Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bay To Breakers- You Can Run Naked, Just Don't Get Drunk & Stupid

Floats are in with some restrictions, nudity is not an issue anymore and alcohol is banned but it sounds like one might get away with cans and plastic containers -- not that City Insider advocates such behavior -- if one doesn't act like a drunken jerk or throw trash around City Insider

Bay to Breakers, scheduled for May 17 is one of the largest road races in the world. According to the website, in 1986 78,796 registered and more than 110,000 total participated, officially becoming the world's largest footrace.

Marathon Training Update- Feb 26,27

Feb 26- Travel to San Jose. Got up early thinking I could get an early run in but not with about 8" of snow on the roads. My legs could use the rest but felt pretty stiff after a full day of travel.

Feb 27- easy 4 miles in San Jose. 2 days before the Napa Valley Marathon.

Bad news is the weather forecast calls for rain and wind. The course runs point to point in a southwest direction. Wind is forecast out of the south or southwest at 6 mph. napa weather . Driving to Napa after a short run tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Elger Archives- Merrillathon 1976

Merrill, Wisconsin

Not bad- 5:20 pace for 12.2 miles (by myself I guess). 1 hr 05:08 for 12.2 miles

Marathon Training Update- Feb 25

pm- 6 miles at marathon pace- snowing and cold out! Felt pretty good once I got warmed up. Went through my 800 meters between miles 5-6 in about 3:24 into the wind. 4 days until marathon.

Why Guzzling Water Between Workouts is a Bad Idea

Think you need to drink water all day long, even in the winter? I posted this article in March 2008- Are Athletes Drinking Too Much Between Workouts? that questions the wisdom of forcing too much water. I think we may be back to using thirst as a guide.

Pete Pfitzinger Podcast on Recovery

Pete Pfitzinger discusses various measures you can do to improve recovery following a hard run including compression gear, diet, ice baths, and massage. Running Times

Pfitzinger is a former Olympic marathoner(11th in 1984 and 14th in 1988) and co-author of Advanced Marathoning. He lives in New Zealand and is CEO of the New Zealand Academy of Sport North.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Top 10 Marathon Tips

I recently took a peek at a marathon training website that gave the following Top 10 marathon tips.

1. Keep hydrated:

2. Check your shoes:

3. Eat your big pasta meal two days before the race:

4. Relax the day before:

5. Pace yourself correctly:

6. If the weather is bad – adjust your finish time:

7. Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products:

8. Mentally divide the race into sections:

9. Try walking:

10. Walk around after the marathon:

Here are 10 that I came up with:

1. Taper. I like to cut mileage but maintain or even increase intensity in the week prior to a marathon. Short but quick runs or mini-interval sessions work best. This will maintain blood volume without muscle breakdown

2. Run something very hard or very long 3 weeks before your race. This is a very effective strategy. Three weeks is ample time to recover and come back even stronger. I recommend a half marathon race or your longest run here. You'll be amazed!

3. Avoid the temptation to run long the week before the marathon. It won't do anything to help you and will likely hurt you.

4. Acclimatize. Recall recent years when Chicago and Boston were run in unseasonably warm tempertatures and thousands were caught unprepared. If there is a chance temperatures will be warmer than you are training in, put on some extra layers- enough to make you sweat. Acclimatization takes 7-10 days.

5. Dress appropriately for the weather. What you wear on race day is a crucial decision. Typically temperatures are cooler at the start, than proceed to increase as the race progresses. Four hour marathoners could be looking a significant difference in temperatures from start to finish. You can also underdress and run the risk of hypothermia if temperatures stay cool, the wind picks up, or it rains.

6. Calories. Consuming calories is extremely important during a run exceeding 90 minutes. The average marathoner should target 200 calories per hour.

7. Hydration. Drinking is important to keep up with your losses during a marathon, however, during the week prior it makes little sense to hydrate, urinate, hydrate, urinate, hyrdate, and urinate. It's not like your body has the ability to store excess water a week in advance. Drink an adequate amount of fluid the day before and the morning of your event, but make sure you stop drinking about 2 hours before your start time or you'll looking for some privacy during the race.

8. Run even pace. Good advice here. Your goal should be to run the second half of the marathon within a couple of minutes of the first half.

