Sunday, May 31, 2009

Marathon Training Update Fri May 29

8 miles in an hour- felt ok.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Marathon Training Update May 27,28

Wed May 27: Easy 4 miles on the trails at Robin Hill. I actually felt pretty good considering 17 yesterday- could have gone longer but decided to rest up for a workout tomorrow.

Thurs May 28: 4 mile jog, then 6 x 800 at the Robin Hill loop with 60-75 second recovery


My recovery between each 800 was amazing! I was very surprised this was actually an easy workout - relatively speaking. 1 mile cool down so 8 miles total

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Elger Archives- U of Northern Iowa Marathon-1975

From Jan- April 1975, my weeks were filled with lots of high quality miles as I prepared for the NAIA Marathon in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Despite some great workouts, my indoor track season at UW-Stevens Point was a disaster. My endurance was great, but without the benefit of some high intensity intervals, I just could not run a respectable 2- mile indoors.

As my level of frustration increased, John Duwell (one of my teammates)found out about a marathon at the University of Northern Iowa over spring break. He was driving down to visit his grandmother, and suggested I ride along and we could run the marathon on the way back home. Why not?

We drove a couple of hours and showed up minutes before the start- I think there were about 33 of us total. I recall running with John the first 6 miles just getting the kinks out, then catching the leaders at about 8. By 10 (58 minutes) I was starting to roll and just took off. The guys in the lead vehicle kept giving me one mile splits, which were consistent 5:20s. I hit 20 miles in 1 hr 51 (53 minutes for the 2nd 10 miles), then cruised in to run a huge PR. It was then that I knew I my training was on the right track. (there is no second page to these results- only 12 finished!)

Remember, this was 1975- no electolyte drinks or gels. It was 45 degrees so I never even took a drink!

Marathon Training Update May 26

Tues May 26: 17 mile loop - out in 60 min, and back under 58 min. Feels good to get this one under 2 hours again. I wore my racing flats.

Mon May 25: 19 miles on the bike - felt good not to run!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bike Chasing?

IT'S SUMMER. That time of year when you have the whole summer to train and become a great running by XC season. Most summer running is non-productive at best. This summer, make it work for you.
Bike chasing is in. Decide you are going to get in the big miles this summer. Don't start small and try to build up miles every week; that hardly ever works and usually leaves you wishing you had done better. Instead start with the big miles from day one and get over the pain and stiffness in your legs for a couple of weeks. After three weeks you will be running big miles with no pain. You will be ready for a new challange. Bike chasing is in.
Have you ever run behind a bike? They go faster; they go slower; they hardly ever go at an even pace. If you have a biker to follow behind, you will be pushing and resting all the way. Chasing bikes is even better. You have to go hard, sprint even, to try and catch up. If there is a hill up ahead, even if the biker is going way too fast, you can catch em on the hill. Bikes go slow uphill. Downhill, you're dead mean, but uphill, you can catch up and leave um in the dust :-)
If you chase bikes this summer plan on coming back for XC season with a mid-race sprint nobody else can match. You will make this summer work for you!

-post on the forum by GerrytheJanitor (some believe this is Gerry Lindgren who ran 13:44 for 5K in high school way back in 1964!)

Marathon Training Update-Sun May 24

3.5 mile warm-up, then 2.5 miles on the 800 loop in Robin Hill (15:03). I wanted to go 3 miles but miscounted the laps! Once I stopped there was no way I could go another. Here I am 4 hours later and my legs are feeling trashed. Not as hard as an actual race, however there is something to be said about these short tempo workouts. Call it a decent but not great workout (this 800 loop is short, however with a couple of short inclines and lots of turns, it certainly is slower for the same effort compared to a flat straight path or track). I could use this as a goal workout and see how far I can knock that time down. 1 mile cool down 7 miles total

