Saturday, February 27, 2010

Amy Yoder Begley Prepares for USATF Indoor Nationals

“Run, bike, stretch, eat, lift, nap, snack, run, bike, eat, stretch, bed time.”

-Amy Yoder Begley's twitter on life in Albuquerque for a stint of altitude training.

Amy took 6th in the IAAF World Championship 10,000 meters last summer and has a 31:13 PR.  She will be running the 3,000 meters at Indoor Nationals this weekend! 

I find it interesting that she includes regular biking- "Even when I am healthy, I add stationary biking to my weekly routine to continue to stay healthy.  I'm almost surprised more of the top runners don't use the bike as a regular cross training workout.

Kids Marathon

The Kids Marathon lets school children run a marathon, safely, one kilometre at a time. It provides incentive, motivation, goal setting, rewards for achievment and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle among children.

Schools in Connecticut have adopted the Kids Marathon Program "as a means of combating obesity, fostering more physical activity and better nutrition among children. "  Statewide fitness initiative gets students off and running
Check out the list of running greats from New Zealand and Australia that are promoting this program!   

Friday, February 26, 2010

Follow the Tokyo Marathon This Weekend!

On Sunday 28th February a group of Tokyo citizens will attempt something never attempted before (maybe): The live streaming of the Tokyo Marathon using a squadron of iPhones, a Nexus One and 2 Macbooks

Coverge starts 6 pm on Sat EST. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Would Tylenol Help Your Race Time?

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) was found to increase power output and 10 mile time trial time (26:15 vs 26:45 on the placebo ride) among 12 cyclists.  These findings support the notion that exercise is regulated by pain perception, and increased pain tolerance can improve exercise capacity. (J. of Applied Physiolgy)

According to, acetaminophen is a pain reliever that can potentially harm liver in excessive doses or if you drink alcohol.  The recommmended dose is 325-650 mg every 4-6 hours. 

I wouldn't make it a habit, and I would not use it in a marathon (dehydration may increase concentration of the drug as your liver tries to clear it), however I might consider popping a couple of tylenol an hour before my next hard 5K. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ed Whitlock- First Under 3 Hours After 70!

Good article in Running Times featuring 78 year old Ed Whitlock, the first to break 3 hours in a marathon after reaching 70 years of age.  Whitlock went on to run 2:54 at age 73!

His training routine has been well documeted- up to 3 hours daily on a 1/3 mile loop around a cemetery.  No hills, no speed, stretching, cross-training, or other variations.  (No Place to Run)

High School Runner Told to Take 2 Years Off!

"There was a crack in his heel, the podiatrist said, your plates are not fusing together, which was a fairly huge hairline fracture and he said to Pierce, you cannot continue running," Doreen said.

This was four years ago. He was told to take two years off and wasn't sure he'd ever be back at full speed again.

According to the article, high school runner Pierce Murphy from Hawaii  (15th in the Footlocker West Regional), was back running after just one month of rehab.   Murphy, a junior, has run 9:03 for 3,000 meters ( 

Should You Drink Extra Fluid 24 Hours Before a Marathon?

The first published finding regarded runners' sodium levels, which Mohseni said were found to be lower after the race in slower runners, who take longer to finish.  That means slower runners have more time to drink more water along the route, where volunteers are giving water out at every mile, Mohseni said.

Another aspect of the study focused on whether increased fluid intake in the 24 hours prior to a marathon affects the body. The answer is "no, in our race it did not," Mohseni said.
Michael Mohseni is a Mayo Clinic emergency room physician involved in the Runner's Science program.
MY COMMENT:  Neither finding here is surprising, although very few marathoners, even at an elite level, are aware that chugging extra water for 24 hours prior to a race apparently has little or no effect on their race day performance (unless of course they are dehydrated to begin with).  Humans are not camels! 
Sherry Mahoney, Mayo Clinic Director of Nutrition, recommends about 4 swallows (or ounces) of liquid every 20 minutes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Programmed To Run

Author Tom Miller is the guy who studied the effect of high intensity cycling on 10K performance.   In combination with mental training, his group of runners that performed cycling intervals once a week improved their average 10K time from 50.2 minutes to 44.4 minutes!  (from Programmed to Run-p 70)

MY COMMENT:  I've always enjoyed high intensity uphill cycling as a cross training workout once or twice a week. 

Aline Insoles

Aline offers a high tech insert for running and other sports.  According to their website (, "you get barefoot function IN your shoes...all of the positive benefits, none of the negative."

They go for $59.99, but if they solve your plantar fascitis or other foot problem, it's money well spent. 

