Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chris Solinsky Looks Ready for a Big Year in 2009- One Year AFTER the Olympics

Good interview with Chris Solinsky, one of the bright new American distance stars (13:12 pr in the 5K). Chris plans a trip to Australia in Feb. to experiment with the steeplechase. It just might be his race- and the US hasn't had much on the international scene in this event in many years.

If you follow track, then you know that Chris finished 5th in the 5000 meters at the US Olympic Trials. He reflects on what went wrong, and what he is now doing different (I still am dumbfounded that he went just about a full year without running a 5K, and then expected to be race ready at the Trials- what were they thinking?).

In the video, he does look thinner, and claims to have lost 10 pounds through high mileage and a cleaner diet (why wasn't this done in preparation for the Olympics?)

I've been saying for some time that competing in cross country is a key strength building component for a great track season. For some reason Chris took a low key approach to training throughout the fall. Another key oversight.

Hindsight is 20-20. Look for Chris to have an outstanding track season. We'll find out soon enough if the steeplchase will be his best race- at least he is giving it a shot to find out. (c) Dave Elger 2008 All rights reserved

Training Update Tues, Dec 30

pm: 1 mile with Sumo, then 13.5 miles in 2 hrs. Decided on another long slow run. Did sort of a fartlek workout on the way back - able to pick it up on the dry the patches. Nothing really hard but I am pleased with the way I was able to finish up. This is a slow reintroduction to race pace running. Another recovery day tomorrow- I feel beat.

Total miles = 14.5
Total miles for the week= 30.5

Training Update-Mon Dec 29

2 miles with Sumo- basically no run today.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Training Update Sunday Dec 28

pm: 1 mile with Sumo, then 13 miles in 1 hr 50. All but 3 miles on clear roads.
Total miles = 14.
Felt much better than any recent runs. Able to finish much stronger, back discomfort not as noticeable. I've been doing extensions on the exercise ball almost daily.

Training Update- Sat Dec 27

am: 2 miles with Sumo
pm: 4 miles
very little sleep last night

total for the week = 67 miles
Not bad- the 2 hour runs on these snow covered roads and trails are very tough but getting slightly easier.

Training Update-Fri Dec 26

am: 3 miles easy with Sumo
Total for the week - 61 miles

Friday, December 26, 2008

Training Update- Thurs Dec 25

am: 1 mile with Sumo, then 14 miles in 2hrs plus. Did not feel too bad until the last 2.

Total miles= 15
Total for the week= 58

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Compression Running Socks

Dave's Running and Fitness Store

I have not heard of this until recently, but apparently more runners are racing and training in tight fitting compression socks, theoretically to enhance circulation in the lower extremities. According to this Running Times article, a study presented at the 2007 American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans suggested there were no statistically significant differences in maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate or minute ventilation between treadmill runners who wore compression socks and those who did not. According to the study, conducted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, subjects did, however, show a faster lactate recovery rate after exercise when wearing the compression socks, suggesting that compression socks might speed recovery after a strenuous workout or a race.

Once Upon A Time by William Fink

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, sometime
after Harvey discovered the circulation of blood, or
maybe it was after Lavoisier discovered oxygen
(I'm not sure), Leroy "Bud" Getchell returned to Ball
State after obtaining his doctorate from the
University of Illinois, having sat at the feet of one T.
K. Cureton. "We need to start an exercise
physiology lab," he said, with stethoscope and
Heartometer in hand. And so he did. That was
1965. He bought a Monarck ergometer, much to
the dismay of the University, who thought that $500
was quite a lot of money for a bicycle without

MY COMMENT: Boy does this ever bring back memories! I was a graduate student at Ball State from 1977-1979 and spent many long hours in the Human Performance Lab there with Dr. Getchell and Dr. Costill.

Training Update-Wed Dec 24 Christmas Eve!

1 mile with Sumo, then 9 miles, mostly trail.
total = 10 miles
total for the week = 43 miles

Training Update Tues, Dec 23

Check out some of the stuff I've been running on.

am: 3 miles with Sumo on trail. Not much sleep last night and feeling tired from 2 previous days. I could have gone more but decided to save it for a quality run tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Training Update-Mon Dec 22

am: 2 miles with Sumo, then 13 miles in the snow- 2 hours. Very similar to Sunday.
Total= 15 miles
Total for the week= 30 miles

Monday, December 22, 2008

Books Added to Running and Fitness Store

I've added several books to the store. I am interested in Out of Nowhere, Geoff Hollister's inside look at the early days of Nike and John Parker's sequel to Once A Runner titled Again to Carthage. I even found a book on Hashing!

Training Update-Sunday Dec 21

am: 2 miles with Sumo, then about 2 hours later ran 13 miles in 2 hours. These runs are very hard for me for a couple of reasons. I have not been carrying any nutrition or water, did not get much of anything for breakfast, and running on snow may be more difficult than I realize.

Total miles = 15

My upper back discomfort does not help. I've been carefully doing some back extensions on the exercise ball daily.

Training Update- Sat Dec 20

am- easy 4 miles with Sumo. I was tempted to go another 10 miles to pad my weekly total, but decided to rest up for Sunday.

Total miles for the week was 71, all slow runs on snow. No doubt my highest weekly total in several years.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Upper Back Pain Update

I've decided my upper back pain is not related to anything I am doing running. More than likely it's from spending more time at the computer in a slumped position. I am continuing the extension exercise but concentrating more on correct sitting posture. I am also ordering a back brace for $11.95

Training Update-Fri Dec 19

Not much sleep last night so getting out the door was a challenge.
am: 4 miles easy with Sumo, then 6 miles. I ran trail with Sumo which
was very tough and very slow, so kept on snow covered road for the 6.

Tried run a decent tempo since it's been over a week since I've done so but ran out of gas the last 2 miles. My legs felt dead!

Total = 10 miles
Total for the week= 67 miles

Friday, December 19, 2008

Upper Back Pain

I've noticed some discomfort in my upper back during long runs, I suspect due to muscle weakness. I think I've just gotten weak over time and developed a forward lean- I'll focus on back extensions and lay on the foam roller (placed along the spine) a few minutes a day and see what happens. The older you get, the more these problems begin to pop up- Good Posture!

Training Update- Thurs Dec 18

am- 1 mile with Sumo, then 9 miles all run on snow at 9 min per mile. Schools closed today- did a couple of miles in the woods on trail- beautiful.

Total= 10 miles
Total for the week= 57 miles in 5 days

Running on snow cleared pavement now feels odd.

Flexibility and Running Economy

The significant relationship demonstrates that the less flexible distance runners tended to be more economical, possibly as a result of the energy-efficient function of the elastic components in the muscles and tendons during the stretch-shortening cycle. -ncbi

MY COMMENT: They used a sit and reach test on 20 year old subjects. I suspect that the result might be different if hip range of motion or even hamstring flexiblilty were measured in masters runners. There are much better tests than sit and reach for assessing flexibility.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Training Update- Wed Dec 17

am- 1 mile with Sumo
pm- 8 miles. slow- mostly snow covered trail. This is hard psychologically as well as physically.

Total miles= 9
Total for the week= 47

Got Lance?

Check out the Lance Armstrong items- a great idea for last minute Christmas gift!

New Running Shoes for Under $40!

