Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are Electrolytes Overrated?

However, there is little direct evidence of a beneficial effect of electrolyte replacement for any but a small proportion of endurance athletes. The fact that electrolyte concentrations in plasma usually rise during exercise without fluid replacement (Costill et al., 1970, 1974, 1976, 1981) indicates that electrolyte supplements are not needed. Furthermore, during repeated exposures to prolonged physical exertion, the kidneys very effectively conserve sodium and potassium so that the electrolyte balance is usually maintained when an athlete consumes a normal diet or a diet low in potassium (Costill et al., 1976), or a diet high or low in sodium (Armstrong et al., 1985). However, recent case studies have been reported in which athletes who participated in very prolonged exercise experienced severe hyponatremia, i.e., low plasma sodium concentrations during exercise (Hiller et al., 1985; Noakes et al., 1985) or up to 7 days after competition (Noakes et al., 1985). These athletes usually consumed large quantities of water or beverages low in electrolytes. -Fluid Replacement and Heat Stress, Institute of Medicine

The effects of consumption of the individual components of a sports beverage (electrolytes, water, or carbohydrate) and of the combination of all components have also been assessed. Compared with the electrolyte-only trial, performance during the water-only and carbohydrate-only trials was approximately 6 percent faster. However, the combination of carbohydrate and water caused a performance enhancement that was approximately 12 percent faster than the electrolyte trial and 5 to 6 percent faster than when water only or carbohydrate only were consumed. -healthline.com

If no fluid is ingested during prolonged exercise, serum Na+ concentration, osmolality and anti diuretic hormone activity all increase (9). The rise in serum Na+ concentration and osmolality correlate with the increase in (body) esophageal temperature and may be a stimulus for the reduction in skin blood flow and sweating that develops at advanced levels of dehydration (10). An important goal of fluid ingestion during exercise may therefore be to prevent rises in serum osmolality and thereby maintain sufficient skin blood flow for maximum evaporative and convective heat losses. -ultrunr.com

MY COMMENT: I still am a bit perplexed by the hype surrounding the need for electrolytes and the perception that supplementation will somehow enhance marathon performance. Americans are overloaded with sodium to begin with, and dehydration increases concentration in the blood. So why would the typical marathoner need to take additional electrolytes? Unless you are sweating heavily and drinking more water than you are losing, marathoners do not need to replace electrolytes until they cross the finish line.

Training Update-Monday Mar 30

pm- 4 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 x 800 with 1 min recovery. I felt very flat warming up, figuring that I am not fully recovered from my 17 on Sat followed by 21 on the bike yesterday. Knowing that I am not fully rested, my focus on these were controlled 6 min mile pace effort with emphasis on maintaining running form rather than speed. I was able to run the first 6 all in 3 minutes, then the last 2 at 2:57 and 2:56. Very good workout. Total 8 miles.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Training Update- Mar 29

21 mile bike ride today. Great way to recover from a long run. Weather and work permitting I'll be getting more consistent rides in.

Training Update- Mar 22-28

Sun- no run, recovering from 20 mile run
Mon- 10 miles slow
Tues- 8 miles - a few up and downhill repeats but not too taxing
Wed- 10 miles- 6 miles of tempo running- felt very good
Thurs- 10 miles easy- tired
Fri- no run- tired
Sat- 17 miles- a little over 2 hours. Felt good.

Total for Week= 55 miles in 5 days of running. Two key workouts were the 6 mile tempo and the 2 hour run.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why Miles are Important in Marathon Training

"Where you may get some advantage in high mileage--if you can stand it--is in the substrate, the metabolic level that relates to glycogen storage. With volume over 100 miles, you're depleting yourself on a chronic basis and forcing yourself to replenish your glycogen stores day after day."

"If you can push the depletion level of the body in races from 60-90 minutes to two hours by training, you can maintain a higher intensity, which translates to a better running speed. That is where volume mileage has the advantage over high intensity training."
-Al Claremont

William J. Fink of Ball State University suspects Claremont's assumption may be correct, but also suggests that volume training may result in a neuromuscular training effect, a more efficient recruitment of all available muscle fibers, which allows the work load to be parceled out over the distance more effectively: "When a runner doubles his training mileage, we often see no change in his maximum oxygen uptake (max VO2), his ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles. So we are forced to look to other areas to determine why volume training results in better performance." (Note: Bill Fink was head of the Biochemistry room in the Human Performance Lab at Ball State- I spent 2 years in there doing whatever I could "not to screw something up." He definitely knew his stuff, especially with a Ph D in Theology!)