Marathon Training Update Week of May 17-23

Sun 17th: 12K race, 9 miles total

Mon 18th: 60 min bike in lousy weather

Tues 19th: 18 miles total- pretty slow

Wed 20th: 9 miles very slow on trail

Thurs 21st: 63 min bike ride, gave the legs a little work

Fri 22nd: 10 x 800 at Robin Hill- 1 min rest. 9 miles total

Sat 23rd: 9 miles easy

54 miles total in 5 days of running, one 12 K race, 1 long slow run, 1 long interval workout, 2 bikes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Case Made for High Weekly Mileage

"The African distance runners aren’t better than their counterparts in the West because they have better basic or acquired speed or because they do more speed work. They are better because of the huge aerobic base they have acquired that allows them to maintain a sustained pace that is alien to Western athletes"

MY COMMENT: This is a good read by British distance coach Mark Harvey who suggests that England should be sending their young runners to the US for development. The premise is based on the necessity of high weekly mileage.

Marathon Training Update May 21,22

Thurs, May 21: Nice bike ride- almost 15 miles in just over an hour. Legs got some work

Fri, May 22: 3 mile jog, then 10 x 800 in Robin Hill- not fast but anytime you do 10 x 800 with a minute recovery it's a good workout. 1 mile cool down. Total= 9 miles


Friday, May 22, 2009

Rhody Run Results

12K Rhody Run on Sunday the 17th (7.46 miles). 2 mile warm up

11 am start and wouldn't you know this was the warmest day of the year. I finished in 46:14 in 12th overall (previous 55-59 course record was 47:48). Started feeling very warm after the hill at 2 miles, but fortunately we hit shade and a slight headwind at 4 miles which I think prevented me from having a complete blow-up. I had a terrible finish- passed by the top female and another guy in the last 300 meters and I totally gave up- legs were feeling trashed and just couldn't go. Total 10 miles


Marathon Training Update May 20

slow 9 miles on trails. Legs are tired the day after a long run.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Statement from Dathan Ritzenhein on Parting Ways With Brad Hudson

Since the London Marathon, and even before, I have been evaluating where I am in my career and I’m not at the level I want to be,” Ritzenhein said in an interview with Universal Sports. “I have big goals in this sport and I don’t want to have any regrets when it is all set and done. My best years as a runner are approaching and I want to take my running to the next level.” -universalsports

MY COMMENT: I admire the desire, but why do these guys need coaches anyway? Frank Shorter was self-coached and won back to back Olympic medals in the marathon. So were many other top runners of the 70s. It would be nice to hook up with a group to train with, but Dathan knows his body and should be able to read how he is responding to workouts and races and make adjustments. It will be interesting who he ends up with. As far as taking it to the next level, he's already a top ten finisher in the Olympics- not sure how far he can go.

Students Generate Power on Elliptical Machines

EUGENE, OR -- Students at the University of Oregon’s (UO) student recreation center will help power the school by working out on 20 retrofitted elliptical machines tied to the electrical grid. They were debuted on May 11.

The university estimates that students will use the 20 machines for six to eight hours a day, which should generate about 6,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Officials said this amount is about enough to power a small energy efficient house for a full year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Running Drills

Does Stretching Help or Hurt Runners?

I knew Harry Wilson (Ovett’s coach) well, and John Anderson (Dave Moorcroft and Liz McColgan’s coach) very well indeed - and I listened as much to them as vice versa. For example, I separately asked them both - around the late 70’s - what place stretching and flexibility training had in their coaching - of Seb and Dave (Moorcroft) among others. And both said exactly the same thing. “Flexibility training makes runners go more slowly.” article by Pat Butcher on

MY COMMENT: Interesting! I still think flexibility gains importance the older you are- particularly in and around the hip area. I can't say first hand but I've read that Kenyans do plenty of stretching- doesn't appear to slow them down!

Marathon Training Update May 18-19

Mon May 18: bike for an hour- raining and windy so not much fun

Tues May 19: 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 17 miles very slow. Got in a 2 hour plus run because it was my day off, but I would have preferred another rest day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Steve Jones- Marathon Legend

Steve Jones set a marathon world record at Chicago in 1984 with a 2:08:05. He followed that up in the spring of 1985 with a victory at London in 2:08:16, then topped that with a 2:07:13 back at Chicago, missing Carlos Lopes's new world record by 1 second. He also won New York in 1988 by 3 minutes with a tough 2:08:20.