9. Run the shortest distance. Cut the corners and turns as closely as possible. You might be able to save up to a minute on some marathon courses.

10. Run behind somebody into the wind. This can be a huge energy saver on a windy day.

Bonus: TAKE PRECUATIONS NOT TO GET SICK! Prior to and during the Tour de France, cyclists go to extremes to minimize risk of catching colds or flu. Don't touch door knobs, handrails, and other commonly touched objects without washing hands after. Avoid contact with people who are sick. I like to make sure I get my Lifepak Nano 2 x a day.

Marathon Training Update-Pre Marathon Week

Mon Feb 23- easy 4 mile recovery jog with Sumo.

Tues Feb 24- 2 mile jog with Sumo,then 4 mile time trial in 20:38 Ironically, that is the exact same time that I recorded on this course Nov 10, 20 days prior to the Seattle Marathon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Elger Archives- 7 Mile Bridge Run 1991

The 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys was one of my favorites. Run the race, great party after, then head down to Key West for the rest of the weekend.

Winner Tom Redding went on to run a sub 2 hr 20 min marathon and competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 1996.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Marathon Training Log Feb 23

am: 1 mile with Sumo, then 14 miles out and back. Pushing the pace at 7 min miles back felt good. Total= 15

Cowman the Legend

I saw this guy finishing Ironman Hawaii. He's an accomplished marathoner, having completed several Bostons and close to 30 Honolulu Marathons. Who can miss those horns. Is that a certified helmet?

Cowman said he was supposed to be banned from Ironman forever. According to him, the history is long and the reasons are many, including politics, greed, participation in an illegal race on Maui and officials trying to pull him away from the event as it gained popularity. For the last five years, Cowman has snuck into the race with the help of volunteers and competed illegally -westhawaiitoday (2006)

Marathon Entry Fees- Can You Still Afford This Sport?

Members of the New York Road Runners will pay $13 more than they did last year, with the fee increasing to $138. Nonmembers will pay $171, an extra $16, and those from other countries entering the international lottery will pay $21 more, $231.

Besides the marathon entry fee, the Road Runners charges an application processing fee of $11 (unchanged from last year). That fee is nonrefundable, which has led to frustration in the running world over paying for the right to be rejected. nytimes

In fairness to New York, Mary Wittenberg president and chief executive of New York Road Runners, estimates their cost at "easily more than $250 per runner."

“We’re a not-for-profit, we can’t afford to lose money and we’re trying to break even,"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Training Log Summary Feb 15-21

Sun- 18 miles, 17 in 1 hr 55 min
Mon- 5 mile recovery run
Tue- 13 miles
Wed- 3 miles, then some bike intervals
Thu- 7 miles including 8 x 800 meter repeats in under 3 min ea, 60 sec recovery
Fri- 10 miles, 7 at tempo
Sat- 4 mile recovery

Total for the week = 60 miles

The Elger Archives- Disney Marathon 1997

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

The method, which is strikingly straightforward and easy to perform, centers on injecting portions of a patient’s blood directly into the injured area, which catalyzes the body’s instincts to repair muscle, bone and other tissue. Most enticing, many doctors said, is that the technique appears to help regenerate ligament and tendon fibers, which could shorten rehabilitation time and possibly obviate surgery. -ny times

MY COMMENT: Olympic 5,000 meter runner Matt Tegenkamp is undergoing this new procedure. Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polomalu and Hines Ward both received this treatment for injuries suffered prior to the Super Bowl.

“I think it really helped me. The injury that I had was a severe injury, maybe a four- or six-week injury. In order for me to go out there and play in two weeks, I don’t think anyone with a grade-2 M.C.L. sprain gets back that fast.” -Hines Ward

Marathon Training Update- Fri, Feb 20

am: 2 mile jog with Sumo,then 7 mile tempo, 1 mile cool down. Good hard effort- hit 4 miles in about 30 minutes, then 20-21 minutes for the last 3. Total= 10 miles
Pleasant surprise, considering the interval workout I did the evening before.

