Sunday, March 28, 2010

Iowa State Runner Lisa Koll Sets 10K Collegiate Record

Lisa Koll won the Stanford Invite 10,000 is a record setting 31:18, the 6th fastest time ever run by an American woman. Iowa State Athletics

Full results here. An old training partner of mine for a time in Okinawa, Rachel Booth, placed 8th running 33:22.

Here is an interview with Lisa following an indoor 15:29 this winter. She talks about dealing with injuries including plantar fascitis.

An up and coming talent if she can stay healthy!

Josh Rohatinsky Reveals Anemia Problem

Good interview with Josh Rohatinsky prior to his PR 1:01:55 half marathon in New York, where he reveals a history of iron deficiency. This race is a good indication that Josh is right on track for his Boston Marathon build-up.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Television EMF- Is it Safe?

Is indoor cycling in front of a television safe? When I first started using my road bike on E-Motion Rollers, I thought the only risk for me was falling off (OK, I admit I did kind of tip over the other day trying some out of saddle standing climbing, but I just in case I padded my floor with several blankets to soften the fall). Now I'm not so sure.

Thinking I could track total miles ridden rather than time, I purchased a wireless bike computer. If you are not familiar, a magnet is attached to a spoke, which passes close to a sensor mounted on the fork. The sensor transmits to the computer mounted on the handle bars, indicating speed, distance, etc. The problem was, I couldn't get it to work. After changing the battery and fiddling with all possible angles and distance from the magnet to the sensor, I simply gave up. Then one day I removed my bike from the room and presto, the computer worked perfectly! I took it back into the room where I had my E-Motion Rollers set up, and it immediately quit on me.

After a little research, I learned about electomagnetic forces emitted by televisions and other appliances (World Health Organization). I discovered that my bike had to be moved all the way out into the hallway (10 ' or so) before EMF interference from the television disappeared.

Is EMF harmful? Let's hope not, because I have to have the TV on when I ride indoors.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Knee Osteoarthritis and Shoes

Flip-flops and sneakers with flexible soles are easier on the knees than clogs or even special walking shoes, a study by Rush University Medical Center has found. And that's important, because loading on the knee joints is a key factor in the development of osteoarthritis.-

MY COMMENT: So I guess this means if you want your knees to last, hang on to old racing flats for walking around. "Our study demonstrated that flat, flexible footwear significantly reduces the load on the knee joints compared with supportive, stable shoes with less flexible soles."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ten Reasons To Do The Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon

If you have a "bucket" list for marathons, there is no way you can exclude the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon.

1. The "heavy" category means you carry 35 pounds.

2. "I've done 17 marathons - this was unreal. I wasn't prepared for the sand.
I wasn't prepared for all the loose sand - many miles of this and a lot of it uphill."

3. "Being part of an event honoring the real Bataan Death March and meeting actual veterans"

4. Footwear is limited to military service recognized boots (military only I guess)

5. Participants will wear BDUs, ACUs or their service equivalent uniform (military only I guess)

6. Over the period of record 1980-2004, the 24-hour average wind speed in late March is about 8 mph, with daily maximum gusts of near 30 mph. However, wind speeds along the east-facing slopes of the Organ and San Andres Mountains, near much of the march route, can be much higher, with gusts of 50-60 mph quite common during windstorms

7. Miles & Miles of Nothing but Desert

8. White Sands Missile Range has been a site for defense testing, to include various munitions, for more than 50 years. Do not touch, pick up or kick anything along the route

9. In the true Death March, the surrendered had no options. They helped each other through the ordeal just to stay alive. In the memorial event, marchers are encouraged to remember this spirit


The Next Bataan March Marthon is March 27, 2011! Results for 2010 here.

Read about the REAL Bataan Death March here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

31 Sent to Hospital from LA Marathon

“It’s important for people running a marathon to stretch, eat properly and stay hydrated tonight and in the days following the race"- Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital medical director 31 Los Angeles Marathon runners hospitalized, 1 in critical condition

MY COMMENT: Stretch after a marathon? I like to kick back with a few brews and a steak. Stretching is the last thing I'd recommend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mo Takes 3rd at New York City Half Marathon!

