Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Information on Preventing Dehydration

How many runners think its a good idea to chug extra water in the days leading up to a marathon?

According to an article in the December issue of Running Times Magazine by Calista Harbaugh and Mark Knepper, M.D., Ph.D., drinking too much water supresses the production of the hormone vasopressin. Vasopression, which acts as an antidiuretic by helping the body to preserve water, is typically produced when the body is dehydrated. When the body is in a constant state of overhydration, vasopressin does not get produced, resulting in a depletion of aquaporin-2, a "water channel" involved in the transport of water back to the blood.

In layman terms, when you drink too much water over time, your kidneys may not able to conserve water as efficiently when you begin to dehydrate.

Obviously more research needs to be conducted on this subject, but the authors suggest routine sweat-producing workouts and avoiding over-hydration between races.

Moose Sighting!

Last weekend on a 5 mile out and back trail run (South Skyline Trail) with Wendy Tong we came across not one, but 2 moose like this ( I took this photo in February of a moose in Breckenridge).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Running to the Limit by Paul Tergat

Who is Paul Tergat? If you aren't a fan of distance running, you might not have a clue.

Paul Tergat was born in 1969 in Riwo, Kenya, and here is a partial list of what he has accomplished in the world of distance running:

5,000 meters- 12:49 (1997)
10,000 meters- 26:27 (1997- world record)
Half Marathon- 59:17 (1998- world record)
Marathon- 2 hr 04 min:55 (2003-world record)
World Cross Country Champion (1995-1999)

If you want to know what it takes to be the best, pick up a copy of Tergat's book Running to the Limit, written with Jurg Wirz, Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2005. Here are a few exerpts:

sample week leading up to Tergat's world record marathon run

AM 30 min then 10 x 1,000 meters in 2:45 90 sec rest
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 15 min
PM 1 hr

AM 35 kilometers
PM recover

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 1 hr 10 min
PM 1 hr

AM 30 min, 20 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow
PM 1 hr

He follows a standard marathon training program that includes one long run, one long interval, and one short interval session per week. He mentions that his typical morning runs are always between medium and fast paced, with the afternoon run at slow to medium. The long runs "are not slow at all." Prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Tergat claims to have been running up to 300 kilometers per week-that's 187 miles.

Tergat's long time coach, Dr. Gabriel Rosa, suggests that training at higher elevations is valuable, as is training on hills. "Somebody who always runs on the flat will after some time lose his strength."

Rosa also thinks quality is more important than quantity- Tergat's 300 kilometer weeks being an exception to that rule. Rosa likes what he calls, "progressive running", or starting slow and ending fast. Runners converting from the track to the marathon must be patient- it's a different biochemistry and running technique.

Tergat thinks it's important for any runner to follow a long term plan. "It is easier to follow a certain training program when you know exactly what you are training for."

What does Tergat do other than running? He illustrates a few simple drills to improve running form, joint range of motion, speed, and strength. He mentions stretching in his sample training logs but does not go into any specifics.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Other Half in Moab

They call it "The Other Half". I guess the Canyonlands Half was first, but from what I've seen The Other Half does not take a back seat to any race.

Runners must take about a 30 mile bus ride out of Moab to Dewey Bridge, then run back on Hwy 128 to Sorrel Ranch- subjected to some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever find in a race anywhere.

I was surprised at how good I felt- just a good steady 6:30 pace with a little something left at the end- finishing in 1 hr 25 min 16 sec- 14th overall. results.

Plenty of support on the course and great refreshments. This is an outstanding event- congratulations to the race organizers and sponsors!