Adam Goucher Update

So I’m pain free, and I also just feel stronger. Thanks to our strength program, my body feels more like it did when I was younger. Being pain free in itself is rejuvenating. To be able to go out on a run and enjoy it is something that I haven’t had for years. I feel good, and I’m pumped up about my workouts, and that’s going to translate into the next thing, which is races. -Adam Goucher (

Goucher, at one time considered America's greatest distance running talent, is now 35 years old and healthy with sights set on an Olympic marathon berth in 2012. I can't wait to see him get into some races and mix it up with the younger group of American runners. It's a bit of a stretch to think he'll make the US marathon team (I don't believe Goucher has ever run a marathon), but he does possess a ton of talent so don't count him out. I'd like to see his strength training routine!

For The Runner Who Has Everything- Prepair Crocs

Crocs now offers a line of recovery sandals and clogs designed specifically for wear following long runs or races

For more information on Prepair Crocs go to

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Runner on E-motion Rollers

Last week I got in my new E-Motion Rollers from Inside Ride. Needless to say, there is a learning curve for riding rollers, and while I haven't "danced" on the pedals yet like the guy in this video, I am slowing getting the hang of it (it took me about 10 minutes before I got the nerve to remove my hand from the wall!).

My heel continues to show improvement, and all of my running is basically now pain free (although I can still feel something there walking around during the day after sitting). I switched back over to Powerstep Inserts- I think overall they offer more protection than Heel Seats, (I will use those when I start doing easy strides). For now I am jogging an average of 40-45 minutes in the morning, swimming 1000 meters or so after work (that's when I get my anaerobic work), then I hop on the rollers for 20 minutes when I get home. After that I take Sumo, who has been waiting patiently, out for another 20 minute mile jog. "Mini" workouts.

I'll continue this progression and see how my foot responds to a gradual increase in distace before I set a long term goal.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yoshihisa Hosaka - 2:38:12 at age 61!

A year after his 60+ world record of 2:36:30 at the 2009 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Yoshihisa Hosaka did it again with a 2:38:12 world record for the 61 year old bracket at this year's Beppu-Oita on Feb. 7. -Japan Running News

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Train for a Marathon and Earn College Credits

One surprising bit of information gleaned from the previous year's data was that the biggest predictor of marathon time was the students' two-mile time. "I would have thought weekly mileage was the best predictor," Lundstrom said. -thats

As for assignments and grading, students must design a fuel plan detailing what they will eat and drink, along with a mental plan that explains the "techniques and tools they'll use to get through the tough parts of the marathon." They will take a few quizzes and also be graded on attendance, but 40 percent of the grade rests on completing the Eau Claire Marathon in Wisconsin on May 2.

MY COMMENT: Chris Lundstrum (a 2:17 marathoner) is heading up this class at the U of Minnesota. While this is not the first marathon training program for college credit, this is the first time I've seen this much detail and data collection. I agree with Chris- I find it interesting that 2-mile time is a better predictor than weekly mileage of marathon performance.

Watch USA Cross Country Nationals Live!

Saturday, February 13, 2010
9:00 a.m. Erik Anderson Community 4 km
9:45 Masters Women's 8 km
10:45 Masters Men's 8 km
11:45 Junior Women's 6 km
12:30 p.m. Junior Men's 8 km
1:15 Open Women's 8 km
2:00 Open Men's 12 km
USA Track and Field

Flotrack will broadcast live from Spokane!

For more great track and field coverage Flotrack will also be at the Husky Classic run on the fast, over sized Dempsey Fieldhouse track at the U of Washington.

A Wild Mountain Bike Ride

Do you enjoy mountain biking to cross train from running? Watch this very intense 7 minute downhill ride. My question is did they ride up the mountain or take a lift?

Mondial Du VTT Descente de Venosc caméra embarquée
Uploaded by 103TuRtLe.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sports Bras

It goes without saying that some women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to running. I was recently having a disucssing about fitness with a couple of ladies when the topic of sports bras just happened to come up.

As a result, I've added a new Women's Apparel category to my Running and Fitness Store.

As a sidenote, you can also check out KALYX Technologies . I was watching ABCs Shark Tank when owner and former pro golfer Kimberly Cayce made a pitch for her company. While she didn't get the Sharks to bite (they did not believe she could compete on a level with companies such as Nike), she did get a chance to expose her product line to millions of viewers.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nature Video on Barefoot Running

Check out the Harvard evidence-based resource on Barefoot Running.