"If you're talking about the reasons high mileage results in fast times, I'm not sure we know what we're looking for yet. Most scientists probably have not zeroed in on the real causes." -Jack Wilmore

article by Hal Higdon for ultRunr.com

MY COMMENT: 100 mile weeks are common among world class marathoners. I did it in college and for a short period after I graduated. I clearly remember feeling pretty beat up by Wednesday, however just one easy day was all I needed to bounce back and feel great. How fast you run those miles is also a consideration. 100 mile weeks will leave you feeling very strong after a taper, however to sacrifice quality for the sake of a reaching a mileage goal is not the best idea for running a fast marathon. You need to find a way to inject some quality in those weekly miles in the form of intervals or sustained tempo runs. Finding an ideal mix of distance and quality is the dilema all serious marathon runners must face.

Marathon Legends- Tom Fleming

Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win." -Tom Fleming's Boston Marathon Training Motto

Unless you were around in the Bill Rodgers era, chances are you don't recognize the name, but Tom Fleming was one consistently tough marathoner.

New York Marathon Champion, 1973,1975
Boston Marathon Runner-up, 1973, 1974
Boston Marathon 3rd place- 1975
Boston Marathon 4th place- 1979
Boston Top 10 finishes- 6
Fukuoka World Marathon Championship- 4th place- 1977
Cleveland, Toronto, Los Angeles, Jersey Shore (3), Washington DC marathon Champion

See Tom's profile here

Fleming was a believer in the need to put in a huge volume of miles in order to compete in the marathon at a world class level. "You have to do 140 miles a week to get into the 2:12 bracket." from Hal Higdon's book, Marathon

Training Update Mar 26

pm: easy 1 mile with Sumo, 9 mile run at 7 mph. A little long for recovery but I won't be doing much on Friday and don't need 2 light days in a row.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Training Update-Mar 24-25

Tues, Mar 24- 2 miles with Sumo, then 6 miles. 2 mile jog to park, 4 x 1 min up hill, down fast, jog home. This is my first workout specifically working on hills, up and down. Not that difficult but HR was near max at reps 3-4. I need lots of work on downhills- no ability to turnover whatsoever. Total = 8 miles

Wed, Mar 25- 4 mile jog with Sumo, then 6 mile tempo. Very good workout- hit 3:08 on my 800 split at the end. Total= 10 miles

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Elger Archives- Oktoberfest Marathon 1976, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

This start of this race was high above the Mississippi River in the LaCrosse "bluffs". All I remember is flying through an early 2 mile downhill stretch in 10 minutes or even under, then later paying dearly for that pounding. I was in very good shape back in those days, so 2:36:21 was disappointing. U of Wisconsin-LaCrosse runner Tom Antczak won in a decent 2:22:23. He won the NAIA marathon in 1978 and was USA Marathon Champion in 1979. Note Dr. Alex Ratelle in 10th, who ran 2:44:24 at age 52.

There was a good after party.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hallie Gebrselassie

You would expect the greatest runner of all time to look different from everyone else, and up close Geb most certainly did. I was not struck by his diminutiveness, having known already that his stats were 5′3″, 112 lbs. I was struck by how impossibly narrow his waist was, how short his trunk, and how his thigh muscles seemed to bulge against the tights he wore despite their small girth. As we shuffled along at 9:00/mile I tried to match my cadence to his but could not get it that high. His heels never touched the ground the whole way. Geb is a true, literal forefoot striker. -Matt Fitzgerald, describing Hallie Gebrselassie Ethiopian Review

Letsrun Message Board Prediction of the Day

on Kara Goucher running in Lisbon- If she is in good marathon shape then she will have a difficult time running marathon pace. I hope 69 minutes. This would tell me that she is training correctly for Boston. She should be in her highest volume phase right now. If she runs under 67 minutes she will not be a factor in Boston letsrun.com message board

Goucher Goes Back to the Drawing Board

"I wouldn't be surprised if she broke 66 (minutes)," - Alberto Salazar on Kara Goucher's fitness going into this weekends half marathon in Lisbon, Portugal. For the record, the current ratified world record is 66:25. oregonlive.com


Goucher was almost exactly on pace for an American record in the half marathon through 15k (~48:20, shooting for Deena Kastor's 67:34), but she began to show signs of distress in the final kilometers. Goucher's pace slowed considerably, especially in the final 1,000m, as her grimace became more pronounced. She finished in ~68:29.