What's amazing about Jonesy was his low mileage, high intensity training (80-90 miles per week). According to Running With the Legends, his long runs lasted only 90 minutes, with occasional 5 minute fartlek intervals in the middle. In a typical week, he ran hard (or should I say very hard) 3 days a week, with 3 easy 40 minute runs.

His hard days were run very hard and he was famous for hammering the pace in his marathons very early. Although he never won an Olympic medal, there was a stretch in the mid-80s when nobody in the world could touch Steve Jones in a marathon.

(Steve Jones currently works as an elite distance running coach in Boulder, Colorado)

Good article on Jones in Running Times

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marathon Training Update May 11-16

Sun May 10: bike 21 miles

Mon May 11: 9 miles easy

Tues May 12: 6 x 800 in Robin Hill 7 miles total

Wed, May 13: 8 miles easy on trail

Thurs, May 14: 4 x 1 mile, 7 miles total

Fri, May 15:
8 miles easy on trail

Sat, May 16: 4 miles easy on trail

Week Total: 43 miles run, 21 miles bike
Another low mileage week, but I raced Sunday and had a 17 miler on Sat ending last week. 2 decent interval workouts and a good bike ride with some climbing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Christopher Reeve's Son Entered In NYC Marathon

NEW YORK (AP) -- Matthew Reeve plans to run the New York City Marathon to raise funds for his father's foundation, which helps people with spinal cord injuries.
AP Photo

Marathon Training Update May 14-15

Thurs, May 14: 2 mile jog, then 4 x 1 mile with 2 min recovery. Approx 6 min ave. cool-down Not bad but did not feel great. Not rested. 7 miles

Fri, May 15: 8 mile jog on trails. Comfortable.

Friday, May 15, 2009

8th Grader Runs 4:33 for 1,600 Meters

Event 10 Boys 1600 Meter Run
Name Year School Finals Points
1 Burcham, Jacob Barboursville 4:33.22 10
2 Jobe, David Barboursville 4:56.66 8
3 Waugh, Jeremy Milton A 5:07.86 6
4 Smith, Sam Huntington 5:18.83 4
5 Lawhon, Brian Bev. Hills A 5:28.52 2
6 Cunningham, Trevor Hurricane A 5:28.87 1
7 Tillett, Matthew Verity 5:29.57
8 Donovan, Sean Hurricane A 5:37.37
9 Keefe, Kyle Winfield A 5:43.12
10 Canterbury, Christopher So. Charleston A 5:46.24
11 Lewis, Taylor Milton A 6:00.12
12 Smith, Chandler Bev. Hills A 6:01.63
13 Zickafoose, Justin Hurricane B 6:03.12
14 Hayslett, Tim Hurricane B 6:05.02
15 Ferguson, Drew Winfield A 6:05.99
16 Smith, Bradley Winfield B 6:08.11
17 Hensley, Jeremy Sherman 6:09.68
18 Meyers, Seth Milton B 6:18.88
19 Kellione, Grant Sherman 6:20.26
20 Herrenkohl, Brock Barboursville B 6:25.63
21 Touchton, Parker Verity 6:37.12
22 Oxley, Sam Huntington 6:39.64
23 Kirk, Michael Winfield B 6:41.63
24 Williams, Parker Bev. Hills B 6:42.51
25 Phifer, Jacob Barboursville B 7:17.11

Barboursville Middle Track and Field West Virginia

MY COMMENT: Looks like another up and coming distance stud, but he's got some competition in Idaho. Cody Curtis, ran this 4:34 as an 8th grader at the 2008 Portland Track Festival (watch the video- amazing!)