TOP 15
1. Ewen North Boulder CO 29 M 1:12:19 5:31
2. Nathan Hornok Salt Lake City 29 M 1:16:06 5:49
3. Bernie Boettcher Silt CO 45 M 1:17:38 5:56
4. Chad Derum Salt Lake City 35 M 1:18:37 6:00
5. Brad Anderson Salt Lake City 42 M 1:19:05 6:02
6. Kevin Koch Grand Junction 32 M 1:21:04 6:11
7. Richard Paradis Denver 42 M 1:21:13 6:12
8. Steven Sellars Superior 47 M 1:21:35 6:14
9. Keith Lederhaus Salt Lake City 23 M 1:21:49 6:15
10. Dakota Jones Durango 16 M 1:23:07 6:21
11. Nathan Drake Wheat Ridge 36 M 1:23:22 6:22
12. Ben Kadlec Boulder 25 M 1:23:35 6:23
13. Wade McFarland Logan UT 51 M 1:24:06 6:25
14. Dave Elger Mountain Green UT 54 M 1:25:16 6:31
15. Marisa Asplund-Owens Durango 30 F 1:25:25 6:31

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top American Marathon Coaches Give Their Views on Altitude Training

from runnersworld.com

Altitude is a topic we’ve been talking about for decades. What is your current thinking? Coach (Joe) Vigil says something near 7000 feet is ideal. Could you outline your philosophy of where altitude fits into the training of a marathoner?

Brad Hudson: I have two athletes at altitude and two athletes at sea level. I just want to emphasize that we believe strongly in altitude training. Some athletes do a little bit better at altitude than our others. The real reason that we’re using Eugene (Oregon) at sea level right now is because of the soft surfaces, and the last month of training, all my athletes are at sea level doing more specific work for the marathon. We believe strongly and altitude and we think Boulder is a great place for training…. It’s 5200 feet or 5300, and we actually think the stress and the time are a little bit slower than that. So I don’t necessarily believe in any sort of magic altitude…. It’s just how you use it in training and how you prepare specifically for a race. At the end of the day, the races are at sea l level, and so I think using sea level in our training takes a little bit of the mystery out of how we’re going to do in the race. We know where we’re going, especially close to the race.

Terrance Mahon: The mystery with altitude is that people get a little too complicated with it. I consider altitude as a stressor on an athlete’s typical training regimen, and I don’t see it actually as that much different than the stressor or, let’s say, weigh training or running up a hill or doing sprints. If you look at it like that, you’re obviously going to see that different athletes are going to adapt differently to different stresses on their body. For example, there are certain athletes who get quicker gains in the weight room than another athlete, and the same applies to altitude. So what we look at is altitude as a stressor component within our system, so it’s going to be different for different types of athletes. One, it’s going to vary from year to year, depending on how long an athlete has been at altitude …. I don’t think there’s a magic in terms if saying "hey, there’s an altitude of 7000 feet, and that’s the best altitude," because for a new athlete, maybe 4000 feet or 5000 feet is the stress that their body can handle at that time given all the other stresses that are going on in the training work load, be it volume, speed, intensity, density…. If we take someone like a Ryan Hall, who’s pretty much been at altitude, 6000 feet or higher, since he was a young boy, his adaptation to that stress as such isn’t as hard as the next person. What we’ve actually looked at this year Ryan is we’ve brought him up to 9000 feet because we found we weren’t getting as much of a stress at 8000 feet and we’re looking to add that tiny bit of stimulus to the system to improve his running economy.

Keith Hanson: Obviously, our group trains in the suburbs of Detroit and we like the training area because it is very soft surfaces. Eighty percent of our mileage is probably done on dirt, between trails and dirt roads. Certainly I agree with Terrence; it’s obvious that running at altitude is a stressor…. A Brian Sell, for example, counters that will running very high volume. Brian is a consistent 150-plus milers per week athlete when he’s training for a marathon. That’s the sort of thing that gives Brian confidence. Brian would be a good example, in my opinion, of somebody who would have difficulty at altitude because it would be somewhat suicidal of him to run his 150 to 160 miles per week at altitude …. It would actually be, in my opinion, a disadvantage with the mentality that Brian has and the strength that he gains from that mentality to put him at altitude.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kenyan Training Secrets

Check out this great article on training with the Kenyans posted on GreatRun.org.