10th Antartic Ice Marathon and Half on March 10

You want to run in Antarctica? This year’s event, with runners from 16 countries, has long been sold out, as are the 2010 and 2011 races. The 200 berths for the 2012 race are filling fast, even with tour packages starting at $5,000, which works out to just under $200 per mile. The cost per minute of running rate is a relatively better deal - last year’s winning time, on a sub-freezing day, was 6 hours 43 minutes. -universal sports

The race website is

Can't make it? Not to worry- the North Pole Marathon is April 7th!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Marathon Lessons Learned by Ryan Hall

Also, he said, training in the months beforehand hadn't gone as well as it could. After that fifth-place London finish, instead of taking two weeks off, he only took one. Immediately after resuming training, "I came back at a higher level than I usually did." Thereafter, though, "There was almost no progression." -Ryan Hall on his preparation for the Olympic Marathon where he finished 10th.
-universal sports

Digging Through the Archives

July, 1977

Running While Sick

If your symptoms are located above the neck -- a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing -- then exercise is probably safe. Start slowly, and if you feel better after 10 minutes, continue, if you feel worse, stop. If you have below-the-neck symptoms, for example, muscle aches, hacking cough, fever of 100 degrees or higher, chills, diarrhea, or vomiting, you should avoid exercise -webmd

Improve Your Sprint Speed

Maximum Speed Phase

Foot meets ground with ankle slightly extended (plantar flexion) directly under center of gravity. Bodyweight is balanced so that only the ball of the foot touches the ground -Sports Fitness Advisor

Friday, February 20, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Feb 19

pm: 2 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 x 800 on the trail in 2:55-3:00 with 1 min recovery. This was a hard workout for me. 1 mile cool down. 7 miles total

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marathon Training Update-Feb 18

Some days you just don't have it, mentally or physically. I jogged 3 miles with Sumo intending to tackle some intervals but never even started. My normal routine is to drive the 1 mile distance to the trail and start from there when I have Sumo. Feeling the way I did, I happened to have my mountain bike in back and did 6 x 800 repeats with it instead. My quads were burning, my cardio was taxed, and I felt good doing it, something that would not have experienced had I been running.

Triathletes have shown us that cycling can improve running. If I lived in a warmer climate, I'd be doing this more often.

3 miles total- so what?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Mon Feb 16- Tues Feb 17

Mon am: easy 5 recovery jog on trail with Sumo............................5 miles

Tues am: 1 mile with, Sumo, then 12 miles at a comfortable pace.... 13 miles

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Napa Valley Marathon - What Are They Thinking?

GU packets will be handed out at three aid stations in the second half of the marathon (at mile points 14, 18, and 24). -napa valley marathon race info

MY COMMENT: This is so obviously stupid I am not going to even comment. Thank goodness Gatorade is at the aid stations every 1.5 miles.

Quick Core/ Ab Workout

Laird Hamilton demonstrates 9 moves he guarantees will burn your abs. Not a bad little workout for runners.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Feb 15

am: 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 17 miles in 1 hr 55. I felt pretty strong today. Wore my racing shoes and it was warm enough for me to get by with a light weight long sleeve shirt. I would have loved it if I could have run another 5 minutes faster but this is where I am at. With 1.5 miles to go I ran over the section of trail where I do 800s and hit 3:13 so I was moving pretty good.

This was my last run over this distance. In the next 10 days I will be doing everything I can to improve my speed- tempo work, intervals and hip range of motion exercises- I figure if I can just gain a 1/2 inch each stride it will help. I am feeling strong but believe that I can run faster. I might even give a half hearted attempt at losing a pound. I have been weighing in at 130-131 lately- not sure but I swear that is a bit heavy for me. I don't have any recollection of weighing in before I ran the Seattle Marathon in Nov.

Jenny Barringer Runs 15:01 for 5K- 2nd Fastest American All Time!

American distance runners are tearing it up this indoor track season, as U of Colorado runner and Olympian Jenny Barringer turned in a sparkling 15:01 yesterday on the U of Washington's oversized indoor track. It would have been interesting to see her go head to head with Shalane Flanagan who set the American record last weekend (14:47). Also running well in the same meet was German Fernandez, who turned in a 7:47 for 3,000 meters, the fastest ever run by an American Junior (under 20 yrs old). Cal's Michael Coe gave Fernandez all he could handle finishing 2nd in 7:48. Watch the last 3 laps!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chicago Bidding to Host 2016 Olympics

Chicago's 2016 Olympic plan is banking on nearly $1 billion more in revenue than any of its rivals and counting on International Olympic Committee voters to buy the idea that it can cover $1 billion in construction costs without any public funding or guarantees. -chicago tribune

"If Obama embraces the [Chicago] campaign, things will be bad for us," said two-time Brazilian sailing gold medalist Marcelo Ferreira. "Obama is the man -chicago tribune

Galen Rupp Sets American Record For 5K Indoors

Rupp, who took the lead with 600 meters left and held onto it until about 200 left, was beaten to the finish line over the last lap by Ethiopian Bekana Daba. Rupp finished in 13 minutes, 18.12 seconds. That broke Doug Padilla's record of 13:20.55 set in 1982 in New York.