Mohamed Trafeh's 1:00:39 half marathon in New York puts him at least in the same ballpark with America's best, Ryan, Meb, and Ritz. The question is, WAS THIS GOOD ENOUGH TO ATTRACT A SPONSOR??

Of note, Josh Rohatinsky, a former NCAA XC champ from BYU, is showing signs that his switch from Alberto Salazar to Jerry Schumacher is paying off. Josh finished 6th in 1:01:55.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Who is Telling the Truth? You Be The Judge!

Marathon Performance Training Group is pleased to announce the addition of Mohamed Trafeh. The former Arizona Wildcat and Duarte High School, CA phenom is preparing for a breakout season. The 24-year old wrapped up 2009 with a victory in the 32nd Annual Cow Harbor 10k (29:15.6). Other notable finishes included 2nd at the USA 20k Championships and 12th in the USA 15k Champs. He is tentatively scheduled to run a marathon in Morocco (where he is currently training) to begin the 2010 season. Trafeh makes his home in Southern California.

Coach and agent Brad Hudson on Trafeh: “Mo is an outstanding athlete. We’re really excited to bring him on board. He’s a super talent with tons of ability — very untapped (Brad Hudson)


Brad Hudson coaches you, correct?

MT: No. I am self-coached.

Did he ever coach you?

MT: No. I talked to him a couple of times. He gave me some friendly advice.

On the Marathon Performance Web site, it says he is your coach and agent. It also says you run for their team.

MT: I was surprised to see that, actually. I got a message from a guy on Facebook asking me for a picture to put on the Web site. And I gave him a few pictures. I thought he was going to do a little profile on me for Marathon Performance. Next thing I know it looks like they included me in the group as if I was one of his athletes. He doesn’t coach me or represent me. He’s my friend as far as Facebook goes, but nothing further than that.

Mo Trafeh- Self Coached Runner Poised for a Breakthrough!

I'm rooting for Mo Trafeh to do something special at the NY City Half Marathon this weekend.

In case you missed it, Trafeh led the Jacksonville Gate River Run (15 kilometers) just last weekend from start to finsh (4:22 opening mile), winning with an impressive 42:58. Not bad for a self-coached runner with NO SPONSOR!

Good write up on Trafeh in Running Times.

Currently his sole means of support is road race prize money, so you know Trafeh is hungry and motivated. Could you imagine Ryan Hall racing 15K an a half-marathon on back to back weekends?

Go for it Mo! I'm rooting for you to hang in with marathon world record holder Halie Gebrselassie. You can watch coverage of the race at 7:30 am EST at

Friday, March 19, 2010

Great Running Story!

The story of Bereket Piatt and Habatamu Rubio, both PT juniors, is interesting, and not just because their coach is confident they will win state titles this year while chasing each other, although that is part of it.

The real story is the two talented runners are native Ethiopians who have been adopted by two Port Townsend families — Ruth and Tony Rubio, and Nancy and John Piatt

How would you like to be a high school coach that has not one, but 2 native Ethiopian boys running on your cross country and track teams? I even ran against these 2 last year at the 2009 Rhody Run in Port Townsend!

1. Gray Joseph Lakewood WA 25 M 00:37:54.72
2. Steidl Uli Shoreline WA 37 M 00:39:28.72
3. Timeus John Kent WA 24 M 00:40:09.97
4. Fraiser Ian Port Townsend WA 35 M 00:40:34.33
5. Effmann Jason Portland OR 33 M 00:40:47.79
6. Piatt Bereket Port Townsend WA 17 M 00:42:29.49
7. Conrick James Seattle WA 26 M 00:42:37.47
8. Runio Habtamu Port Townsend WA 16 M 00:43:47.71
9. Young Don Port Townsend WA 45 M 00:44:08.16
10. Darrock Keith 31 M 00:46:06.47
11. Houk Elva Port Orchard WA 25 F 00:46:07.87
12. Elger Dave Sequim WA 55 M 00:46:14.67

Rhody Run Results 2009

Carbohydrate Intake During Long Runs/Marathons

If the race lasts for 60-200 minutes, take five to six swallows of a 6-8 per cent carbohydrate sports DRINK every 15 minutes during the race

-Peak Performance Online

If you are counting grams or calories, the recommendation is 30 grams of carbohydrate per hour, or a little more than 200 calories.