Key points to Kenyan living

*Start runs very slowly but accelerate until at the end you are running very, very hard.

*Run sessions very, very hard.

*Follow runs with a full range of stretching, drills, sit ups and medicine ball work.

*Watch TV at all times between training except when eating or reading.

*Take a nap if there is nothing on TV.

*Eat ugali as much as possible. Does your sweat carry the feint smell of maize? If not eat more ugali.

*When you walk, walk slowly. Very slowly.

*Run only on grass or tracks. Walk to the park rather than running there. Remember to walk slowly.

*Make your tea using milk instead of water and add sugar in the kind of quantity you would normally add milk.

*Do not train in the rain unless absolutely necessary.

"Rest. That is the secret no-one knows. No-one realises how much rest they get. It is why Kenyans train so hard."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

High Blood Pressure and Exercise

According to the CDC, between the years of 1999-2002, 30.6% of all women and 28.8% of men in the U.S. were taking medication to lower blood pressure.

More statistics from The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute :

*More than 72 million American adults — 1 in 3 — have high blood pressure

*Nearly 60 million Americans are over age 55 which means they have a 90 percent likelihood of developing high blood pressure in their lifetimes.

*20 million Americans have diabetes which increases their chances of developing high blood pressure.

*142 million American adults are overweight or obese which increases their chances of developing high blood pressure.

NHLBI also lists the reasons why those with high blood pressure (140/90 or greater)
should be concerned:

*High blood pressure is a factor in 67 percent of heart attacks in the United States.

*High blood pressure is a factor in 77 percent of strokes—the #3 cause of death in the United States.

*High blood pressure precedes 74 percent of cases of heart failure in the United States.

*High blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States—responsible for 26 percent of all cases.

*High blood pressure causes more visits to doctors than any other condition—just a 10 percent decline in the number of visits would save $450 million each year.

*High blood pressure affects circulation—creating a higher risk for mental deterioration and Alzheimer's.

Besides diet, physical activity plays an extremely important role in the management of this damaging condition. ANYBODY TAKING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THAT IS NOT GETTING 30 MINUTES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK (unless under the direction of a physician) should re-evaluate their priorities (like how important is it to stay alive!). It's that important, and it's not that difficult.

According to mayoclinic.com, regular activity can lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 10 mm of mercury, the same as some blood pressure medications. A stonger, more efficient heart, improved circulation (less resistance to blood flow), better management of stress, and weight loss are some of the obvious ways that regular exercise can impact high blood pressure.

Always seek the advice of a physician prior to starting exercise, especially if you have any existing medical conditions or cardiovascular risk factors and you are unaccustomed to working out. Mayclinic.com offers the following advice before getting started. See a doctor first if...

1. you are a male over 40 or female over 50
2. you smoke
3. you are overweight or obese
4. you have another chronic condition such as high cholesterol
5. you have a family history of heart-related problems before age 55 (parent or
6. you feel pain in your chest or become dizzy with effort
7. you are not sure of your health status

Regardless, you should always start easy- for some that may be as little as 1-2 minutes at a time with rest intervals sandwiched in between, not letting yourself get winded. As you get stronger, the length of your exercise intervals (walk, stationary bike, swim, or any other activity of an aerobic nature that you enjoy) can gradually increase until you can keep moving for 30 minutes continuously. Those who are able to continue will notice significant changes in the way they feel after just a few short months. And a lower blood pressure (keep in mind that what and how much you are eating is also very important). Later, for additional benefits you can add weight training, using relatively light weights and a high number of repetitions (20 or more).

One final note- if you don't know your blood pressure, have it checked! High blood pressure usually has no symptoms until it is too late!

(c) Dave Elger, 2007. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How Running & Exercise Can Impact the Behavior of ADHD Children

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)is one of the most common mental disorders in children. Neurologist Dr. Fred Bauman reports on adhd-report.com that in 1985, 500,000 children were diagnosed with ADHD. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 3-5% of American children today have ADHD- approximately 2 million.