MY COMMENT: Doug Padilla still had an American record? I saw him recently taking photos at a U of Washingtion track meet- he's an assistant at BYU. I always enjoyed watching him run- very smooth and very tough.

Rupp will have his hands full with indoor and outdoor obligations running for the U of Oregon, but I would love to see him race this summer. I still think Chris Solinsky will be tough to beat based on what I've been reading, although he may be in the steeplechase instead of the 5K. Can't take anything away from Rupp- first ever sub 13:20 indoors by an American.

Training Update- Feb 14

am: easy 4 miles with Sumo- takes me to 65 miles for the week. Resting for a long one tomorrow.

The Plank for Core Strength

Marathon Training Update- Fri, Feb 13

am: 1 mile with Sumo, then 12 mile run. Average pace, but legs pretty beat the last 2. total miles= 13, total for the week 61 miles in 6 days.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Feb 11, 12

Wed, Feb 11- pm- 2 mile jog with Sumo,then 8 miles. The first 4 were slow, but I was able to pick it up for 3 miles heading back, feeling pretty good.
Total= 10 miles.

Thurs, Feb 12- pm- 4 mile easy jog with Sumo. I want to rest up and hopefully hit it hard tomorrow. 48 miles in 5 days

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where is Henry Rono Today?

At last reports Henry is teaching middle school in Albuquerque, New Mexico and coaching his team-rono athletes.
At age 56, Henry is back training with his sights set on age group world records.

Henry Rono Flashback- How Good Was He?

“I’ve been to the top of the highest mountain and then down to the bottom of the world,” says Rono. “Looking back now, I can remember what happened in 1978 (when he set four world records in 81 days, over 3,000 metres, 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres and the 3,000 metres steeplechase), but then the next eight years are more or less a blank.”

What happened in 1978 was that Rono started drinking. Nothing excessive at first, but rather a simple indulgence into the post-race or off-season practice that was then fairly common in distance running culture.

In 1980, when Kenya boycotted the Olympics, Rono began cursing his fate and his luck, and the drinking become a real problem.

The following year his weight was fluctuating severely, and Rono was fast succumbing to alcoholism. He somehow managed to put a track season together, despite drinking daily, and late in the summer was invited to small meeting in Knarvik, near Oslo, for a crack at his 5,000 metres world record of 13:08.04. As soon as Rono arrived in Norway he promptly started drinking, and by all accounts got hammered drunk in the meeting hotel the night before the race.

He woke the next morning with a massive hangover, naturally enough. Filled with remorse, Rono went running, practically flat out, for over an hour in an effort to sweat the alcohol out of his system.

At 4pm, and paced by the British pair of Ian Stewart and a young Steve Cram, Rono produced one of the greatest world records in distance running history – given the circumstances – when he improved his record to 13:06.20, closing with a 56-flat last lap. It was to be his last world record and one of his last notable achievements on the track.

Marathon Training Update- Mon & Tues Feb 9, 10

Mon- easy 5 miles on trail with Sumo. Recovery following long Sunday run.

Tues- 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 14 x 800, 3 mile jog with Sumo.

14x800 with <60 sec recovery is a workout I have never attempted. I started out at 3:15 and got the last one down to 3:01. Ave was probably a 3:08 or so. It sounds worse than it was- think of a 7 mile tempo run with a 45 sec walk every 3 minutes.

Total miles= 11

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marathon Training Update Sun Feb 8

For the last 4 weekends I've run 18 miles- a 1 mile jog followed by a 17 mile out and back. My times have been dropping progressively each week- until today.

I could tell immediately that this was not going to be a good run, and my thoughts turned to all of the contributing factors. Why was my breathing more labored than usual?