I picked up a pair of Saucony Grid Formula TR at Big Five Sports for $39.99- they feel great! Replace the removable insole with something a little more stable. I am using Spenco's Polysorb Total Support Premium Insole.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, Dec 16

am: 4 easy miles with Sumo
pm: 8 miles easy= felt great! we have snow so footing is slippery on the trail.

Total for the day= 12 miles
Total for the week= 38 miles (Sun-Tues)

Footlocker Championships- Hasay Outsmarts the Rest

Watch the video- in my opinion 5th place finisher Allie McLaughlin, despite some terrible upper body running form, should have won this race. She tried the same tactic that Samuel Chelenga employed against Galen Rupp in the NCAA meet- unsuccessfully. Pay attention high school runners!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Running Tips from Paula Radcliffe

• You don't need to run every day. Take proper time off after a marathon to allow your body to recover. Radcliffe takes two weeks.

• The building blocks of Radcliffe's basic training are short runs - either five 2km runs or six runs of a mile. Then she adds in a long run, which she progressively extends throughout her training.

• If you suffer from stiff calves (as I do), wear knee-high compression socks.

• Training can be mentally harder than the actual race. When you hit a wall in a marathon, recall these "rough spots" from training as evidence you can get through it.

• If you are struggling, use disassociation techniques to take your mind off the pain. Slowly count to 100 three times, which covers a mile (for Radcliffe).

By the time she has finished, she usually feels fine again.

Monday, Dec 15

am- 2 miles with Sumo
pm- 8 miles slow- felt better the longer I ran.

total miles = 10

"Run long, run daily, drink little and don't eat like a pig" Dr. Ernst Van Aaken

Ernst Van Aaken (1910-1984)

Van Aaken's key rules for running:
(As found on page 56 of The Van Aaken Method)

* "Run daily, run slowly, with creative walking breaks"

* "Run many miles, many times your racing distance if you are a track runner; up to and often beyond if you are a long distance runner. Do tempo running only at fractions of your racing distance."

* "Run no faster during tempo runs than you would in a race."

* "Bring your weight down 10-20% under the so-called norm and live athletically- i.e., don't smoke, drink little or no alcohol, and eat moderately."

* "Consider that breathing is more important than eating, and that continous breathlessness in training exhausts you and destroys your reserves."

Here is an interesting discussion of Van Aaken's methods on

Dec 14

am- easy 2 miles with Sumo
3 hours later, 14 miles easy, but my legs were very fatigued in the last 3 miles. I ran farther than I wanted to. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Total for the day= 16 miles

Saturday, December 13, 2008

High Mileage Experiment

How many miles do you run on a weekly basis? Somebody asked me that the other day, and to be honest I don't really count.

How many miles CAN I run in a week at 55 years of age? Other than still feeling the effects of a cold, running is getting back to normal. Last night I did 50 minutes at a reasonable pace, and this morning I did 13 miles.

I was out enjoying my first long run since Seattle, and about 6 miles from home my phone rang- I was supposed to be at school teaching, a job I signed up for last week that I forgot about. I ran back as fast as I could, hitching a ride the last 2 miles. Hard workout!

I'll take an easy one tomorrow, then starting Sunday I am going to see how many miles I can do in 7 days, with a 70 mile target. I plan to keep the pace sensible with nothing longer than 14 miles at a time.

The other day I tweaked something in my left foot- I feel a sharp pain if I move it wrong but doesn't seem to bother me running in my heaviest, sturdiest pair of old Adidas. I've been using my new electrical stim unit on it- who knows?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Training Update

I am slowing getting back into a training regiment. After a couple days of very slow jogging up to 45-50 minutes, I did the standard 4 mile loop in 25:40 or so last night. Still nothing on the calender other than thoughts of a spring marathon.

Upper Body Work for Runners-Keep it Simple

While I am not sure that upper body strength has anything to do with your ability to run a marathon or 5K, unless you bulk up it certainly can't hurt. I do know that everybody, non runners included, should be doing some sort of resistance exercise on a regular basis.

As a runner, in order for me to stick to a regular strength program it has to be simple, quick, and convenient. My equipment includes dumbbells, tubing, ankle weights, and an exercise ball. About the only piece I would like that I am missing is a pull-up bar.

My exercises include:

overhead press
upward rows
bicycle routine (ab work on the floor)
back extension
hindu squats
side leg raises

Get into the habit of spending a few minutes doing 2-3 of these on a daily basis, with something different each time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Alkaline Water- Does it Do Anything?

There are those who believe and those who don't. Ionized or alkaline water has been called "snake oil" by skeptics, while others believe that drinking high pH water can improve health. I personally own a Jupiter Water Ionizer, and while I have no evidence that it's doing anything for me, I've heard enough testimonials to make me think there is something to this.

It also makes sense to me that the benefits of drinking alkaline water for endurance athletes would be significant in terms of recovery and maintenance of optimal health.

Check out this Japanese youtube clip on studies with chickens and mice fed alkaline water. If nothing else it will make you think about it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Electrical Stimulation for Running Injuries

I recently purchased this Digital Therapy Machine after a free demo. at the Seattle Marathon Runner's Expo. Let me tell you- this thing is powerful!

Electrical stimulation has been used for healing different types of injury including fractures, and injury to the neck and back area. Trigger points and muscle spasm are also commonly treated with electrical stimulation. There is some evidence that tendon injuries may also respond favorably.

Stimulation with electricity causes muscles to contract, so logically it should help prevent atrophy if a limb needs to be immobilized. In theory, it should also increase circulation to soft tissue injuries. Trans cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units are commonly used for pain management

(External electrical stimulation also appears to work on nerves that transmit pain signals. For his part, Rizzo has not found TENS effective for most soft-tissue injuries, though he has used it successfully to treat pain associated with fractures, surgery, and acute nerve injuries. For chronic knee, shoulder, ankle, or back pain, a deeper form of electrical stimulation—interferential current—can sometimes yield good results. Rizzo says he usually shows patients how to use the stimulator at his office, then prescribes units they can use at home as needed. "When you can give an athlete a sense of being in control of the pain," says Rizzo, "it hurts a lot less." ) -Physician and Sports Medicine

I have a chronic tight hamstring that I am starting to self-treat. The muscle is tight and weak, so I believe this may have some potential. I'm also working with a friend who suffers from chronic pain in the neck and shoulder area the result of an accident years ago. I'll keep you posted and I'll also keep digging for more information on favorable outcomes. I see no harm in trying this for an assortment of running related problems such as plantar fascitis, tendinitis, and knee pain.

Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

by Dave Elger

Natural cold remedies have been around for centuries. According to the The Berkley Wellness Newsletter, plants that have not been used at some time in hope of combating the common cold are indeed rare. The Chinese have been treating illnesses with an assortment of herbal remedy concoctions for centuries.

Does anything work? While there is still no proven cure for the common cold, several natural remedies have now been studied and show some promise for reducing the severity of symptoms and shortening the length of your illness.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is the popular water soluble vitamin that is though to help boost the immune system and possibly speed recovery from a cold. The most famous Vitamin C advocate was Linus Pauling, who in late 1960s began recommended 500 – 1,000 mg per hour for several hours at the first sign of cold symptoms. Since that time, Vitamin C and the prevention of colds and reduction of symptoms has been thoroughly investigated. Other than a hint that colds are slightly less severe, the research on supplementation with varying amounts of Vitamin C does not support original claims. Once and for all, there is no overwhelming evidence that Vitamin C can prevent or cure colds as was once widely believed.