For races lasting 3-3.5 hours they recommend adding 40 grams of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) to each liter of sports drink and sipping that. I've never shopped for MCT so have no idea if it's readily available. Unless you have access to your own drinks at aid stations, it doesn't make sense to use it during workouts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Marathon Runners Found to Have More Calcified Coronary Plaque

A new study found that long-term endurance running in marathon runners was associated with significantly increased calcified coronary plaque volume compared with non-marathon runners (274 mm3 vs. 169 mm3), according to data presented at the American College of Cardiology 59th Annual Scientific Sessions.

MY COMMENT: My recent post (Marathon Running Linked to Heart Problem) found higher blood pressure and stiffer aorta in runners, which I find surprising. This study found more calcified plaque, which I'll guess has more to do with diet than running marathons.

Run Across America!

Beginning March 23, Yi-joo Kwon, 64, will attempt to run 3,500 miles from
Los Angeles to New York.

MY COMMENT: Inspirational story- from death's doorstep the result of complications of diabetes, Kwon is now training 30 miles a day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

12 Year Old Leukemia Patient Running Boston

Jimmy Fund clinic patient Ronald Agostinelli, 12, of West Roxbury, is participating in the 114th Boston Marathon as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Patient Partner program.

MY COMMENT: Stay strong Ronald! Be sure to check out the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge website- impressive!

Heel Pain Update

I've noticed a marked improvement in my heel since I arrived in the Philippines- the massage therapist I saw today for a session of Hot Stone Refloxology suggested perhaps the warm weather here has something to do with it.

After I read this in Galloway's Book on Running "Every night, roll your foot over a golf ball, baseball, or softball. For the first 1-2 minutes, roll gently. As the area gets desensitized, roll a bit harder into the area of the spur. Doctors have told me that this has worn down some bone spurs enough so that they are no longer a problem", I've gone back to using the golf ball.

Any running I've done in the last 6 months has been nothing but slow and easy, until today. My normal jog into Moalboal since arriving in the Philippines has been 18-19 minutes, but this morning I did it in 17 min out and under 16 on the return trip. Not blazing, but quicker than the jogging I've been doing. I actually broke a sweat for the first time in several months!

I felt some slight heel discomfort after, but for the most part I only feel pain when I palpate deep. It's definitely feeling better than even a week ago.

For now my plan is to continue these short runs and work on getting some tempo back. After this foot massage today, I realized there may be value to continuing some kind of regular foot self-treatment.

These Foot Wakers are a bit pricey but have received several positive reviews on Amazon. For now, since I can pinpoint a spot, I'll stick with the golf ball.

Side note: Today, even at 6 am it was warm, so I carried a 50 peso bill (approx. one dollar) to buy water in Moalboal. At the corner store, I asked for water, and the young Filipino girl produced a plastic bag tied off and filled with about 12 ounces of delicious, ice cold water. I had to ask the dumb question how to get it open- of course you bit a hole in the bottom and suck. How much for that bag of water? ONE PESO! I told her to keep the change on my 50.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marathon Running Linked to Heart Problem

Marathon runners had increased blood pressure and stiffness in the aorta, the major artery to the heart, researchers said in a study to be presented on March 15 at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Atlanta -Business Week

MY COMMENT: I am skeptical, but keep an eye on your blood pressure anyway.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scuba Diving and Running

I am currently enjoying a little R&R in the Philippines that includes scuba diving the local reefs. It's hot here, not to mention I am not in very good shape, but I still need to run.