This does not bode well for Goucher's confidence going into Boston. It will be interesting to see what Salazar does to boost her confidence. letsrun.com

Lance Armstrong Breaks Collarbone

Lance Armstrong's Tour de France preparations suffered a major setback when he suffered a broken right collarbone, crashing out of a low-profile race in Spain.- sportinglife.com

Training Update Mar 23

pm: 4 slow miles with Sumo, then 6 miles at about 7:30 pace. Felt better as I went.

Monday, March 23, 2009

52 Marathons in 52 Days?

TOKYO - A 65-YEAR-OLD Japanese man claims to have set a new world record after completing his 52nd marathon in as many days, reports said on Sunday.-

MY COMMENT: Let's see some verification on this.

Look at Your Marathon Photos

You do not need to buy any of those photos from your latest marathon, however it might not be a bad idea to take a critical look at them to see if you can pick up anything in your form that can be improved. From my Napa Marathon photos, I noticed that my arm carriage is too low, and I am not practicing what I preach about landing flat footed rather than heel first. I'll be working on both. (I did get a lot of comments along the way on my shorts!)

See the Entire Boston Marathon Course in 8 Minutes

Training Update- Mar 22

Did not even attempt to run today after 20 miles yesterday. Biked 22 miles on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

New Recovey Drink

I found a new post run recovery drink- under $1.30 for a 24 oz can of Schlitz High Gravity Malt Liquor, 8.5% alcohol. (a surprisingly drinkable beer)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Training Update- Back to Long Runs

Mar 20- no run, 19 miles on the bike

Mar 21- 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 19 mile run- 2hr 30 min. This was tough- recalling that my long runs prior to Napa were faster but shorter (some were well under 2 hours). More of these should definitely help get me through those last 6 a little quicker next time. -Rather than 16-17 mile tempo runs, I'll stick with these longer slower weekend jaunts and try to keep mixing in the hard 7-8 milers during the week. Weather is getting nice so I will also be adding the bike workouts on run recovery days.

Ryan Hall Prepares for Big Race in Boston

The next day we went to Boston to check it out. Once we saw it, we realized we hadn’t really done anything back home to get ready for that type of course. It was really helpful. I’m glad we went and took a look at it, because it allowed us to come back here and make some changes.

We’re doing some longer tempo runs. I’d say the quality’s getting better. My overall mileage is about the same as it’s always been. But whereas before, I’d do a couple 12-mile tempo runs and a 15-mile tempo run, this time I’ve already done two 15-mile tempo runs, I’ve already done an 18-mile tempo run, and I’ll do another 18-mile tempo run and another 15-mile tempo run, and I’ve also done a couple 12-milers. -Ryan Hall interviewed by Running Times

MY COMMENT: Interesting they weren't familiar with the Boston course until recently. Hall seems to thrive on those long faster than marathon pace tempo runs.

Brian Sell Looking Forward to Boston

I ran 155 [miles] this week and hope for the same next week. I’m going to peak out at about 160 and then start coming down.

“A long run, two days recovery, a workout, two days recovery, a tempo, two days recovery, etc.,” he recounts. That’s an average of some 22 miles per day, 13 workouts each week, if you’re keeping score at home, and the heart of a Hansons-directed formula that has brought Sell this far
- universal sports

MY COMMENT: Brian Sell never broke 10 minutes for 3,200 meters in high school. He isn't blessed with natural talent of a Hall or Ritz, but watch for another good race in Boston (Sell got 4th 2006). He may not run 2hr 07 min, but weather permitting he might get under 2hr 10.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ron Hill- The Streak Lives!

Ron Hill won Boston in 2 hr 10 min 30 sec- IN 1970! Hill was the second ever to break 2hr 10 min, and was a well known streaker-Hill has not missed a day of running at least a mile since Dec 1964! Today, at age 70, he has now raced in 100 different countries!