While the medical community studies possible causes and solutions to this growing problem, Dr. Michael S. Wendt, Ed.D. thinks he has found a primary cause.

"The first indication that I was onto something surfaced when I compared the decrease in fitness and activity levels of children with the rising incidence of psychosomatic disorders over the past ten years. There was a direct inverse relationship."

This great article on kidsrunning.com summaries some of the work done by Dr. Wendt, including a 6-week study that linked significant improvements in the behavior of ADHD children when enrolled in a supervised exercise program.

No kidding.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Does Altitude Training Help- or Not?

Many coaches and athletes are convinced that altitude training gives them an edge over their sea-level trained competitors. According to legendary distance Joe Vigil, "Since 1968, 95% of all Olympic and World Championship medals from the 800 through the Marathon were won by athletes who lived or trained at altitude...It can therefore be concluded that altitude training is necessary for success in endurance events." Renowned Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar has his athletes (including Kara Goucher who recently set the American record for the half marathon) sleeping at altitude using simulation equipment and tents.

At altitude, the body adapts by increasing red blood cells and hemoglobin, stimulated by higher levels of EPO. Logically this should give endurance athletes an edge.

Not everyone agrees. Athletes training in Madison, Wisconsin such as 2-mile American record holder Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky (5 time NCAA champ) train and sleep exclusively at sea level.

Owen Anderson, PhD, a leading expert on endurance training and performance, does not think altitude training helps. Anderson writes in this article published at runnersweb.com, "Overall, VO2max dropped by around 6.3 percent for each 1000-foot increase in altitude (above the baseline of 1000 feet). As VO2max declines, workouts at high-quality paces become much-more difficult to handle."

You would think that science would have this figured out by now. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Runner's Account of Learning to Swim

Running and swimming are as different as night and day- one is weight bearing, one is not. One uses the upper body significantly more than the other. Muscle recruitment is different. And so on.

Amy Burfoot, a one-time winner of the Boston Marathon, gives this colorful account in runnersworld.com of how he mastered swimming a mile non-stop.

Amby went to Total Immersion creator Terry Laughlin for guidance.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Aerobic Exercise PLUS Strength Training Best Approach for Diabetes Control

"After roughly five months, all three exercise groups showed an overall improvement in their hemoglobin A1c, a blood test that measures blood-sugar control. However, the group that combined aerobic and strength conditioning had the greatest improvement.

If there were a pill that showed such an effect, it would be readily prescribed, write the authors of an editorial published with the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine"

- Lifescript.com

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Olympic Marathon Trials Preview

Read all about the upcoming men's Olympic marathon trials in New York City November 3. Profiles of top runners, course information, complete list of qualifiers, prize money breakdown, and much more! Chasing Glory, nyyr.org

The women will run in Boston on April 20, the day prior to the Boston Marathon. The website,posted by the Boston Athletic Association, is bostontrials2008.com. One more reason to run Boston in 2008!

More is Not Always Better!

I found this great journal entry by Brandon O'Keefe on the New York Road Runners website. Brandon relates how injuries forced him to repace running days with cycling, with astounding results!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Nutrition for Ultra Endurance Events

How much should you drink during a marathon or ultra? Debra Wein, MS, RD, LDN summarizes the latest findings in this article published in National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. Wein contends that the current American College of Sports Medicine position statement on fluid intake during exercise exceeding an hour (600-1200 ml per hour) may actually be too high for ultra athletes performing at a low intensity or smaller athletes with lower metabolic and sweat rates.

Recommendations for the Ironman distance:

500-800 ml per hour during the bike portion (500 ml is slighly more than 16 ounces)
300-500 ml per hour during the run portion (300 ml is about 10 ounces)
(lightweight athletes even less)

.3-.7 grams of sodium per liter (.5 grams equals .017 ounces)

The obvious problem with this article is failure to take into account the environmental factors that influence sweat rates, namely heat, humidity, wind, and direct sunlight.