I found this excellent article at about exercise and diving. To be on the safe side, they recommend "Intense physical training should be 24 hours on either side of diving activity. Any exercise within 24 hours of diving should involve the lowest possible joint forces."

Today and tomorrow I'll be doing a 35-40 minute run at around 6 am, dive at around 9 am, rest up, dive again at around 5 pm, then get in an easy evening swim (I can't help it- I'm bending the rules a little).

That schedule, along with a good dose of Filipino food, should help me lose some of this extra belly fat I've been carrying around!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Khannouchi Coming Back at 39!

A lot of my problems have come from the leg [length] discrepancy that I have. There is a centimeter [of difference] between my right leg and my left leg. -former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi who has had a string of injuries and finally foot surgery.

At 39, I wouldn't bet against him running 2:10 or so this fall if he can remain healthy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hal Higdon- A Running Legend

The first time I met Hal Higdon, I was a graduate student at Ball State University. Higdon was part of an ongoing study on aging and it's effects on human performance. Since the late 60s', Dr. David Costill had been collecting data on a small group of runners, and Higdon was back for a check-up.

Higdon, who finished 5th in the 1964 Boston Marathon and made 8 Olympic Trials appearances, was an amazing specimen. Back in those days we used a 3 lead electrocardiogram to monitor the heart's response during treadmill tests, and when we hooked him up, I was shocked to see his resting heart rate in the low to mid 30s (he says he's been as low as 30 beats per minute).

Years later I met Higdon again, this time in Australia at the World Masters Athletics Championships. He was in the middle of a quest- running 7 marathons in 7 months in the year of his 70th birthday.

Today Higdon is one of the most recognized authors of running books on the planet. He's written 35 books and countless articles and columns on running. His most recent work is a novel appropriately called Marathon.

If you are looking for a training plan to prepare for your next race, you need go no further than From beginner to ultra-marathoner, Higdon has a plan.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Running Myths!

Periodically I scan the World Famous Message Boards on the popular running website  Recently one titled "What are some of the biggest running myths" caught my interest.

My favorite running myths:

You should always breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Runners with longer legs have an advantage.

Electrolyte replacement during a marathon somehow eliminates cramps, prevents hyponatremia, and improves performance.

You can freeze your lungs running in winter.

You'll catch a cold running in wet, cold weather.

Expensive shoes will reduce injuries.

Stretching prevents soreness.

Running will ruin your knees.

Your body switches over to burning fat after 30 minutes.


Running Boot Camps Are Here!

"..there are three typical mistakes that many runners make: They are too weak in their hips, too stiff in their ankles, and they ignore core strength, which all can lead to injuries and inefficient running" - Running Boot Camp Instructor Brian Lawler   Ashville Citizen Times

MY COMMENT:  Lawler is right- taking care of the neglected areas of conditioning should make you a less injury prone, and maybe a faster runner.  No better way to motivate yourself and learn proper drills, etc than Running Boot Camp!

Free Running-Advice by Joe English

 I haven't watched them all, but coach Joe English along with Dean Herbert have posted a series of informative 10-minute videos addressing a number of running, training, and racing issues at . 

Running Form and Technique
Marathon Pacing
Figuring Out Your Pace
Goal-Paced Workouts
Quality vs Quantity Debate
...and so on.

From what I've watched, EVERY runner could pick up tips from this site.   Thanks to Coach Joe and Dean for sharing! 

Poor Air Quality May Affect Women Runners More Than Men

Poor air quality apparently affects the running times of women in marathons, according to a study by Virginia Tech civil and environmental engineer Linsey Marr.   Eureka Alert

MY COMMENT:  I'm not sure there is anything you can do about this other than be more cautious when racing in a major city under conditons with poor air quality, especially those who are prone to asthma.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Study finds that caffeine cuts post-workout pain by nearly 50 percent!

In a study to be published in the February issue of The Journal of Pain, a team of University of Georgia researchers finds that moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48 percent in a small sample of volunteers.

MY COMMENT:  In a related study, one subject reports that beer also cuts post workout pain by at least 48%!