Ron Hill's website

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Book on Running Promotes Kid's Fitness

To order, go to amazon.com.

Runner's World Senior Contributor and award-winning NY Times writer Marc Bloom is one of the nation's foremost authorities on running, fitness and youth sports. Check out more of his work here.

Jerome Drayton- Canada's All-time Great Marathoner

To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind. ---Jerome Drayton

Jerome Drayton was one of the top marathoners in the world back in the 1970s, winning the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon 3 times (including a 2hr 10:08 in 1975), and Boston once, in 1977. A colorful character in the world of marathoning, Drayton actually competed in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Marathon as Peter Buniak, the name he was born with. He changed his name to Jerome Drayton in 1969. According to Blaikie, Drayton's complaining following his Boston victory was instrumental in bringing long overdue changes to this historic event. Unbelievably, the year Drayton won there were no official water/refreshment stops. Runners relied on crowd support for water and whatever other fluids they could get.

He (Drayton)trains in disciplined phases, six in all, that can last up to eight weeks each. The first consists solely of long, slow runs to build up his aerobic base. Occasionally he will travel more than thirty miles in an outing. Hill work follows. Three times a week he will pick out a hill on his training route and assault it repeatedly to toughen the workload. In the third phase he varies the routine not with hills but timed quarter-mile intervals on the track. Twelve, fourteen, sixteen times he will circle the track at a pace that takes him to the edge of his anaerobic threshold, the point at which his body begins to slip into oxygen debt from the stress. This usually occurs with laps of about 65 seconds, a 4:20-mile pace. Between each interval he walks to recover.

In the fourth phase he deliberately pushes his body into oxygen debt, running quarters at maximum effort with almost no rest in between. So stressful is this form of training that it can exhaust an athlete of Drayton's stature in fewer than half a dozen laps. At least two, often three, track workouts a week are included in his schedule. Then follows the fifth and most taxing phase in which Drayton combines both aerobic and anaerobic intervals in the same session. Quarters that previously took sixty-five seconds to cover without going into oxygen debt he now flies through in just fifty-seven seconds, the pace of a world-class miler. Through all these phases his total training rarely drops below one hundred and thirty miles a week.

The sixth and final phase comes when Drayton "rests" by tapering back to about seventy-five miles a week and substituting short weekly races for the speedwork of the track. Competition sharpens him mentally and prepares him for the ultimate challenge toward which all phases of the cycle have been directed, usually a major marathon. It is in this phase that he reaps the reward of his discipline, that all the effort and sacrifice pay off. That sweet feeling of rejuvenation sweeps through his body and all the stressed comers of his being come together in climactic unison. The sensation is one of vitality and strength that few human beings know.

source: davidblaikie.com (this is a great read!)

Intervals VS Tempo Runs- Yes There is a Difference!

Since the Napa Valley Marathon I've been running some nice 7 mile, sub 7 minute per mile tempo workouts and feeling very strong. Tonight I switched gears a bit and went back to the 800 meter repeats at sub 3 min pace, and wow, what a difference! I immediately felt my legs getting heavy and early onset oxygen debt. At first I blamed yesterday's bike ride and figured I was in for a bad day, however my average times ended up 3-4 seconds faster than I was hitting at my peak prior to Napa.

While I attribute the improvement to the tempo runs, research that has been done on this topic clearly favors the intervals.

The Best Training Stimulus to Increase VO2 Max

Don't Stray Too Far From Intervals

Intervals VS Tempo Running

Intuition tells me that if my tempo workouts have improved my interval workouts, and intervals are superior for boosting VO2, it makes perfect sense to figure out a way to integrate both strategies into your race preparation.

Train the Kenyan Way

Check out the summary of Sean Wade's Kenyan Way philosphy of training. Wade is a top masters runner and represented New Zealand in the 1996 Olympic marathon. He currently coaches, runs, and lives in Houston.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Training Update- Wed Mar 18 Does Biking Help?

am: very easy 4 miles with Sumo
pm: 20 miles on the bike

It's getting warmer out, so I am finally getting an opportunity to enjoy biking on the days after a hard workout. I believe if you cycle consistenty in between your hard run days, yes it can improve your race times.
Just make sure you don't go so hard on the bike that it affects your run the following day. You may be negating the benefits if you have to sacrifice running miles by adding bike workouts.

