Sunday, August 26, 2007

Olympic Hopeful Jenny Crain Struck by Car

Olympic hopeful Jenny Crain, a 39 year old Wisconsin native, was struck by a car last Tuesday during a training run. Crain, described by friends and teammates as a giant in Wisconsin's tight-knit competitive running community, was jogging west on E. Brady St. when she was struck by a vehicle traveling south on N. Farwell Ave., police said

You can support Jenny and follow her status by logging into and enter supportjennycrain as the carepage name.

The running community is all praying and pulling for Jenny's recovery.

August 25, 2007

THE MESSAGE IS FROM JENNY’S FAMILY ( supportjennycrain carepage

Since the last update there has been some good news and a little mixed news. The good news is that it appears that the brain swelling seems to be decreasing and that her pupils are on the way to returning to normal. The mixed news is that the pressure on her brain was slightly elevated, which the doctors are addressing with various techniques. Overall the brain healing is moving in the right direction.

Aside from the specifics noted above, her condition remains very similar to the previous updates.

Overnight some of the bandages on Jenny’s head were removed revealing that a good portion of her hair has been shaved. Imagine what Jenny would think of her hair?

As we all know Jenny’s recovery will be very much like a marathon, with some miles better than others. Up hills and down hills. The wind at times in her face and at other points at her back. Most importantly with her fans and supporters by her side cheering her on throughout. We all know that team Jenny will “make it happen.”

Goucher 3rd at World Championships!

Alberto Salazar's use of altitude training appears to have worked it's magic on at least one of his athletes as Kara Goucher finished a surprising 3rd at the World Championships in the Women's 10,000.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Altitude Training- The Runners Edge

More than ever, elite runners and endurance athletes around the world are going to the mountains to breathe thin air and train their bodies to deal with stress. .

Alberto Salazar took his distance runners to Park City, Utah for 3 weeks of intense workouts at 8,000 feet.

Another insiders look here.

I can't wait to see how they perform in Osaka!

Read in detail the logic behind the high altitude strategy. Both articles are from the Oregonian.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The 10 Minute Run

Are you interested in staying fit just for the health of it? Maybe you do not really have a weight problem or care to be competitive. Perhaps walking takes too long or there is just no spare time to squeeze in regular trips to the gym. Consider trying the 10 minute run.

Before you jump to the conclusion that 10 minutes cannot possibly make any difference, take a look at the joint American College of Sports Medicine-American Heart Association recommendations for physical activity for healthy adults under the age of 65:

Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, twice a week

Since jogging and running qualify as vigorous, you will need to do a 10 minute run at least 6 days a week in order to meet the aerobic recommendation. At 10-minute mile pace, 6 runs add up to 1 hour of running, or 6 miles a week.

Is this enough? Previous recommendations for exercise stated that you had to spend at least 30 minutes at a sustained heart rate in order to be benefical. Not true. We now know that physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day and still be beneficial, and an hour a week of vigerous exercise would undoubtedly reduce the risk of suffering any number of chronic conditions and diseases even further.

The key to your results will be consistency. If you have been sedentary you will notice some improved fitness quickly with just 10 minutes a day. Make the 10 minute run a habit on 6 days a week and you will theoretically burn the equivlant of 10 or 11 pounds of fat at the end of a year. You will also rev up your metabolic rate, and gradually stimulate the development of fat-burning enzymes, both capable of enhancing fat loss.

If you want to improve even more, cheat a little by adding one longer run on the weekend. You can also set aside 1 or 2 of your mid-week sessions for a little tempo. After a 5 minute warm-up, pick up the pace for the next 5 minutes or alternate 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy.

The 10 minute run has many advantages.

1. You can usually spare a short block of time for changing and your actual workout. Fitting your run in before work will not take any noticable extra time for changing and showering since those are things you have to do anyway.

2. You will be less inclined to skip a 10 minute workout than one lasting 30 minutes or longer.

3. A 10 minute run can be squeezed in at any time during the day. Even at noon in the middle of summer just about everybody can tolerate 10 minutes of activity.

4. Once you get out the door for an intended 10 minute run, you may find it easy to talk yourself into adding a few extra minutes or distance.

For some time now health and fitness professionals have been preaching the importance of adding physical activity to your daily life by using stairs instead of elevators, parking farther away and taking frequent walking breaks. For many, those things simply may not be enough to make a noticeable difference. If that is the case, it may be time to add a daily 10 minute run.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Proper Breathing for Runners

There seems to be a great deal of confusion these days over the proper way to breathe while running or jogging.

According to the text Physiology of Sport and Exercise by Wilmore and Costill the need to breathe increases in direct proportion to the intensity of work. A mild workload such as brisk walking prompts expansion of the lungs and deeper breathing. As the work becomes more difficult, the rate of breathing also increases.

With the exception of conditions such as asthma, breathing should not limit your ability to run or perform exercise, even at hard efforts. The volume of air entering the lungs is not the problem; it is the body’s inability to extract and use enough oxygen to meet the increased demand that causes you to be out of breath (inspired air contains roughly 20% oxygen while expired air has about 16%).

Many beginning runners have been misled to believe that the proper way to breathe is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. While it is true that air is dryer and cooler when inhaled through the mouth, this should not pose a problem unless you are prone to exercise induced asthma.

I call this nose breathing technique self-induced asthma, since inhaling through the nose severely limits the volume of air that can be delivered to the lungs. I suspect this technique has a negative impact on running performance similar to asthma, particularly as speed increases.

Runners should be inhaling and exhaling through both nose AND mouth to a set pattern or rhythm. According to Jack Daniels, a well-respected coach and author of Daniels Running Formula, most elite runners breathe to a 2-2 rhythm. They breathe in while taking 2 steps and out while taking 2 steps. At an easy pace they may switch to a 3-3 rhythm.

2-2 breathing rhythm

Left foot- begin exhale
Right foot- continue exhale
Left foot- begin inhale
Right foot- continue inhale

One problem with this approach is the habit of always inhaling or exhaling on the same footfall, which some experts and coaches believe could be one explanation for side stitches. If you are one of those unfortunate runners prone to side aches, consider periodically switching which footfall you exhale on, or even change your breathing rhythm to exhale on alternating right and left footfalls. That gets a little tricky since you’ll have to adapt an uneven 3-2 or 4-3 breathing pattern (breathing out for more counts than breathing in).

3-2 breathing rhythm

Left foot- begin inhale
Right foot- continue inhale
Left foot- begin exhale
Right foot- continue exhale
Left foot - continue exhale
Right foot- begin inhale

According to DePaul University Track Coach Bill Leach, uneven breathing cycles are effective because pressure in the lung is lower than the atmosphere, causing air to rush in quickly. You’ll want to take a little longer to exhale, since leaving residual carbon dioxide in the lungs can impede the delivery of oxygen on the next inhale.

It will help if you practice your breathing pattern while walking before you start running. Carry the technique over to easy jogging and finally during hard race pace running.

Before long your new breathing pattern will become second nature during races and hard training sessions

(c) Dave Elger 2007 All rights reserved