2008 Results
Cody Curtis North Idaho T+F Idaho 4:34.03
Tate Schienbein Fast Feat Indiana 4:38.12
Ryan Silva Tucson Elite Arizona 4:43.78
Taylor Hybl PSA Oregon 4:46.26
Theo Carter Pleasanton Heat California 4:47.70
Tyler Sorensen Pleasanton Heat California 4:47.75
Harrison Leep Unattached Oregon 4:53.92
Nathan Brown CYO Oregon 4:55.65
Parker Deuel Pleasanton Heat California 4:56.52
Kirk Gulliver CYO Oregon 4:56.55
Darren Fahy Unattached California 4:58.54
Ryan England CYO Oregon 5:01.34
Danielle Menlove Sojourners Utah 5:01.63
Joshua Sealand CYO Oregon 5:03.49
Jack Pearce Rain City Flyers Washington 5:03.98
Jackson Baker PSA Oregon 5:05.66
Blaine Morgan CYO Oregon 5:12.79
Jashaun Agosto Seattle Speed Washington 5:15.43
Sam Lomax PSA Oregon 5:45.09

Marathon Training Update May 13 Wed

8 miles in 62 min. Felt decent but did not want to push it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1500 Meter Runner Disqualified for Excessive Celebration!

Watch a video of the race.
MY COMMENT: Are you kidding me?

Marathon Training Update May 12

6 x 800. Meeting up with Stu Marcy tonite for intervals. So windy we decided to run a loop course on the trails inside Robin Hill Park. Turned into a pretty good workout. Supposedly this has been measured but I ran 2:54, 2:52. 2:51: 2:50. 2:50, 2:46. Plenty of curves and some up and down so these were far slower than I run on the paved straight only the times were 5 seconds faster. Sounds good anyway. With warm up and cool down 7 miles total.

Stu's daughter Stephanie ran 4:54 for 1,600 meters in high school and was the 2006 Washington State Champion in Cross Country. She currently runs for Stanford and recently turned in a 16:27 for 5K at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

In the park we also bumped into Allison Cutting, another Washington State 2A State Cross Country Champion.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Marathon Training Update Wed May 11

pm- 1 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 miles easy. total 9 miles. Hoping for a good interval session tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Runner's Tribe

Nice blog entries and training updates by Aussie Colin Birmingham who turned in a 27:29 10K at Berkeley this spring. I was surprised- his training, like mine, is a pretty basic mix of distance, recovery, and intervals. Runner's Tribe

Marathon Training Update May - 3-9

Sun- easy 9 miles the day after a 10K race. felt ok

Mon- easy 5 miles

Tues- 17 miles in a slow 2 hr 13

Wed- 50 min bike ride in the rain

Thurs- 4 mile jog, then 8 x 800 with 1 min recovery. 8 miles total

Fri- 8 miles easy

Sat- 17 miles in 2 hr 03

Total = 64 miles. Not too bad- 2 x17 mile runs and a decent interval workout. Times on both are not where I would like- under 2 hrs on the long run and a few seconds faster on the 800s. Weekly total is up though.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Do Eggs Improve Endurance?

"Given the unique complementary relationship between the EAA [essential amino acid] leucine and glucose utilization by muscle, it would follow that a diet rich in the amino acid leucine would be advantageous to men and women undergoing endurance training." -Medical News Today

MY COMMENT: I think an egg a day is a good thing. I routinely mix an egg in with oatmeal and cook in the microwave.

Marathon Training Update- May 9

am: 17 mile run in 2 hr 03. I hit the turnaround at 59 min so a bit slower coming back. Not bad considering 8 miles yesterday. I want to get this loop back under 2 hours. I wore my racing flats with Superfeet for the first time. Not sure if I will use those for races or not.

Not Everyone Trains to Run Fast! Remember Walt Stack?