Racing Cross Country in Australia!

I ran this 8K cross country race in Brisbane, Australia at the World Masters Track and Field Championships in 2001. This "mud ditch" along with a nasty hill we had to run up 3 or 4 times just wasted me. Clearly I was fit (I ran 16:40 in the 5K and 2 hr 45 in the marathon at age 48), but not ready for hills. The next week I ran my 8K split in the marathon faster than I ran here. Olympic bronze medalist (1972 800 meters)and 1983 NY Marathon winner Rod Dixon of New Zealand (pictured in the above right photo) got 2nd- I remember he had a nasty cold and probably should not have been running.

Need Motivation?

This book comes highly recommended by an Aussie runner friend of mine I correspond with. I haven't read it (to this point motivation has not been a problem), however it received a 5 star average rating in Customer Reviews on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Facebook Training Log

I just discovered a nifty training log on Facebook called I Just Ran. All you need to do is sign up for Facebook and log in.

Training Update-Mar 17

Haven't been posting my workouts regularly-I'll get back into that habit once I figure out exactly what I am training for. I feel completely recovered from Napa and have somehow gotten into a groove of hitting some very hard 7 mile tempo workouts. I jog a mile with the dog, then head out the 1 mile boring stretch to the Oly Discovery Trail. I've done several workouts to the right, running 3 miles over the Railroad Bridge (pictured left), turnaround, and run back hard to the road, jogging the last mile home. It' a one hour workout. Today I went left and did the same out and back workout. According to the GPS, I hit 4 miles in 27:30, but unfortunately the same distance back was only about 3.8. Who knew?

No long runs yet but these shorter tempos are great. Two days ago after 2 miles with Sumo, I ran hard for 1 mile to the trail, then did my 800 meter stretch and back, hitting both in 3:00 or under. That was a good workout.

I am leaning towards a June 7 marathon here (North Olympic Discovery Marathon). I'll make that decision final after a couple of 2 hour plus weekend runs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Elger Archives- Dodger Dash

This race was also one of my favorites- a 5K cross country run held prior to a Vero Beach Dodgers baseball game. ( this would have been in the early 1990s I guess)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Verzbikas Doubles Back with an 8:57 2 Mile

After this weekend, Verzbikas said he would give some thought to committing himself solely to running, as he is a highly touted triathlete. But for now, he said he would be gearing up for the World Junior Triathlon Championships. Only a freshman, Verzbikas has an extremely bright future ahead of him. -letsrun.com

MY COMMENT: Obviously this kid is a huge talent- the question is does he give up the triathlon to focus on running, or does he have more potential as a triathlete. Unfortunately, NCAA does not offer triathlon as a intercollegiate sport, and running could provide Lukas with a free college education.

Reminiscent of Lance Armstrong who also got his start as a top age group triathlete.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

High School Freshman Runs 14:18.42 for 5K Indoors

Freshman Lukas Verzbicas of Lincoln Way Central HS in New Lenox, IL set a national high school record for 5,000 meters indoors with a stunning 14:18.42. dyestat.com

Friday, March 13, 2009

Short Hill Sprints

"Every runner I coach does regular sessions of short hill sprints. Should you?" -Brad Hudson

Hudson recommends short 8-10 second uphill sprints (8% incline) to improve running leg strength. When do you fit them in? The day before a hard workout.

This is something to consider if you are like me and looking for answers on how to improve. This is a tough little workout that should be easy to fit in. Be sure to read the article and ease into these gradually to avoid injury.

Alcohol Delays Recovery

The delay in recovery to damaged muscles was clear even 60 hours post event (that’s day three).

The concluded that acute intake of alcohol in the three hours post-match (race in our case) significantly affected recovery of muscles.

source: coachdeanherbert

MY COMMENT: Subjects in this study had 6 alcoholic drinks over 90 minutes. It's not clear what was measured other than "eccentric exercise induced muscle damage".
3 days??

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Music and Running

The traditional work we’ve done in this area is when you are training at 75 per cent of your maximum heart rate, music reduces the perception of effort by 10 per cent. The other thing we found, in our most recent study, is that it was previously thought music only influenced mood up until 75 per cent of your max but we showed that if you carefully select the music it can enhance you right up to exhaustion – even with an elite athlete. So although it won’t impact on how fatigued you feel at a high intensity – it colours your interpretation of fatigue. It makes fatigue more pleasurable -spikes

MY COMMENT: I guess this means I am losing the battle that opposes the use of iPods while running.