It's a good practice for runners to always weigh themselves before and after long runs, and keep track of how much fluid is consumed- the goal is to always try to keep weight loss less than 2% of total body weight.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

XTERRA 10K National Championship Trail Run- Sept 29, Incline Village, NV

As you can see, the course had a few twists, including these 2 logs that we had to run across twice. I am happy with the way I ran, finishing 9th overall in 39:11-5th in the National Championships but 2nd in the 50-59 age group to Kevin Tuck from Salt Lake City, a guy that I have yet to even come close to. I definitely felt the altitude difference- Tahoe is 6,200 feet. RESULTS

I have a few more pictures posted here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Goucher Shatters American Record in Half Marathon

American Kara Goucher upset marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe in a stunning 66 min 57 sec at the Great North Run Half Marathon in Tynside, England on Sunday. Goucher, who won the bronze medal at 10,000 in this year's World Championships in Osaka, was running her first half marathon.

"....her times at 15km (47:36), 10 miles (50:59) and 20km (63:33) were also quicker than any US athlete has run before."

Kara is coached by former Oregon great Alberto Salazar. Go here for the full story.

Two other Salazar coached athletes, 2006 NCAA X country champ Josh Rohatinsky and Kara's husband Adam place 5th and 6th. results

Salazar is a firm believer in using a stint of altitude training prior to big races (see this great article published last Aug in the Oregonian).

Geb Finally Does it- 2 hr 04 min 26 sec!

BERLIN, Sept 30 (Reuters) Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie shattered a marathon world record on Sunday in Berlin...

Hallie believes 2 hours will be broken. iaaf.org

Berlin Marathon Top 10 Results:


1. Haile Gebrselassie ETH 2:04:26
2. Abel Kirui KEN 2:06:51
3. Salim Kipsang KEN 2:07:29
4. Philip Manyim KEN 2:08:01
5. Mesfin Adimasu ETH 2:09:49
6. Lee Troop AUS 2:10:31
7. Arkadiusz Sowa POL 2:12:00
8. Joseph Kahugu KEN 2:12:08
9. Tomohiro Seto JPN 2:12:21
10. Ignacio Caceres ESP 2:12:46


1. Gete Wami ETH 2:24:26
2. Irina Mikitenko GER 2:24:51
3. Helena Kirop KEN 2:26:27
4. Irina Timofeyeva RUS 2:26:54
5. Naoko Sakamoto JPN 2:28:33
6. Hayley Haining GBR 2:30:43
7. Rose Nyangacha KEN 2:31:33
8. Leonor Carneiro POR 2:31:41
9. Angeline Flueckiger-Joly SUI 2:35:57
10. Eva-Maria Gradwohl AUS 2:36:21

Don't Be a Race Bandit- Even if Your Last Name is Galloway

The following is an exerpt from www.sailfishstriders.com. The Sailfish Striders is a running club that I founded back in the mid 1980s. Located on Florida's Treasure Coast, they take pride in putting on races with accurate courses, organized finish lines, and quick results. See what happens when runners decide to run but don't bother to register-

The Beach To Beach 5K Race had a confluence of unusual factors that led to errors in processing the results the night of the race, and every effort was made to find and correct any and all errors before disseminating them to the media. If you believe that an error is still displayed in the results, then please send an e-mail to Race Director Mike Melton and explain why you think an error exists. Mike has all the documentation from the event and will diligently determine if your inquiry has any validity, and if it does, then the error will be corrected immediately.

A record crowd of runners, the vacation season, a record number of race bandits (including former Olympian Jeff Galloway), pull tag failures, runners exiting the chute before being recorded, and timer printer problems all contributed to the situation.

In conducting more than 400 events in our Club's history, this is the first time we have had this experience, and we will do everything within reason to ensure that it does not occur again! Thank you for your understanding!