"Walt Stack's pace is so steady, if he fell out of an airplane he probably would fall at the speed of 8.5 minutes per mile." -Sports Illustrated writer

But in 1965, at 57, he decided that eight daily hours of hard labor just wasn't enough. So he ran the first of what would eventually become 62,000 lifetime miles, crafting a highly visible training routine that made him a San Francisco institution - though many a Bay Area commuter was heard to mutter that he instead should've been committed to one. "I'm going to do this till I get planted," he'd say, and indeed he nearly did. Every day for 27 years, until sidelined by failing health in 1993, Stack would set out on his bike and ride the six hilly miles from his Potrero Hill home to Fisherman's Wharf. There he'd strip off his shirt - to display the tattoos of peacocks, wild horses, and bathing beauties muraled across his broad, rawhide chest - and run over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back, 17 miles. Next, Stack would jump into the Bay near Alcatraz Island (sometimes accompanied by sharks) for a one-mile swim in choppy water he called "colder than a landlord's heart."

MY COMMENT: So many stories about this guy. My favorite- "At 24 miles I was gaining on him, and I knew he was mine. I came up behind him, and it looked like he was drinking something, so when I caught him, I looked over. It was a can of beer. He flipped it away and said, 'Guess that ends the six-pack.' And then he ran away and left me." SIVault

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Marathon Training Tip

The truth is that pace, not training mileage, is the crucial element to success in marathons. -George Sheehan in Better Runs 25 Years' Worth of Lessons For Running Faster and Farther by Joe Henderson.

MY COMMENT: George reportedly ran just over 3 hours at 61 years of age on 30 miles a week- 3 x 10 mile runs. It turns out he was a very gifted runner as well as writer and speaker. Preparation for a marathon requires a balance of quantity and quality, and that may vary with every individual. Certainly age plays a role- rest and recovery is much more important after 40 and especially after 50. Perhaps weekly miles are more important for younger runners that recover faster, and older runners that require additional rest should focus more on tempo miles per week. All I know is that now (after 50)I need very good rest prior to a good workout.

Bob Timmons Should Have Read This Book!

"If you regularly pushed young men to the brink of exhaustion, they might build up an immunity to it." fascinating article on Bob Timmons in April 2009 issue of Runner's World by Ben Paytner

MY COMMENT: Too bad Timmons, who coached Jim Ryun in high school and college, never got to read Run Less Run Faster. His approach to training was absolutely brutal!

"Some runners just couldn't handle it. they got fried, or injured, or so exhausted that they finished dead last in the championships they'd trained for all season."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Marathon Training Update May 7

Jogged 4 miles with Sumo and a friend I met on the trail. He wanted to run the first 800 with me - I went 2:49 and he was at least 5 seconds up. The rest were just under 3 with the wind and just over 3 against the wind. I've felt better.

8 x 800 plus 4 mile warm-up - 8 miles.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remembering Marathon Legend Johnny Kelley

Johnny Kelley was a remarkable runner who was a 2-time winner of the Boston Marathon (1935 and 1945). He ran Boston 61 times, finishing 2nd seven times and 18 times he was in the top 10. Amazing!

There is a statue of Kelley and Tarzan Brown on Heartbreak Hill. "He was the Boston Marathon," -four-time winner Bill Rodgers

(I took this photo of Kelley in 1992 in his final marathon at 84 years of age). He died in 2004 at 97.

Marathon Training Update- May 5-6

Tues- 17 mile run. Ran a slow 2 hr 13 (my best time on this route is 1 hr 55 min). I think I am still feeling the effects of the Sat 10K and 9 miles on Sunday.

Wed- Just a 50 minute bike ride in the rain. Miserable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Running Book Gets Great Reviews

"Born to Run is hilariously funny, weird, and nonstop fun to read. Runners can sink their teeth into it."–Bill Rodgers, Four time winner of the Boston Marathon

“Hugely entertaining. . . . One of the most joyful and engaging books about running to appear for many years.”— The Irish Times.

Looks like a good one. Order here.

Running Calculators

Ok so I ran a 10k this weekend and had a good effort- 37:31. I know that sounds slow, but using an age graded calculator it's the equivlant of a 31:30. Much better.

According to the McMillan Running Calculator, I should be able to run a 2:56:04 marathon and a 5:12 mile. I've done the marathon time, but I need some work to run 5:12.

Why Expensive Running Shoes May be a Waste of Money

Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: 'A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.
'Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.