Will I lose my cardio stamina since I can't run for 2 weeks?

I normally run about 3.5 miles per day, but I had jaw surgery on Friday and can't do high-impact aerobics for about 2 weeks. I've been walking my usual jog route, which takes about twice the time. When I try to run again, will it be extremely difficult? Do you think the walking will help me stay in shape somewhat?

Voted best answer on yahoo

Great question- You will not lose anything at all in terms of conditioning of the muscle cells, however your blood volume will drop some. When you resume running, you will feel slightly uncomfortable for a week or 2 at the most.
source: coachdeanherbert

Asker reply: I had never considered blood volume before. Thank you for teaching me something new!

Can you get recruited or a well known name by running road races(marathons and other events)but not track?

If you run legitimate times on road courses that have been certified by USA Track and Field theoretically you could get recruited. That being said, I have never heard of a high school athlete getting a college scholarship without competing in high school. You will probably have to run some impressive times in open track meets to have a legitimate shot.

Vote best of yahoo answers

Calf Pain?

I was running today, and I had this pain and stiffness in my left calf. Then it felt like there was this big lump that was about to burst. Does anyone know what this is??

Sounds like you tore some muscle fibers. The worst thing you can do for that is stretch it until the pain in swelling subsides. Ice, maybe ibuprofen, and no running until the pain subsides. You might consider inserting a thin heel lift in your shoe to take some pressure off of your achilles, calf when you resume, at least temporarily. Once you are sure the injury is gone, remove the insert. (I have a hunch you are a toe runner- maybe you can also try to land more flat footed).

Reply: Yeah I think I might have torn some muscle fibers 'cause the pains haven't subsided. And yes, I'm a toe runner 'cause I'm a sprinter :)

Voted best of yahoo answers

Does Skipping Rope Help Get You In Shape For Running?

If you skipped rope for 30-40 minutes a day for a few months, you'll improve your aerobic capacity and run better than if you did nothing at all, however, to run well you need to run. It's called specificity of training.

voted best answer on yahoo answers

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Elger Archives- Hemingway Days 5K, Key West, FL 1993

I ventured down to Key West 5 times in the 90s to compete in the Hemingway Days 5K. Needless to say, this is a crazy weekend in the town Earnest Hemingway called his home. From the Hemingway look alike contest to the story telling, arm wrestling, and the 5K, despite the oppressive heat and humidity, this was always one of my favorites.

Post Marathon Recovery

It's been 9 days since I ran the Napa Valley Marathon, and today is the first decent run I've had- 1 mile with Sumo, then a good pace for 7 miles, with a 1 mile cool-down. I felt pretty good hitting sub 7 minute miles coming back.

There is no secret to marathon recovery- rest. Unless you are a member of the marathon manics, there should be no rush to resume your training. In fact, the faster you try to come back, the more suseptible you'll be to injury or illness. The 1-2 weeks following a marathon should be reserved for nothing more than a little cross training and some light jogging if that. From personal experience, 6 days is about the average length of time that I stay away from running all together.

Recovery is an important time to continue your efforts to ward off illness. I came down with a cold just 2-3 days following the Seattle Marathon in November. Continue to take a good antioxidant supplement and wash your hands frequently.

I like to take time during this recovery to analyze what I did right and what I could do different in order to run better next time. I did plenty of long tempo runs and interval workouts, and as a result those 6:30 mile splits through 15 or so felt very comfortable.

What could I do to improve? A few longer runs. My longest workouts leading into this race were 2 hours give or take (not counting a 1 mile warm up). I think I might benefit from slowing down and going longer, like 20 miles every other weekend.

I am also going to give evening stretching more of a priority. I think it's clear that the older you get the more you need to stretch.

(c) Dave Elger, 2009, All rights reserved.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Elger Archives- Bellin 1977

The guy that finished in 6th behind me, Mike Trzebiatowski, was a college FOOTBALL PLAYER!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Galen Rupp Breaks 4 Minute Mile Indoor- Gabe Jennings Returns!