1. Inadequate recovery from previous workouts
2. Lingering cold, and not yet 100%
3. Dehydration
4. Nutrition- muscles not fully loaded with glycogen
4. Environment- wind, heat, humidity
5. Weight gain- this could be extra clothing and not necessarily body fat
6. Actual decline in fitness
7. Onset of serious illness not yet detected
8. Just one of those days

In my case, 1,2, and 8 are the most likely candidates. Even though yesterday was an easy jog, the day before that was a pretty hard effort, and I may have needed 2 recovery days. I am still feeling flat from a cold, and unlike last week I wore an extra layer of outerwear. I also used a heavier pair of training shoes (following my intervals I noticed some slight foot pain so thought a little extra protection would be a good idea).

Last week, I hit the turnaround in just under 58 minutes. Today it was 61 minutes. Rather than force the pace, I decided to finish with a moderate effort, running the second half in 65 minutes.

Compounding the problem was some friction (hot spot) developing on my left arch. I rarely wear these shoes, and by the turnaround I knew I would have to do something to fix the problem.

For this reason, on long runs it's always a good idea to carry a band aid or 2. When I don't have one I usually start to look for something alongside the trail to put inside my shoe and protect the hotspot. Eventually I came across an old wax cup that did the trick.

The only consolation on this run is I believe recovery will be quick. The other is the realization that you just can't expect to see a weekly progessive drop in times week after week. Fitness does not work that way. Just like racing, sometimes it just isn't your day in workouts either.

total= 18 miles

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kids and Running

Whatever happened to little Wesley Paul? Born in 1969, Wesley tackled his first 26.2 mile marathon at age 7. Running side by side with his dad, they finished together in a time slightly over 4 hours. In 1977, at age 8, Wesley set an age group world record at the first Chicago Marathon with a time of 3 hr: 15 min: 20 sec (footnote: I was also a participant in that race!). At age 15 Wesley ran the Houston Marathon in 2 hr 38 minutes, a 6 minute per mile pace. Future Olympian or potential burned out runner? Neither. Today Wesley is 6’2” tall and a graduate of Harvard law school residing in New York. Reportedly he still enjoys running, starting each day with a 2 to 5 mile run. Wesley Paul, Marathon Runner

"I trained 6 miles a day. The marathon wasn't my best distance, but I did 3:01 at age 10. I won Bay to Breakers three times and ran for San Francisco State. Running provided me with opportunities I never would have had otherwise." -Mary Etta (Boitano) Blanchard

MY COMMENT: Should your kids be running? Absoulutely! Should they be running marathons? Absolutely not! Go to for some great information on how to keep your kids in the sport- sanely.

Marathon Training Update- Sat Feb 7

am: Finished up the week with an easy 5 mile jog with Sumo. Again I was tempted to go long but decided the wisest course was to lay low and rest for a hard, long one tomorrow. 3 weeks until Napa Valley, so after this one I expect to start dropping the long run distance.

total for the week = 60 miles.

How to Even the Playing Field in Distance Running

Are you tired of running good times for your age and finishing back in the pack? Check out how you compare to the winner using the age-grading calculator at

U.S. Road Racing Participation Approaching 9 Million

The largest races in 2007?

72,500: Bay to Breakers 12K, San Francisco
55,253: Peachtree 10K, Atlanta
47,318: Boulder Boulder, Boulder
40,362: Lilac Bloomsday, Spokane

Ragnar Relay- A 24 Hour, 200 Mile Party?

It's really quite simple. Get a bunch of friends together (or we can help you find team members who'll quickly become your friends) and start running. Okay, there's a little more to it. Your relay team will consist of 12 members. During the relay, each team member runs three legs, each leg ranging between 3 - 8 miles and varying in difficulty. So, from the elite runner down to the novice jogger, it's the perfect relay race for anyone.

Each team is responsible for providing two support vehicles, with six runners in each vehicle. The first vehicle will drop off the first runner, drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner, and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue all the way to the finish line.