MY COMMENT: This is a very compelling article on running shoes. I've been running in worn out $39 Saucony's forever. No clue how many miles are on them but who cares? My new $36 Adidas Bostons are on the way so I should be good to go for another 6 months or so. In fairness, I try to stay off road as much as possible, and as I've posted before, I try not to spend more than $50 when I do buy (my one exception to that rule would be a good marathon racing shoe).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marathon Training Update May 3-4

May 3 Sunday, 1 mile with Sumo then 8 miles in just over an hour. Felt surprisingly good the day after a 10K

May 4 Mon, 1 mile with Sumo, then 4 miles easy. High winds, light rain, tired, and generally feeling one of those "why do I do this? days. Total= 5 miles.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nice Feature in Northwest Runner

Thanks to Northwest Runner for the nice feature!

Marathon Training Update Ap 26-May 2

Mon- 4 x 1 mile repeats, 2 min recovery-7 miles total

Tues- 17 miles slow

Wed- 12 mile bike, hills

Thurs- 9 miles easy

Fri- 4 miles easy

Sat- 10K race, 37:31, 8 miles total

Totals for the week = 12 miles bike, 45 miles running

I got in a good long interval workout, a 17 mile run (2 hrs plus), and a good 10K so I cannot complain. Still, I better up the miles this week!

Marathon Training Update May 1-2

May 1- easy 4 miles with Sumo. Legs are beat

May 2- 2 mile warm up-10K race (Sequim Run Off). The goal was run as close to 6 minute pace as possible. No racing for so long I was pleased how strong I felt the the last 3 miles. Ended up running 37:31 (approx 6:03 per mile). Pretty cool running next to the Olympic Game Farm.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Great Deal on Adidas Boston Men's Running Shoe- $35.99!

Product Description

The comfort and efficiency of a well-designed, multi-purpose running shoe. Breathable mesh upper. Molded EVA sockliner for comfort. adiWEAR rubber sole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability. ClimaCool provides 360-degree cooling for the entire foot. adiPRENE+ in the forefoot maintains propulsion and efficiency. TORSION SYSTEM provides adaptive midfoot support. adiPRENE under the heel for superior cushioning at impact.

Go here to order

Friday, May 1, 2009

Marathon Training Update Apr 30

1 mile jog with Sumo, then 8 miles easy in Robin Hill Park. Felt good to get out and take it easy. 9 miles total.

How Does Ritz Prevent Cramping?

“We went out fast, and I felt very comfortable,” Ritzenhein said. “I felt great right up until 20 miles, and I started to get some cramping issues again, the same thing that plagued me in Beijing, in my calves and hamstrings.

“I went from feeling great to feeling like someone had punched me in the hamstrings.”

Dathan Ritzenhein's comments following his 2 hr 10 min effort at London. Register Guard

Ritzenhein took three salt tablets during the last 10K to help alleviate the problem. “I didn’t think I was dehydrated,” he said. “My fitness felt great. The last 10K wasn’t even hard.”

MY COMMENT: Ritz went out too fast.
5 km 0:14:37 (2:55 per km ave)
10 km 0:29:39
15 km 0:44:54
20 km 1:00:13
half 1:03:33
25 km 1:15:27
30 km 1:30:51
35 km 1:46:35
40 km 2:02:58
finish 2:10:00

14:37 through 5K is 2 hr 03 pace. Even though he felt good, he probably paid a price for that in the last 10K. Same mistake Hall made in Boston, but when your in a pack of runners with a pacer there is not much you can do.

The salt tablets probably did not help, and in fact may have contributed to more cramping. (Why Salt Tablets Are Not a Good Idea)

Read the assortment of comments about Ritz on the world famous message board.

I believe he may have been in 2 hr 07 shape, but he belonged in a group that hit that first 5K in 15 min. Hard to say what other factors contribute to his cramping. Perhaps some eccentric strength work focusing on those posterior leg muscles would do the trick. (Eccentric Hamstring Fatigue May Be a Problem for Marathoners)