Galen Rupp just got one more monkey off his back- a sub 4 minute mile. He ran 3:57.86 on the U of Washington's oversized indoor track. Gabe Jennings, an Olympian from 2000, made a surprise showing and ran 3:58 for third. Gabe is a free spirit that took a break from running in 2002 to bike from Tucson, AZ to Brazil (6,000 miles)on a 30 year old 10 speed. Along the way he was robbed a few times, assulted by coconut wielding monkeys, and became deathly ill stricken with hepatitis. Check out this 2003 feature in Track & Field News about Gabe's adventures. Amazing stuff.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sephanie Herbst-Lucke

Stephanie was a fabulous distance running star for the U of Wisconsin back in the 1980's. She walked away from the sport, but at 43 has now returned in a most impressive fashion. What an amazing talent. Stephanie is the principle subject in this insightful running book "The Silence of Great Distance". Check out this great story from Running Times and listen to the interview where she discusses the differences between her college glory days and running today as a 43 year old mother of 3. interview It will be interesting to see how fast she runs approaching mid 40s. From my experience, there was a big drop off after age 43. Order the book here. It's a great insight into women's distance running in the 1980s.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gerard Hartman and Active Isolated Stretching

If you are a world class runner, then you've heard of Gerard Hartman. Hartman runs a sports injury clinic in Ireland "servicing international to world class athletes".
His most famous patient is women's marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe. In the past 18 years, Hartmann has treated 53 Olympic medallists and is an integral part of Paula Radcliffe's backroom team .

Hartman uses a technique called Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)to improve flexibility and range of motion on his athletes.

According to Hartman, AIS accommodates a number of very important considerations. The body is put in the best anatomical position both to maximize an isolated stretch and to warrant safety. You hold each position for only two to three seconds; then you return to the start position and relax. -Dublin University Harriers and Athletic Club

The Whartons' Stretch Book is an excellent resource on the Active Isolated Stretching technique.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meters vs Yards

Not so many years ago, running tracks in the United States were measured in yards. One lap was 440 yards, and 4 laps around was exactly 1 mile (1,760 yards). Today, most if not all tracks are metric- 1 lap = 400 meters.

400 meters = 437.4 yards, while 440 yards= 402.3 meters, so the metric mile (1,600 meters) equals 1,749 yards, about 11 yards short of 1 mile). Go here for a quick conversion.

What Should You Focus on During a 2 Mile Track Race?

I would focus on my 400 meter splits and where my competition is. You should have a pretty good idea what you can run so the goal is to run even splits every 400 meters. A 10 min 2 miler should run 400 meter splits in approx. 75 seconds per lap.

You also need to see what your competitors are doing- you can draft on windy stretches. During the last 800, you have to decide when to make a move- depending on where your competitors are- if you are fast you can afford to sit and wait until the last straight. If you are slow you need to think about a long sustained kick.

mine was voted best answer at yahoo.com answers- running

Marathon Splits: Seattle and Napa Valley

Check out my splits for these 2 marathons. This is amazing!

Split time.........Seattle Nov 30..................Napa Valley Mar 1

5 miles..................33:00.......................................33:00

10 miles.................32:51...1:05:51..........................32:52...1:05:52

15 miles.................32:36...1:38:28..........................32:46...1:38:48

20 miles.................33:38...2:12:06..........................33:23...2:12:02

25 miles.................35:07...2:47:14..........................34:28...2:46:30

26.2 miles...............8:37...2:55:51...........................8:40...2:55:10

Like Wine? Win the Napa Valley Marathon

photo by Brent Wright

Napa Valley Marathon winner Peter Gilmore received his weight in wine. Here you see organizers piling cases of wine on the other side of the scale- enough to lift Peter off the floor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Napa Valley Marathon: 2 hr 55 min 10 sec

As you can see, the 31st running of the Napa Valley Marathon was a wet one. I felt very good through 20 miles-

5 miles:........33:00
10 miles:......32:52.....1hr 05:52
15 miles:......32:46.....1hr 38:48
20 miles:......33:23.....2hr 12:02
25 miles:......34:28.....2hr 46:30
26.2 miles:................2hr 55:10

I finished 22th overall and 1st in the 55-59 age group (I think that may include 2 wheelchair entrants since I was being told 18th all the way in until I got passed by 1 runner the last mile. I'll still take that any day).