Andrographis: From plants grown in India and China, some studies have confirmed that 60 mg per day of andrographis can stimulate the production of infection fighting white blood cells and reduce the severity of cold symptoms.

Garlic: Garlic has been used for thousands of years and is well known for its immune system boosting ability and antiviral properties. There is some evidence that garlic supplementation with allicin offers some level of protection and reduction in the severity of colds. Allicin is a bacteria and fungus fighting compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. It is not very stable so degrades quickly when cooked.

Zinc Lozenges: Some studies have shown that zinc glutonate or zinc acetate lozenges can reduce the average duration of cold symptoms by as much as 50%, while others found no benefit. Zinc is an essential mineral found naturally in foods such as oysters, liver, meat, eggs, and whole grains. It is thought that zinc may interfere with reproduction of the cold virus or keeps it from entering cells. The effectiveness of zinc supplementation may be determined by the potential for zinc absorption, or ZIA, and bioavailability. Certain high fiber foods can interfere with the absorption of zinc.

Echinacea: Echinacea was first used by Native Americans for things like insect and snake bites. Today, this herb is a popular remedy for fighting colds and flu symptoms, especially in Germany. So far, the studies on this herb offer mixed results at best, and most clinical researchers remain unconvinced that it works.

Propolis: Propolis is a substance used by bees to construct their hives that help block out bacteria and viruses. It contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals with antioxidant properties. A small number of studies have found that propolis extract can reduce severity of cold symptoms in humans.

Hydrogen peroxide: Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Total Health Program, recommends a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in each ear within 12-14 hours of the onset of cold or flu symptoms. This one was introduced in Germany in the 1930s, and while the internet is full of testimonials, I could not find any supporting clinical studies.

One problem associated with using natural remedies may be related to purity. ConsumerLab, an independent company that routinely tests over the counter products not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, has reported significant variance from the labels in many of these products including echinacea, zinc, and garlic. Natural remedies derived from plants also have the potential to be contaminated.

Remember, antibiotics don’t work against a virus. If you decide on a natural remedy, the sooner you start taking it after the onset of symptoms, the more likely it’s going to work.

(c) Dave Elger, 2008 All rights reserved

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Update- 6 Days Post Marathon

Still fighting this cold. Have not run a step since the marathon but am getting the itch to hit a trail for a few easy miles. easy 45 jog. It's hard to believe I could run under 3 hours for a marathon feeling the way I do today. Wow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dane Rauschenberg-Extreme Runner with 52 Marathons in 52 Weeks

Very nice account of the Seattle Marathon here by Extreme Runner Dane Rauschenberg, a guy that "raced" 52 marathons in 52 weeks and is now a motivational speaker.

See Dane Run is the book he wrote about his experience.

For additional information on Dane, go here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Marathon Recovery - Tired of Carbohydrates

My typical marathon recovery is simple- wait out the leg soreness until I can gradually resume jogging. That usually takes until Wednesday or Thursday after a weekend race, with the first couple of runs not much faster than walking. It takes another week for my legs to feel normal, and I usually feel very good after about 2 weeks, fogetting about the real long runs and intense intervals. Just easy miles.

This was my 6th and final marathon of 2008; and the first one of the year that I actually focused on. More long runs, and more tempo runs. I ran my best time of the year, but for some reason leg soreness was more severe after this one than any of the others, when I had far fewer long runs behind me. Not sure that I have the answer. Maybe lack of hill training.

Another unusual problem is now I have a cold. I know the immune system is suppressed following a hard long race, but I do not recall ever getting sick like this right away after a marathon. Related to the soreness?

I hate being sick, but the good news is that I have nothing pressing on the race calendar that I need to worry about. I am even looking forward to some extra days off.

Finally, every running expert under the sun recommends electrolyte replacement drink and high carbohydrate foods immediately following the race. Baloney. I've run close to 50 marathons, and I have to admit to having NEVER followed that advice. By this time I am tired of carbohydrates, and my post-race routine is ALWAYS to find a bar (likely place to pick up a cold virus), have a couple of beers, and eat whatever I crave. Later, the evening meal on race day is ALWAYS STEAK washed down with more beer! Carbohydrate foods are the last thing on my mind.

Let's face it, I'm in no hurry to restock carbohydrates and get back on the roads in the hours after a marathon. Reward for hard work is in order.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Weather for the Seattle Marathon was almost perfect- overcast and 50s, light wind. I went into this race with some confidence that I could break 3-but you never know what you'll feel like on race day.

Frank Shorter once said that he knew in the first mile if he was going to have a good race, and I've always believed in that if I've done the work and the right taper.

Back in the 70's when I was running marathons under 2:30, I noticed that in my best races,the fastest 5 mile split fell between 10-15 miles, and that has always been my race plan.

My splits in Seattle:

5 mile: .....................33:00...... 6:36 per mile
10 mile: 1:05:51........ 32:51....... 6:34 per mile
15 mile: 1:38:28....... 32:36...... 6:32 per mile
20 mile: 2:12:06........ 33:38.... 6:44 per mile
25 mile: 2:47:14........ 35:07.... 7:01 per mile

I always anticipate a slowdown between 20-25, and this course included a significant climb right after 20- not unlike Boston's famous Heartbreak Hill. Overall, I held together well the last 5. According to the marathon website unofficial results, I finished 20th- passing 24 runners from halfway to the finish, with 2 passing me.

The race was very well supported- I took small sips of Gatorade, water, or both every 2 miles. I took a GU 5 minutes before the start and approximately every 30 minutes during the race. Might be my imagination, but I felt better a few minutes after every one.

marathon website individual result

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Favorite Marathon Quotes

If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal." --Rob de Castella

"I felt like I played in a very rough football game with no hitting above the waist". -Alan Page, former Nfl football star

We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon. -Emil Zatopek

"I always say if the marathon is a part-time interest, you will only get part-time results." -Bill Rodgers

"You don't run 26 miles at five minutes a mile on good looks and a secret recipe" --Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist

"When you taper for a meet it's like getting a haircut, you never know if it's any good until it's too late. Bob Bowman

If we trained horses like we did people, we'd kill them." - Bob Bowman again who coaches swimmer Michael Phelps (both are appropriate for the marathon)

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." --Frank Shorter

Are you Frank Shorter? "No, but I used to be." -Frank Shorter

Why am I reading this the day before a marathon??

Marathon Training Update- 1 Day to Go!

am: 20 min jog with Sumo, 1 x 800 in 2:45, 800 cool down- Why the 800?

According to Anderson, researchers at the University of Western Australia have uncovered a new protocol for boosting muscle glycogen before a long race. Athletes following a typical high carbohydrate diet were asked to perform a 150 second high intensity session (130 % V02 max) followed by a 30 second all out sprint. The next day muscle glycogen levels were found to have increased by 82% over the day before

I forgot about the 30 second all out sprint. Heading over to Seattle in a couple of hours.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marathon Training Update- 2 Days to Go!

Forget it- jogged 20 minutes with Sumo this morning. My legs are telling me they need rest! The weather forcast for Seattle on Sunday looks perfect-
Partly sunny. Areas of morning fog. Low of 47. Highs in the 50s. Light wind

Self-Help for Plantar Fascitis

Plantar fascitis is caused by inflammation of that band of fiberous tissue that supports the arch and attaches to the heel. Typical symptoms include heel pain first thing in the morning that gradually subsides. Unless you keep running on it that is. Do that and eventually the pain will become more or less constant.