MY COMMENT: Conversion to a forefoot striker is not as easier as taking your shoes off, and is not for everybody. Note Vibrum, maker of the Five Finger Shoes, provided funding. Good move by the company!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Heel Pain Update

I just finished up my first 100% pain free run in several months! Last week I received two products that I wanted to try- the first to arrive were the Heel Seats

Unlike most traditional inserts, Heel Seats are designed to place small amount of pressure on the tissue under the heel rather than stopping pronation. According to Art Smuckler, inventor of Heel Seats, "I began experimenting with acupressure during exam after locating the heel pain. I asked each patient, once I applied acupressure, weather the pain was less, the same, or greater, and to my surprise, 90 percent of the time, it was less, much less. However, once finger pressure was released, no long term positive or negative effect on the pain was noted. Naturally, it was something to do with applied acupressure, and obviously, the key was the location of that pressure"

Heel Seats use a product called KRATON to apply pressure on the heel. I am only doing slow jogging and am concerned about possible slippage at faster speeds, but other than that, they are comfortable.

A few days later I received a pair of Powerstep Inserts, and gave those a try. They are a good for pronation and support, and probably have also been helpful.

In a nutshell, I've been using both, and my heel pain, while not 100% cleared up (I still have some pain after prolonged sitting, especially after a morning run) appears to be improving. For now, I am leaning towards sticking with Heel Seats.

Racing Weight

“that the perfect weight is the weight you are the day you P.B. in your event,” referring to the time you achieve your personal best — or fastest — finish.
-Tom Fleming (Slimmer Doesn’t Always Mean Fitter)

Good NY Times article about balancing training, performance, and weight. Lighter is better, but only to a point.

Fleming is a former 2:12 marathoner who won at New York twice and was a top ten finisher at Boston 6 times.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Greg McMillan's Training Philosophy

We believe it is important to run fast on the track while preparing for a fast marathon, particularly for a young runner like Brett. (We've seen new US marathoners abandon the track once they get to the marathon and they seem to plateau quickly

MY COMMENT: Good interview with Greg McMillan- unlike Ritzenhein, not afraid or revealing his runners "secrets." His comment agrees with what I've been saying all along about Ryan Hall's lack of racing at shorter distances. It remains to be seen if Hall can pop another good marathon without showing any improvement in his track times.

Read Greg's 2009 recap - the future is looking bright in Flagstaff.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chocolate Milk Beats Endurox and Gatorade!

Participants cycled 51% and 43% longer after ingesting cholocate milk)(32 ± 11 min) than after ingesting carbohydrate replacement drink (21 ± 8 min) or fluid replacement drink (23 ± 8 min). CM is an effective recovery aid after prolonged endurance exercise for subsequent exercise at low-moderate intensities. -Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism

MY COMMENT: Subjects did better on a performance test (70% max effort to exhausion) 4 hours after an exhaustive, glycogen depletion ride. They were given the drinks at 0 and 2 hours following the depletion ride.

According to, 100 ml (3.4 oz) of Mars Refuel contains 77 calories, 3.1 grams of protein, 13.5 grams of carbohydrate, and 1.5 grams of fat. Chug the entire 300 ml bottle following an exhaustive workot and you get 231 calories, 9.3 grams of protein, 40.5 grams of carbohydrate, and 4.5 grams of fat.

Back in 2006, researchers also found that subjects were able to perform better 4 hours later using chocolate milk as a post exercise recovery drink (Chocolate Milk as a Post-Exercise Recovery Aid).

Maybe it's the fat!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Solinsky- 3:55 Opener!

Nike runner and former Badger from Stevens Point, WI opened up his 2010 season with an impressive 3:55.75 mile at the oversized indoor U. of Washington track. According to Chris, with the exception of 2 track workouts, all he's been doing is "base" distance work.

I recall back in my college days developing a huge distance base going into my last year preparing for the N.A.I.A marathon. Indoors, I managed to pick off 5th place in the 2- mile running 9:25 (very fast for me!)on nothing but distance work (OK I jumped in for a few 800s once a week but that was following a morning run and another 6-8 miles before practice).

One of our outdoor meets was Conference Relays, including a 4 x 1 mile, and somebody talked me into running a mile at UW- Eau Claire. I guess we must have been short-handed, because I was slow and never competed in such a short race in college. In what felt like a painful all out sprint I ran 4:30 to make the 4 man team, only to tie up and run a disappointing 4:35 relay leg when it counted.

Trust me when I say I was slow, but somehow I ran half way respectable off nothing but strength distance work. Not near Solinsky's level, but I know it doesn't take much speed to run a decent short race off huge volume and tempo. It will be interesting to see how he does this season- no secret Chris is on a mission to break 13 min for 5K, and he's off to a great start.