Ragnar Contact Information:

Ragnar Events, LLC
1188 W. Sportsplex Dr. Suite 203
Kaysville UT, 84037

Phone: (801) 295-5536
Toll Free: (877) 837-3529
(877) 83-RELAY
Fax: (801)-499-5023


Ragnar Relays are held in Arizona, Florida, Los Angeles, New York, Texas, Utah, Washingtion, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin/Minnesota

Unusual Races- Death Valley Marathon

This race begins on a gravel road near Beatty, Nev., at an elevation of 3,460 feet and goes through Titus Canyon, climbing 2,300 feet in the first 12 miles. Then it's a long decent to the 200 foot-level finish in the heart of Death Valley National Park.

Race website: Death Valley Trail Marathon

Empire State Building Run-Up is a Different Kind of Race

When the horn starting the women’s race sounded in the lobby, the group fought for position in their efforts to run freely into the stairwell. As the tightly bunched pack reached the door after a 20-yard sprint, Walsham was pushed hard to the side; she hit the marble doorway and fell full-length in the stairwell, badly bruising her face and left knee. Several runners inadvertently stepped on her. With the help of three of her competitors, she finally reached her feet. At that point, she was in about 20th position and in considerable pain, and the leaders were several floors above her.

“I didn’t come all this way to pull out,” Walsham thought, and started to run.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Sat Feb 6

am: 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 x 800, 2:57 ave on trail. Not a bad workout coming off a cold. Did not feel very efficient, and I finally started to tax my cardiovascular system hard on the last one.

total= 5 miles
total for the week = 55 miles

Shalane Flanagan and Running Drills

We just squeeze them in when we can. It's like an extra little workout, especially right now because I find that it's an easy way to get fit without actually having to run intervals. My teammate Erin Donohue was actually a really big fan of them and that is how we somewhat started them. She went online and found some information about them from this ultimate fighter that she found and so we started incorporating that. -Olympic 10K bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan commenting on her drill routine

Tie Your Shoes Correctly!

This great video clip from may save your next race! I think I've been doing it wrong all these years.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Marathon Training Insight by Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein


Training: For me, coming from a track background, I think I can only train for the marathon for 10 to 12 weeks. If I train more than that I get stale. What happens in the marathon prep weeks is that I’ll raise my volume up to 120 to 130 miles per week for most of those weeks—maybe eight or nine of those weeks will be high—and then the workouts just become specific to marathon pace. They will be very long. I’ll run like a 24-mile tempo run that is within ten seconds per mile of my marathon goal pace. I’ll do a lot of things like that. I’ll need a lot of recovery. So I’ll end up doing a huge amount of volume a couple days a week with rest days afterward, and then I’ll do it again. There’s no goal on a specific amount of mileage per week or that I have to run the workouts on a specific day. It’s on a day-to-day fashion. I think you can only train like that for a limited period of time

Rehearsing: Everything’s down to a science as far as when you drink and how many calories you take in. We practice all that. We rehearse, even down to wearing the race-day uniform to ensure no chafing.

For the recovery, I’ll take a nap every day; I’ll take an ice bath every day; I’ll get a massage three times a week. It turns into this thing that it’s so focused, if you do it for too long, you just become so obsessed. It turns into a mental drain more than anything else. That’s why I think if you train longer than you need to, it can wear you down mentally. For me, my coach and I try to use the analogy that it’s like a prize fight. You train 12 weeks all for one thing

Note: Dathan is currently preparing and looking for a fast time at the London Marathon April 26.

2008 London Top 10
1 1 1 » LEL, MARTIN (KEN) M25............................. 2:05:15
2 1 4 » WANJIRU, SAMUEL (KEN) M20............... 2:05:24
3 1 10 » GOUMRI, ABDERRAHIM (MAR) M30.......... 2:05:30
4 2 3 » MUTAI, EMMANUEL (KEN) M30 ..................2:06:15
5 2 11 » HALL, RYAN (USA) M25............................ 2:06:17
6 3 5 » MERGA, DERIBA (ETH) M25....................... 2:06:38
7 3 9 » KIFLE, YONAS (ERI) M30........................... 2:08:51
8 4 2 » LIMO, FELIX (KEN) M25.......................... 2:10:35
9 5 13 » SOKOLOV, ALEKSEY (RUS) M25............ 2:11:41
10 1 6 » RAMAALA, HENDRICK (RSA) M35........... 2:11:44

(Wanjiru went on to win Olympic Gold in Beijing)

The 6 Day Running Week

Most runners I know are fully aware of how many miles per week they run. 70 miles per week means you averaged 10 miles per day. 100 miles per week means you are hitting close to 15 miles per day.