The best advice for getting rid of it is to stop running and cross train in a pool or on a bike (low resistance high rpm).

Before spending the money on a physician or podiatrist, I'd see if I could self-treat by doing the following....

Check out an over the counter arch support for daily walking, and avoid sandals and going around barefoot as much as possible.

Consider using a night splint, a Medi-Dyne Prostretch Device, and The Stick Footweel. You could also try an archxerciser device for strengthen your feet.

In my opinion, regular use of these devices in conjunction with treatment of the inflammation and no running is your most inexpensive, likely to succeed approach to curing plantar fascitis.

Visit Dave Elger's Running and Fitness Store for information on plantar fascitis treatment products.

(c) Dave Elger, 2008 All rights reserved

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stevens Point Area High School Cross Country Dynasty

I just checked out the SPASH cross country website (Stevens Point High School in Wisconsin)and found some amazing numbers:

The conference meet is always something special, no matter how many times you have won it. This just happened to be our 21st consecutive title and our 31st in the last 32 years. It was also our 32nd consecutive J.V. title, something I am equally proud of.

Our J.V.s posted a perfect score for the 15th time and the 9th year in a row. It’s a nice accomplishment, especially when you consider Wausau East moved a few of their varsity guys down for disciplinary reasons.

That level of dedication brought us our 9th state title and our 15th trophy in our 30state appearances. It is also the 23rd time we have been in the top 5 teams.

* 5 SPASH runners broke 17 minutes!

Note: SPASH is coached by a former UW-Stevens Point teammate of mine, Donn Behnke. I might be mistaken but I believe he did not coach the team that one year they did not win the conference meet. I was back for a visit last year and asked Donn if he has his athletes do anything special with drills, flexibility, etc. The answer? "No time- I've got close to 100 kids out for cross country- we just run."

article about the state meet in the stevens point journal.

Marathon Training Update- 3 Days to Go!

I seem to have forgotten another important rule- enjoy your taper! The days leading up to your marathon should be easy- short and maybe quick. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that I don't need a long taper, so until today have been focusing on quality and perhaps not cutting enough quantity. It's time to relax!

Today was great- an easy, comfortable 55 minutes on trail with the dog- felt good, and my legs certainly needed a break. Remember, the work has already been done- the purpose of maintaining high intensity in those final days is to keep blood volume levels from dropping and perhaps increasing muscle glycogen storage and enzyme activity. The low volume is required to allow full muscle recovery.

Check out this great tapering article by Owen Anderson, who cites research that found runners using 500 meter high intensity intervals (but running only a total of 6 miles for the week) improved significantly more than runners who rested or stuck to all easy running.

I'll do a few 800s tomorrow.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Practice Energy Conservation in Your Races and Marathons

For much of the second half of the race, Rupp tried to conserve as much energy as possible by drafting off Chelanga, who was blocking a strong southeast wind, which was dropping temperatures near the 40-degree mark.

MY COMMENT: Drafting saves energy- I watched this race and there is no question Chelanga had to work much harder and would have had a much better chance to win had he forced Rupp to lead. There was a point early in the race where Chelanga appeared to slow down and wait for Rupp to take over, but Rupp slowed as well. Then Chelango got impatient and picked it up again. It cost him-that along with his blazing 2:35 first kilometer.


"The day of the marathon I watched in amazement as he cut all the tangents in Central Park while Smith ran down the middle of the road. The measurement difference between miles 23 to 25 was approximately 50 meters! (tangents vs. middle of the road). It is my opinion that Rod didn't run one step faster - just every step smarter."

–David Katz, well-known expert on marathon course design and measurement recalling Rod Dixon's New York City Marathon victory in 1983.

MY COMMENT: Another no brainer tip- run the shortest distance! I can't count the number of times over the years that I've caught another runner simply because for some stupid reason they ran wide on curves and corners. Without actually cheating, cut those corners as close as you can.

Avoid Wearing Bright Colors in Your Next Marathon

As NCAA favorites, Oregon, which has not lost a race in two seasons, made the strategic decision to wear black uniforms, instead of their usual bright yellow gear, so other teams wouldn’t be able to key off them.

“When you have a target on your back all year, and you have these great big yellow shirts, we thought it might be a good idea for us to change it up a little bit,” Lananna said. “I don’t know if it worked or not, but we won.”
-Vin Lanana, Oregon coach commenting after their NCAA cross country victory

MY COMMENT: Having well over 1,000 races under my belt, I've been practicing this for years. If you are a competititve runner, don't go out of your way to draw attention or look pretty. Lanana is right- bright colors are easy to pick out and key on from a long distance, and at least for me beating the best dressed runners may be slightly more satisfying.

Marathon Training Update- 4 Days to Go

am- easy 40 minute run with Sumo
pm- 1 mile with Sumo, then 1.5 miles at 6 min per mile, jog 2.5.

Legs are tired so it's probably time to shut down this fast stuff. I'll see how they feel tomorrow.

German Fernandez Injury- no word yet

Modesto Bee photo by Steve Kosko

Promising young distance star German Fernandez reportedly suffered a "serious achilles injury" at the NCAA cross country championship meet on Monday- still no confirmation on a diagnosis. Reportedly German was moving up and had a good shot at a top 5 finish when he went down in severe pain. modesto bee

Ryan Hall to Run Boston- Ritz Tackles London

The top 2 American Olympic marathoners will be heading in different directions this April- Ryan Hall will make his Boston debut, while Dathan Ritzenhein heads to face stiff competition in London including Olympic champ Sammy Wanjiru, a Kenyan who lives and trains in Japan, and 3-time winner Martin Lel

Preview These Marathon DVDs

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NCAA Cross Country Results

2008 NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships Team Results

1. Oregon – 93 points

2. Iona – 147 points

3. Stanford – 227 points

4. Wisconsin – 229 points

5. Auburn – 264 points

6. Northern Arizona – 281 points

7. Portland – 293 points

8. Oklahoma State – 305 points

9. BYU – 310 points

T10. Georgetown – 319 points

T10. Alabama – 319 points

12. Colorado – 372 points

13. Tulsa – 377 points

14. Virginia – 383 points

15. Minnesota – 385 points

16. William & Mary – 412 points

17. Iowa State – 435 points

18. Washington – 438 points

19. Notre Dame – 446 points

20. Providence – 465 points

21. NC State – 473 points

22. California – 477 points

23. Cal Poly – 513 points

24. Michigan – 522 points

25. Penn State – 547 points

T26. UCLA – 576 points

T26. Florida State – 576 points

28. Arkansas – 579 points

29. Butler – 602 points

30. Texas A&M – 609 points

31. Villanova – 643 points

Marathon Taper Reminder

Every once in a while I have to go back into the archives and reread some of my old posts. Here is a marathon taper article I posted in May. The theme is high intensity/low volume.

So far the long range weather forcast calls for a sunny weekend in Seattle!

Marathon Training-5 Days to Go!

am: 1 mile with Sumo

pm: 1 mile jog, then 8 x 800 in 2:50-3:00, 1 min rest
1 mile cool-down

Felt ok, not real comfortable.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Marathon Training-Secret Weapon

For the last 3 weeks or so I've been doing Hindu Squats - up to 50. Perhaps it is psychological, but I feel real good going uphill lately.

