serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

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

posted by Chris Barber


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.