his running experiences and knowledge to develop some of the most popular training programs in the World and become an expert in the running industry!

Learning about Running from Jeff Galloway

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Today I had the special privilege of meeting and speaking with one of the running industry’s forefathers, great entrepreneurs, and savy marketers, and oh yeah, and a pretty good runner too, Jeff Galloway.

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Jeff Galloway told the group about how he started running.  He chose running cross-country because it was the easiest sport to participate in the 8th grade.  The coach was rather laid back and the participants could go run in the woods and then sit there until it was time to come out again.  Jeff did this for the first couple of days until some other kids told him that he was going to run with them.  So he ran and ended up keeping pace because he wanted to hear the funny stories the other runners were telling about their classmates.  From there Jeff was hooked on running.  Maybe you’ll get hooked on running too.  But you will never know until you get out there and run.  Run with a running club or group for extra motivation like Jeff did!  Maybe you’re a world class athlete and don’t even know it yet!

Jeff Galloway went on to not only be a lover of running, but also a great competitor.   However, not until his Senior year of High School did he finally qualify for State Championship in Georgia.  He then went on to run at Wesleyan college, then went into the Navy, and from there went to graduate school at Florida State University where he had two missions; one to get a graduate degree and the other to train for the Olympic trials.  He trained with Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler in the mountains of Vail, Colorado and qualified for the Olympic team in the 10,000 meter race; however, Jeff says his greatest thrill was dropping back so Jack Bacheler could qualify for the last spot on the Olympic marathon team.  Jeff was an alternate.  This is one of the aspects of running that Jeff Galloway fell in love with, the mutual respect that distance runners have for each other, no matter what speed or what distance.  Jeff also was the 1st winner of the Peachtree Road Race in a field of 110 in 1970.  He told us there were even cars on the road in the first Peachtree Road Race because the race director hadn’t let the city know that they would be running right down the center of the busiest street in Atlanta.  Jeff Galloway then became involved with the race directing of the Peachtree Road Race and persuaded some of the top national athletes to run it.  During this time he grew the Peachtree Road Race from 1200-12,000 participants which has now grown to be capped at 55,000 people which makes it the World’s largest 10K.

As you can see, Jeff Galloway isn’t just a great runner, he’s an entrepreneur, a marketer, and an innovator.  He has written over 18 books, including the best selling running book in North America, Galloway’s Book on Running.  He started one of the first running specialty stores in the United States, Phidippides.   He has conducted over 500 fitness events, does over 200 talks a year, and has coached over 200,000 runners.  He told me he works 16 hours a day and makes contact with at least 100 people a day.  He’s what you call a “connector.”  How does he do it?  By always meeting and talking with new people.  He told me he answers every email he receives, although he did admit that some particular emails may take a couple of months to respond to.  Jeff Galloway is probably one of the few people in the World who wishes email was never invented.

He’s become an innovator by learning as much as possible about running and how it effects your body.  In his book, Running Until You’re 100, he discusses how to take care of your legs and feet and avoid aches and pains at a later age.  But perhaps the most innovative and popular idea and technique of Jeff Galloway’s is the run/walk method for marathon training.  I have personally never tried this method, but the concept is that you run for a pre-determined amount of time, say 8 minutes, and then walk for one minute, then do it again until you reach your distance.  The idea is that you avoid putting as much stress on your body.  A serious runner I spoke with told me that she used this method in training for a marathon and found that it did make her recovery a lot quicker after a long run (plus some walking) day.  She also had trained for marathons using a normal running method.  Anything that takes stress off your body has got to be a good thing.  You can pursue your running addiction the rest of your life!

I’d like to thank Jeff Galloway for taking the time to talk with me, but also for developing and promoting the running industry to be what it is today.  Congratulations on all the successes Jeff, you deserve it.

Check out Jeff Galloway’s website for more information.