Marathon Training Update- 6 Days to go!

Final week! Yesterday I jogged a very slow 4 miles, feeling the hard 14 mile run on Saturday. Did a nice 90 min bike ride in the afternoon.

Today- easy 3 mile jog in the morning with Sumo, then 10 miles in the afternoon- approx. 7 min miles. Legs felt a little heavy but ran the second 5 miles at least one minute faster than the first.

NCAA Cross Country Results

Oregon wins, Rupp wins the individual title mens results

Women- Kipyego repeats, Washington wins team title results

note: German Fernandez dropped out with an injury, Badgers 4th,
interviews and more at and

Luke Puskedra (5th) and Patrick Smyth (11th) are both graduates of Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, UT

Sunday, November 23, 2008

XC National Championships- Results!

UW- Stevens Point gets 4th

NCAA Divison III Results

NCAA Division II Results

NAIA Results

Division I- Monday, Nov 24- Watch it live here 12 noon EST

You think Eugene Oregon is not crazy about running?- the race will be broadcast live at Hayward Field. Almost makes me want to cheer for Oklahama State to pull off the upset.

High School Kid Runs 9:01 for 2 miles in the Snow!

If I were a Division I distance coach, I'd already be on the phone with this guy. What an incredible workout!

Part I of the workout

Part II

Marathon Training Update-Nov 22

Yesterday was an easy 4 miles- legs felt pretty beat after several short tempo runs in a row.

Today was a planned 14 mile race pace workout. I did this loop a week ago, hitting 7 miles in 51 minutes and fell apart coming back with a mile to go-

This time was a different story- I hit 7 miles in just under 49 minutes, 10 miles in 69 minutes, 13.1 miles in 1:29, and 14 in 1:35, meaning I covered the last 7 miles in 46 minutes and change.

I won't lie- I still feel wasted several hours later, but I am very encouraged by this workout.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chinese Schools Implement Mandatory Running Program

The ministry of education has launched a winter running campaign that it hopes will boost both patriotism and health. Schools have been ordered to take their pupils for a jog every day until the end of April.

Primary schoolchildren must run a kilometre (0.621 miles), junior high school students 1.5km and senior high and college students 2km

MY COMMENT: I love the quote by newspaper commentator Ya Wei "I think for a student running 60km in a winter is not too much, but too little."

More Tempo Running

Here was my workout yesterday (Thurs)-
AM: 2 miles with Sumo, then 3 mile tempo- not bad- I cruised through my 800 meter stretch (1 mile to the turnaround) at 3:03.

PM: (raining and already dark out- who feels like running?) 2 miles with Sumo, then 3 miles- felt pretty good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

400 Runners Break 1 hr 10 min in Japan Half Marathon

Is this course fast or what? Japan Running News

Evaluate Your Training-Interview with Ryan Hall

Unfortunately, training "smart" is not always cut and dry. As athletes, we are always striving to get to "the next level," and to get there it takes hard work, maybe harder work than we have ever done before. So how hard is too hard? For me I have found a few keys that let me know if I am pushing too hard in practice. I feel like it is ok to be tired on certain days, but I should feel that my legs are "responding" well to the training. For example, I always am looking for a little bit of freshness in my legs. I can pretty well tell how my legs are feeling by doing 200s or any type of strides. If I feel a little spring in my step than I know that my legs are absorbing the training well. I can also tell how my legs are doing on my easy runs. I take my easy runs really easy. I always just pay attention to how my legs are feeling and essentially let them dictate the pace. So if I am moving along effortlessly on an easy run than I know my legs are feeling pretty good and ready for another hard session. Perhaps the biggest indicator is seeing improvement in my workout times over substantial periods of time. This doesn't mean that if I repeat a workout I did two weeks earlier and run slower that I am over trained but if I repeat the workout multiple times without seeing any progress or at least feeling better than maybe I need to take it easy for a couple of days.
-Ryan Hall,

Moderate Hill Workout

Don't feel like running after work? This is what I did tonight. Took the dog for a 3 mile jog, then jogged another mile to a modest incline- my average times up were 1:22. Marathon pace. Jogged home. Not fast and overly difficult, but heart rate definitely elevated. Over an hour of running with some quality-not bad.

The lesson? Not all hill workouts need to be brutal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interview with Brian Sell

"Going in to a race like the Olympics, you hope everything goes well, and that you have the best segment you ever had. That didn't happen for me, right out of the gate. I did a 2x4mile workout where I was supposed to run 4:50's for the first one and "go" on the second one. I barely hit 19:30 for the first one and ran about 21 minutes for the second. That kind of started things out on a sour note

We did our usual 2x6 mile in Florida, where I have run 28:43, 28:14 in the past, and I ran 29:50, 29:15 or so. The pace was relaxed for the heat (it was about 95 and 95% humidity) and also because where I was doing workouts at 4:45 pace in the past, I was only able to hit 4:55-5:00 this time around. -the Cassidy Feed

MY COMMENT: So much for peaking when it counts. For one reason or another Brian just could not get it together like he did for the Trials.

Running Delays Onset of Disabilities and Death

Stanford University researchers began studying 538 middle-aged runners back in the 1980s during the height of America's jogging craze. At the time, critics were convinced that runners would suffer serious injuries and predicted an epidemic of knee replacements. But 21 years of research show quite the opposite is true. Data from the Stanford study, which was recently published in two peer-reviewed journals, show that the runners did not have higher rates of osteoarthritis and total knee replacements. And the onset of disabilities appeared 12 to 16 years later in the runners' group vs. the nonrunners'. That's huge; imagine living independently or delaying the use of a cane for an extra decade or more. There were also half as many deaths in the runners' group than in the nonrunners' during the study.

MY COMMENT: I do not have the research in front of me but I believe excess body weight is a far better predictor of osteoarthritis and joint disease than running. There are those runners, however, that likely would be better off with cycling, swimming, or some other aerobic activity.

Marathon Training Update-The Art of Peaking

Have you ever noticed when you have a great workout, you know you could have done more and the cool-down is a breeze. Other days you can do the same workout and just barely make the jog home. Why is that? No question rest plays a significant role. Yesterday I did a slow 5 with the dog followed by another slow 4. Nothing special, especially since all I did on Sunday was bike. Could I still be trashed from my hard Saturday effort? Definitely!

If you've been reading my entries, then you know I am preparing for the Seattle Marathon a week from Sunday. Over the last month one of my staple workouts has been a 4 mile hard effort- with times getting progressively quicker. Last week was a breakthrough effort - 23:38, and I felt great. Peaking at just the right time, or so I thought. Today I did a 23:48 and my legs were so shot after I walked half of the 800 meter cool down home.

I've only got a couple more key workouts planned before my race, but I want to do this 4 mile one more time next week, and I want to run well under 23:38. To me, that will be a good indicator that I am timing my peak just right.

If I can't do it, then I probably need more recovery. In those last days leading up to your marathon, don't be fooled into thinking your fitness is somehow deteriorating. A more likely scenario is that you have gone just over the edge and need to back down even more than you planned. In my case, I had a very hard 14 mile run on Saturday, and probably needed another easy/moderate day before attempting this workout.

Stay tuned!

In Pursuit of the Sub 3 Hour Marathon

There is an interesting thread posted on the world famous message board - Any > 50 year olds under 3:00 for the marathon?