I like the idea of a 6 day running week, especially for young runners and those 40 and over that perhaps could perform better with a little added rest. Here is how it works:

Run 60 miles in 6 days with a day off and you've averaged 8.5 miles per day for the week.

Run 60 miles in 6 days and you've averaged 10 miles per day. Sounds a lot better.

In marathon training, most runners probably benefit by taking the day off following the weekly long run. By using a 6 day week, you resist the temptation to run just for the sake of adding to your weekly mileage total.

Just a thought.

Marathon Training Update- Fri Feb 5

pm: 2 miles with Sumo, then easy 6 miles. Felt sluggish with the cold still lingering and feeling yesterday's workout.

Total = 8 miles
Total for the week = 50 miles

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Marathon Training Update- Thurs Feb 4

Feb 4 pm- 2 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 miles in 60 minutes, jogging the last mile. Good run despite the cold. I was surprised.

total for the week = 42 miles

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Marathon Training Update-Wed Feb 3

am: 4 miles with Sumo, then 8 miles easy. Fighting off a cold but fortunately not feeling so bad that I can't run. Nothing yesterday though, however I was beat up from that hard 17 on Sunday.

Total for the week= 32 miles

Mary Slaney Has Had Surgery 35 Times

At 50, the legs and feet that have undergone an estimated 35 surgeries hurt too much when she gets up on her toes and pushes the pace.

MY COMMENT: Mary Slaney was a talented runner (she set 6 world records in 1982 from 1 mile - 10 K) but her imaged was tarnished by the 1984 Olympic debacle (the Zola Budd incident), and finally when she tested positive for high testosterone levels in 1996. She was cleared by USA Track and Field the following year but not by an IAAF arbitration panel, who stripped away her silver medal won at the 1997 indoor world championships.

Oh yea, and she had her share of injuries and lower leg problems.

Japanese Marathoner Runs 2 hr 36:30 at Age 60!

Yoshihisa Hosaka of Japan broke the existing world record for men 60 and over at the 58th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon on Feb. 1. According to the post at Japan Running News, Hosaka averaged 30 kilometers per day training for his record attempt.

MY COMMENT: Truly amazing. I would love to study his training- he must do huge volumes at a slow pace in order to recover. It's hard runners in their 20s to average 18 miles a day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Marathon Training Advice

It is not possible to reach ultimate potential without first establishing enough of a lifetime base to make your training count when you become physically mature. Most Americans do not understand this; they try to get a quick fix in this sport, and it simply doesn't work. A runner absolutely must obtain the ability to train at 120-150 (or more) miles per week by the peak of the career in order to reach fruition. There are no exceptions to this

-Four Principles To Correct Training For Elites by John Kellogg

MY COMMENT: Pretty strong statement here, but certainly food for thought. There aren't many world class marathoners (sub 2 hr 12 min) running less than 100 miles per week.

Marathon Training Update- Feb 1

am: 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 17 mile loop in 1 hr 55.

This is my 4th weekend in a row doing this run. I tried to run this one faster- no run the day before, wore lighter-weight racing shoes, carried about 24 oz of Gatorade, and took a 5 Hour Energy. I am very pleased- just under 58 min at the turnaround. Napa Valley Marthon in 4 weeks!

4-week progression at 17 miles

3 weeks ago- 2 hr 20 min- HARD 8:12 per mile
2 weeks ago- 2 hr 06 min- HARD 7:24 per mile
last week- 2 hr 00 min- HARD 7:03 per mile
today- 1 hr 55 min- easier effort relative to the others - 6:45 per mile

Did I Just See a World Record?

photo by Dave Elger

Tony Young of Seattle, age 46, decided to mix it up with college runners at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational yesterday and turned in a stunning 4:13.25 mile.

According to, the mile world record for 45-49 is 4:16.75 by David Sirl of New Zealand set way back in 1987.

World Masters Athletics (WMA)lists Albin Swensen as the current indoor mile record holder at 4:21.90, however the track at U of Washington is over sized so Tony's mark may not qualify as a record.

Young is listed by WMA as holder of the outdoor mark at 4:16.09, so where does a 4:13 on an over sized indoor track fit in?