I've done it twice since turning 50- a 2:59 on a hilly Okinawa course at 50 and a 2:56 in Vancouver at 54.

Now, at 55 I am giving it another shot a week from Sunday. Interesting numbers below from a letsrun reader on sub 3 hour runners in England- note the drop off after 55. I wonder how the US stacks up?

• 300 Brits aged 40-44 have run sub-3.00 for the marathon in 2008
• 164 aged 45-49
• 70 aged 50-54
• 16 aged 55-59
• 3 aged 60-64
• fastest 65 year old has run 3.09

According to, only 1.7% of all U.S. marathon finishers in 2007 broke 3 hours.

I count 43 guys in the 50-59 group at Boston 2008 under 3 hours- impressive!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marathon Training Update-Seattle Nov 30

Friday Nov 14- easy 1 mile with Sumo, then 6 x 800- all under 3 min with 1 min rest. felt good

Sat Nov 15
- 1 mile with Sumo, then 14 mile tempo- felt very good until 13, then the legs fell apart so jogged the last mile. Not hard to figure out why. 2nd day in a row of hard running minus a substantial breakfast. Tomorrow will be a bike ride weather permitting.

This was a great week of training-to be honest I have not trained this hard in many years. Hopefully it pays off.

Sat- 20 miles
Sun- Bike
Mon- 4 miles, then 4 mile tempo in 23:38
Tues- easy hour plus a bike
Wed- 14 mile good tempo
Thurs- easy hour plus a bike
Fri- 6 x 800 uner 3:00 with a min rest
Sat- 13 miles of tempo plus 2 miles

Friday, November 14, 2008

German Fernandez: The Next Prefontaine?

Keep an eye on German Fernandez- now a freshman at Oklahama State (I am still amazed he went there over Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, and others- Coach Smith must be good!)

Watch him make history setting the high school 3200 meter national record in 8:34- just 3 hours after running the 1600 meter run in 4:00. This guy could be the best American distance runner we've seen in a long time.

Excellent Training Advice for Runners by Nissan

Check out these excellent video clips from Nissan of Alberto Salazar demonstrating a variety of supplemental exercises and dispensing other training advice. Laird Hamilton is also very good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tennessee Runner Wins State While Coping with Tragedy

“That’s what runs are good for,” Sonnenfeldt said. “They keep you in shape, but they also can clear your mind. It helped me to think of the good memories that we had. I was still hurting, but I knew that she was in a better place, and I knew that we had had good times.” -Matthew Sonnenfeldt on the death of his friend and runner Markie Voyles.

Read the article- then go for a run.

Marathon Training Update

Yesterday (Tues) was another easy day but I did get some work in- slow 6 miles with the dog (about 1 hour) in the morning, and a 55 min bike in the afternoon. Today (Wed) I did a mile with the dog, then 7 miles out (52 min) and back (51 min). Coming back I kinda hit a wall at about 10 miles and even walked a little, but then was able to pick it back up. To finish in 51 my running pace must have been around 7min per mile.

From here on I'll be trying to focus more on these kinds of runs (close to race tempo). Tomorrow will be another recovery with the plan for an 800 meter interval workout on Friday or Sat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Running Tribute to Steve Prefontaine

By his senior year, Pre was doing his morning runs alone. No one could keep up with the exhaustive tests he set for himself during those early hours. Even his coaches didn't know what he was up to. He would start his run hard and continue full on until he had nothing more to give. Then he would look around for a landmark- a street sign or house number- so that the next day he would go out same as before, only this time push himself further than the previous day. He would do this day after day, until he got within a half mile of his house. Only then did he slow down. -Steve Prefontaine-Rocketman, Bree T Donovan & Linda Prefontaine

So much for LSD- long slow distance. I read this book and came to the conclusion I was not doing enough tempo. Pre was right.

I have a 4 mile loop that I've been timing myself on-so far I've run it 4 times in the last 4 weeks- no way can I do this every day. I started in the mid 25 minute range and have progressively been getting faster. Last week I ran 24:30s and tonight following an easy 4 miles with Sumo I ran 23:38, just 2 days after a 20 mile run. I feel I have a little more room for improvement before the Seattle Marathon in less than 3 weeks, but I will need to rest in order to pull that off.

I am hoping this workout, in addition to 800 meter intervals, will make sub 7 min miles a feel a little more comfortable on marathon day. It also makes up for my lack of racing- I hit 5K tonight under 17:30, at least according to my GPS. Who knows.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cross Country is Big in Kenya

Imagine how hard it must be to make the Kenyan national cross country team!

Okeyo cautioned that it was crucial for all elite and amateur athletes to strive to take part in at least four of the six weekend meetings for them to have a chance of enjoying the advantage of consistency during the selection of the team to Jordan.

The new athletics season starts on Saturday at Machakos High School with the first KCB cross country weekend meeting as the country's elite and amateurs line up for the campaign that will see its climax during the World Cross Country Championships.

MY COMMENT: Why a top American distance runner would skip cross country is beyond me.

Road Racing in the US- Remember the Good Old Days?

Focusing on mass participation over elite competition has left the United States with a dull and indistinctive offering of road races, putting competitive running out of the national media spotlight and relegating distance running to the style pages of daily newspapers

"I think there is an overlooked and common problem," said Reavis about how race organizers emphasize participation statistics and charity fundraising over elite competition. He said that he had looked forward seeing another generation of running heroes to follow the sport's 1970's and 1980's legends, only to be repeatedly disappointed.

"We used to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated," said Reavis whose research showed that the last runner to make the cover of S.I. was sprinter Marion Jones in October, 2000. He said that was only because her ex-husband, C.J. Hunter, had been convicted of a doping violation

Reavis also indicted large charity groups which have used running events to their own advantage to raise money for causes which have nothing to do with the sport, while putting almost nothing back into running.

"Even though they are wonderful," he said of big charities like the Leukemia Society's Team in Training program, "what do they have to do with running?"

Instead, Reavis said, distance running organizers should use their events to inspire children to get moving, helping to fight childhood obesity, one of America's top health problems. He encouraged the race directors to partner with existing and successful childhood running programs, like the Mighty Milers created by the New York Road Runners Foundation, which has gotten over 50,000 children running under volunteer coaches. Reavis saw this as a huge opportunity for the sport, to essentially become it's own charity.

"Running speaks directly to that line," said Reavis. "But, we need heroes to make that happen. Part of the job of our industry is to create the hims and the hers that kids want to be."

- Toni Reavis keynote address to wrap up the Road Race Management Race Directors Meeting (from Race Results Weekly)

MY COMMENT: Wow! Very bold statements from a well-respected authority on distance running. I would have liked to have seen the reaction from race directors around the country (The room fell silent at the seriousness of Reavis's charges.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Great Running Shoe for Under $50

I have a rule- I never pay more than $50 for a pair of running shoes. I recently paid $44.95 for a pair of Brooks Burn 3- ran 20 miles in them today and they felt fabulous! This is a light weight trainer with some cushion- perfect for the marathon. The reviews at are all very positive.

Note: This is probably not a shoe for heavier runners- except 5K-10K racing!

20 Mile Workout

6 miles with Sumo, 20 min break, then 7 miles out and back. I had a little trouble at 2 miles with blood sugar dropping- this happens to me every once in a while when I eat and then run 30 min or so later- I took my gel and grabbed an apple, walked a little and felt ok after 10 minutes or so. Ran the 7 mile stretch back in 50:45, decent for the last 7 of a 20 mile day.

10 x 800 with 1 min recovery

I did my 10 x 800 Yasso workout on Thursday, going in with the idea of just finishing without worrying about time. I felt pretty good about hitting them all between 3 min and 3:06- maybe a 3:02 ave. Not bad on less than 1 min rest. Friday was an easy mile in the morning with the dog and 3 in the evening with the plan for a quality long run today (in the rain!).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Hundred Push-ups

I really like this site!

What a great plan to work on upper body strength that most runners need. I am a huge fan of regular body weight exercise. You can even order t-shirts that proudly display "I did the 100"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Drug Improves Running Performance in Mice

" SIRT1720 made the animals run twice as long,"

The drug works by shifting the metabolism to a fat-burning mode that normally takes over only when energy levels are low.
MY COMMENT: Where can I get some this stuff?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Be Sure Your Are Marathon Ready-Are You High Risk?

Two of the 37,899 finishers of the New York City Marathon on Sunday died after crossing the finish line, according to the New York Road Runners, the organizer of the event. The Fire Department added that at least two others collapsed on the course with heart attacks before they were revived and taken to a hospital.

Are you over 40 and do you have:

Family history of early heart disease?
High cholestrol or blood pressure?
Stressful job?
Current or former smoker?
Any signs or symptoms like chest pain upon exertion?

Get a physical before attempting a marathon! Running did not kill these people.

Kara Goucher Needs to Rethink Her Marathon Race Nutrition Plan

At the second water station she dropped her assigned bottle. That wasn't a huge problem, but she was already starting to feel a rumble in her stomach that began by the sixth mile. Fluid and carbohydrate gel wouldn't stay down.

"Ten miles to go, I tried to take some (gel) and the taste of it wanted to make me throw up," Goucher said. "My body was fighting it and I wasn't getting the (energy) stores that I needed."

MY COMMENT: I watched the race and immediately noticed that she was taking in LOTS of fluid at every station- way more than I could ever imagine doing. Not sure what she was drinking but if it was a sports drink no wonder she had problems. Based on her interview it sounds like she took in too much carbohydrate. Once she gets this squared away, watch out!

UPDATE from NY Times- “I wasn’t able to get any liquids in after 10 miles,” Goucher said Monday. “I couldn’t keep anything down. I knew it would cost me, and three miles from the end it was very hard.”

COMMENT: Like I said, just watching her at the early stations, I think she was drinkin way too much liquid at one time and paid the price.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Would You Run in These?

Fivefinger Shoes by Vibram

“The human foot is a work of art and a masterpiece of engineering.”—Leonardo Da Vinci

FiveFingers footwear connects you to the earth and your surroundings in a way that is simply not possible in conventional shoes. It puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way. FiveFingers stimulate the muscles in your feet and lower legs to build strength and improve range of motion. Our customers report an increased sense of balance, greater agility, and visibly improved posture. Vibrim FiveFingers

"Got my Vibram five finger sprints today. They felt really wierd at first and it took a little time to get used to having my toes split apart. I did a 3 mile run at a moderate pace and once I stopped trying to heel strike, like I do in cushioned shoes, they felt really good. You absolutely have to run in a gliding motion so as not to jar the crap out of yourself. Running downhill was really brutal and required a bit of effort to keep good form, but once I got it it felt fine. The only issue after the run is that my calves feel a littel tight and I expect that they will be sore in the morning. So far I give them a 9.9 out of 10 and really enjoyed running in them (stay out of gravel lots!)" - Michael R Jarvis, Jr., Okinawa

here is a review by

Could Vitamin D Benefit Runners?

According to an extensive review of clinical research in a report from Pain Treatment Topics (, inadequate vitamin D has been linked to a long list of painful maladies, including bone and joint pain, muscle aches, fibromyalgia syndrome, rheumatic disorders, osteoarthritis, and other complaints. Lack of vitamin D also has been implicated in the mood disturbances of chronic fatigue syndrome and seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which are more common during winter.

"In our review of 22 clinical research studies persons with various pain and fatigue syndromes almost always lacked vitamin D, especially during winter months. When sufficient vitamin D supplementation was provided, the aches, pains, weakness, and related problems in most sufferers either vanished or were at least helped to a significant degree."
-Author of the report and editor of Pain Treatment Topics, Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, PhD

MY COMMENT: Rather than fooling around with individual supplements, I suggest runners take a good quality antioxidant that gives you everything you need. I use LifePak Nano by Pharmanex- not cheap but I am confident that endurance athetes require optimal protection against free radical damage, and Pharmanex has the only product that actually demonstrates results (Biophotonic Scanner). When I started taking LifePak, my skin carotenoid score was 36,000. After 3 months on the supplement my score went as high as 80,000!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre Race Warm-up- Don't Stretch!

Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements

MY COMMENT: Stretching before races is a familiar sight. They are usually the ones with the iPods.

Is Marathon Running a Health Risk?

...recent studies have shown that pushing your body to run 26.2 miles can cause at least minor injury to your heart.

"We didn't find any gross injuries, such as blocked arteries or blood leakage. But we did find some enzymes leaking through the heart membrane, which is consistent with significant stress on the heart," says Malissa Wood, M.D., the lead author of a 2006 study in the journal Circulation.

The Circulation study found that people who'd averaged at least 45 miles a week in training were significantly less likely to suffer heart damage than those who ran 35 miles a week or less

MY COMMENTS: Food for thought about marathon running. Many of those who run marathons probably should not be doing them.

Big Weekend for Stevens Point Cross Country and the Wisconsin Badgers

Stevens Point Area High School (SPASH), under leadership of my former U of Wisconsin- Stevens Point teammate Donn Behnke, has arguably one of the top high cross country programs in the nation. This weekend SPASH claimed their 9th state cross country championship since 1980. I spoke to Donn about a year ago when I was back for a visit- he has close to 100 boys out for cross country. Donn teaches in junior high school so has to opportunity to motivate kids at an early age. In the gym at SPASH hangs larger than life photos of SPASH graduates Suzy Favor Hamilton and Chris Solinsky. results

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men won the WIAC cross country meet over arch rivals UW- Oshkosh and LaCrosse on their home course. results

The U of Wisconsin Badger men won their 10th consecutive Big Ten cross country title, and the women placed 2nd, narrowly losing to the 4th ranked Minnesota Gophers. Incidently, Minnesota's top runner, Megan Duwell, is the daughter of another UW Stevens Point teammate of mine, John Duwell, who is married to Donn Behnke's sister Lynn. results. Megan got 4th.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

20 Miles Today! Sumo Takes on a Cow

I ran 7 miles at an easy pace with the dog and felt pretty good so dropped him off and ran another 13 in 1 hr 45 or so. Total 20, so I was pleased considering the hard intervals yesterday. Tomorrow, weather permitting I'll bike. Oh yea, spotted a wolf today on the Discovery Trail- he could not get through the fence so I got pretty close- no camera though.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good Marathon Workout!

Last week I did 6 x 800 (approx.) starting with 3:11 working down to 3:04. Today I did the same workout - 3:04, 3:03. 3:02, 3:01, 2:58, 2:56. Big difference! I need to measure this stretch of Olympic Trail or get to a track to really see where I am at- hopefully these are a few yards long. Tonight my legs are beat so I think it might be wise to take an easy day tomorrow before attempting a long run Sunday. I'll see how I feel in the morning.

Update: My stretch of trail measured .815 km with the bike- I knew it was long!

Running Skirts are HOT!

Running Skirts have become a hot item for lady runners- congratulations to Cindy & Christie for developing a thriving running-related business!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nike Hood to Coast- "The Mother of All Relays"

Registration for the 28th annual Hood to Coast Relay opened October 15- organizers received over 1,000 applications so are already in the process of setting up a lottery.

A summary of the event-
197 miles
12,000 runners
28th Annual Year
3,500 volunteers
August 28-29, 2009
Largest Running Relay in the World!
Fundraise for Charity of Choice: American Cancer Society
Near the top of Oregon's majestic Mt. Hood to beautiful Pacific Ocean in Seaside
Course record: 15 hr 44 min- Nike Mambu, 1995
2008 Winner: 16 hr 58 min- Bowerman Ac (5:10 per mile!)

Race founder, Bob Foote, needed a new challenge. As a 35 time marathoner and 13 time ultra-marathon runner, Bob, as well as many of his running friends were looking to test themselves in a fresh new challenge. That's when Bob's creative mind starting churning and came up with the idea of running from nearby Mount Hood, the backdrop for the city of Portland in which he lived, to another of his favorite weekend get-aways...the beach! A group of Bob's running friends and competitors would form relay teams, handing off every 5 miles, starting at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and finishing in the quaint coastal town of Pacific City. As a dedicated runner, Bob knew it was something he would definitley enjoy.

The first Hood To Coast Relay took place, August 7th, 1982 on a full moon, with 8 teams of 10 runners. Bob made simple spray paint marks on the road to indicate exact exchange points, (being a perfectionist architect, this meant exactly every 5 miles). This translated to one exchange point being in the middle of a very busy intersection in Portland!

Word got out of Bob's adventurous relay event, and the race began to take on a life of its own. As Hood To Coast grew each year, it necessitated much safer exchange points with available parking, resulting in varying leg lengths that continue today. In 1989, the event outgrew capacity for the town of Pacific City and moved to the beachside city of Seaside, Oregon. The distance of the event then increased to 197 miles, with teams growing in size to 12 members, in order to accommodate the extra mileage.

In 1999 a cap of 1,000 teams was agreed upon by Hood To Coast and Clatsop County to keep the event safe and enjoyable to all who participate. The limit still exists today, with Hood To Coast filling on "opening day" of registration for the past ten years!

In early 2006, Bob brought Felicia, his daughter and long-time runner, on board the Hood To Coast organization. She has taken on much of Bob's responsibilities and passion for the race, having participated in HTC six times, and attended or assisted in the race 24 of the last 27 years. Thus the Hood To Coast tradition as "Mother of All Relays" plans to continue for many years to come!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 Easy Days in a Row

After my long Sunday run I did 45 min on the bike yesterday and an easy 6 mile jog with the dog today- I need at least 2 days to recover, and hopefully will be ok to bounce back with a hard interval session tomorrow.

Sometimes there is a fine line between needing to put in the distance and requiring too much time to recover. Kenny Moore, who placed 4th in the 72 Olympic Marathon, used to do his long ones every 10 days as opposed to every week. He was logging up to 30 miles on those long ones so needed the extra days.

Some believe that you can train very effectively for a marathon by running just 3 days a week, one long, one medium, and one interval/tempo run. Not a bad idea, especially as you approach 20 miles on that long run. I probably did not need to run today either, but whether or not an easy 6 recovery run does any additional harm is anybody's guess.

Rod Dixon Running NY Marathon- 25 years after his memorable win

That's why I believe so much that recovery is the key to successful training. Runners have to be careful not to do too much anaerobic work. I think you have to learn to run by your own instincts. That's something that might be missing nowadays when athletes are surrounded by coaches and exercise physiologists and heart-rate monitors. You can lose the ability to be in touch with your own instincts, and to trust them. Sure, you'll make some mistakes, but that's what we do. And you learn as much or more from your mistakes as you do from winning -Rod Dixon interviewed by Amby Burfoot,

Rod Dixon is a class act. He won a bronze medal in the 1500 at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and broke 2hr 09 winning the New York Marathon in 1983. An amazing talent.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marine Corps Marathon Results are Posted

Marine Corps Marathon Results- 18,261 finishers

N ANDREW DUMM 02:22:44
C. FRED JOSLYN 02:23:54
BRIAN DUMM 02:26:00


21 Miles Today!

I did 7 miles with the dog, ate some oatmeal, then went another 14. Not a bad day for me! Time was slow- 1 hr 54 min for the last 14.

Paula Radcliffe Proves She is Ready for NY Marathon

Paula Radcliffe, who ran 51:11 for 10 miles in less than ideal conditions at the BUPA Great South Run, appears to be fit and ready for the New York Marathon.

17 Kenyans in Top 20 at Frankfurt Marathon-Unknown Wins

Frankfurt Marathon Top Ten MEN -

1. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:07:21
2. Wilson Kigen (KEN) 2:08:16
3. Stephen Kiogora (KEN) 2:08:24
4. Philemon Kirwa Tarbei (KEN) 2:08:47
5. Benson Barus (KEN) 2:08:57
6. Japhet Kosgei (KEN) 2:09:24
7. Benjamin Maiyo (KEN) 2:09:58
8. Julius Kibet Koskei (KEN) 2:10:14
9. Vincent Kipsos (KEN) 2:10:23
10. William Kiplagat (KEN) 2:10:53

The winner, Robert Cheruiyot, made his very first trip outside of Kenya a memorable one by winning this race in his very first marathon. Look at the depth!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nike Fixes Marathon Result in San Francisco

Three days after Nora Colligan won the Nike Women's Marathon, she learned that she actually had to share the title of top finisher in the San Francisco race.

New Yorker Arien O'Connell was 11 minutes faster Sunday, but Colligan crossed the finish line first because she was registered as an elite runner and among the first field to leave the starting line, 20 minutes before O'Connell and the others. O'Connell, a school teacher in Brooklyn, crossed in a personal-best of 2 hours, 55 minutes, 11 seconds -- while Colligan, of Austin, Texas, finished in 3:06:30.

MY COMMENT: Nike did the right thing.

Kara Goucher Making Her Marathon Debut at New York

Kara Goucher, who competed in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in Beijing, is moving up to the marathon. In Sept, 2007, Goucher ran a 1:06:57 half marathon in England, defeating marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe. She also won a bronze in the 10,000 meters at the Athletics World Championships in Osaka.

Kara is coached by Alberto Salazar who knows a thing or two about marathon preparation.

Great North Run Half Marathon

Stretching Device Works For Runners Too

I just purchased one of these martial arts stretching devices. For around $20, I really like the stretch you can give hamstrings, low back, and adductors. The tension increases as you pull on the handle. Simple but very effective!

Remember Zola Budd?

Zola Budd Pieterse, 42, a South African runner who once held the world record for 5K and was a 2-time world cross country champion, is now living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina attempting a comeback as a masters runner. She is best known for running her races barefoot and tangling up with Mary Slaney in the LA 1984 Olympic 3,000 meter final. Zola is entered in the New York Marathon.