Sunday, February 27, 2011

Branched Chain Amino Acids May Help Distance Runners

(image from

BCAA supplementation increases resistance to fatigue and enhances lipid oxidation during exercise in glycogen-depleted subjects.
-Branched-chain amino acids supplementation enhances exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion. Looks like subjects did a long glycogen depletion exercise bout followed by a short, maximal stress test the following day. (note only 7 subjects in this study)

Good summmary of branched chain amino acids at HealthNews

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Rules for Lifting Abs

Forget crunches and take a look at these New Rules for Lifting Abs. Great ideas for developing core strength. Can you hold the plank position for 2 minutes?

I'm ordering New Rules for Lifting Abs!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life at These Speeds

“Definitely my favorite book! A beautiful tribute to all runners, and a reminder that being true to yourself is more important than setting records.”

—Alan Webb, national record holder for the high school mile, at 3:53.43

I bought Life at These Speeds years ago but reread it on vacation. A little far-fetched but well written. 800 meter runners out there might especially enjoy this one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back from the Phlippines!

Following a hot 10 x 800 meter beach workout- I was wasted!

I just returned from 4 days in Boracay- a nice break from the frigid temperatures and a chance to get in at least a couple of quality workouts.

It was hot so I was out the door by 6 am every day. While I didn't run many miles (8 was my longest day), I did a couple of quality beach workouts including 10x 800 in 3:09-3:12 (except the first two in 3:15).

The question is, will this break hurt my chances of running well in the Seoul Marathon on March 20, less than 4 weeks away? I'm hoping not.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

B.A.A. Announces New Boston Marathon Registration Procedure

In 2012, the BAA will institute rolling admission for qualifiers with the fastest runners being allowed to enter first. The field will be filled with the fastest of all qualifiers.

Then, in 2013, the BAA will make it more difficult to qualify by lowering time standards by five minutes across all age groups and both genders.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Steve Magness Hired by NIKE

Steve Magness, who ran 4:01 for the mile as a high school senior, probably dreamed of getting a NIKE contract one day. But never in his wildest dreams did he expect to get one as an employee, and not a runner.

Magness, who has a degree in Exercise Science, maintains a Science of Running blog and occasionally publishes in Running Times, received an unexpected phone call from Alberto Salazar, who just happened to need an assistant and liked what he'd seen from Magness. “I’ll tell (Magness) this is what I’m doing, and he can look at it and give me the scientific basis for it,” Salazar said.

Magness will also be assigned with tracking the daily data from the runners in Salazar’s group and analyzing every aspect of training, diet, sleep, etc.

And he can also be where Salazar isn’t, so that when athletes fly in different directions for races fewer of those trips will be made alone.

So before he knew it, Magness was on a plane accompanying NIKE runner Galen Rupp to Germany.

MY COMMENT: I think this is a good investment by NIKE, and probably cheaper than the Cyrotherapy Space Cabin they purchased last fall. In case you didn't know, Salazar has cardiac disease, high blood pressure, and who knows what else going on, so Magness can take some of the pressure off during peak racing season.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Workout Update

Sumo has been a faithful running buddy since October 1998!

I guess I need to use my garmin for every run and enter it into I don't see a way to enter post dated miles.

This was another very good week for me.

Sun: 3 miles with Sumo, then I did 2 laps around Camp Humphreys hard, finishing up 10 miles at 67 minutes. Felt good. 13 miles, 10 under 7 min/mile

Mon: I was pleasantly surprised that there was no soreness today. I did an easy 2 in the morning and after work with Sumo. 4 miles total

Tues: 2 miles with Sumo, then 5 miles at the outdoor track. Running on the artifical turf I averaged 6:20s for the first 3 but each mile was progressively slower as leg fatigue set in. Normally I would have just shut in down and jogged some more but wanted to see how my legs would feel pushing it for 2 more. I took no more than 3-4 minutes to remove a layer of sweats and reeled off 2 miles on the track under 12 minutes, only feeling tired on the last lap. I can't explain how I was able to come back so well. 7 miles total, 5 under 7 min/mile, 2 under 6 min/mile.

: 2 miles with Sumo, then 8 miles in 55 minutes. Felt pretty good but I had to push pretty hard the last mile, especially against a moderate wind to keep it under 7 min pace. Another long tempo in the books! 10 miles, 8 under 7 min/mile

Thurs: 2 miles with Sumo, then 6 miles easy in about an hour.

Fri: 2 miles with Sumo, then 4 x 800 on the rice paddy roads near my place. All were run within 1-2 seconds either side of 3 minutes with 1:40 rest. I had to run nearly flat out to hit my target, and cannot explain why the track is so much easier (I use the GPS there also). I will remeasure this distance one more time and hope it's a little long. All I know is on these road 800s I have to dig much deeper and breathing becomes a limiting factor. On the track, leg fatigue plays a greater role. 4 miles with 2 under 7 min/mile and 6 min per mile

Sat: 2 miles with Sumo, then 16 miles in 2 hr 19 min. Legs were beat but that's the purpose! I had intended on giving a shot at 15 miles under 7 min but threw that idea out the window with wind chill in the single digits this morning. Can't wait to see how my legs recover. 18 total miles.

Total for the week was 64 miles, with 25 miles under 7 min per mile and 4 at 6 min per mile.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

USA Cross Country Nationals

You can catch a live webcast of the race at starting at 9:45 PST, Feb 5.

I still believe American distance runners are "missing the boat" on cross country. Getting away from the track in the fall and winter with focus on cross country builds strength for outdoor track without the potential for burn-out.

A list of entries can be found at I'll be intested to see how former U of Minnesota star Megan Duwell runs (Megan now runs for McMillan Elite in Flagstaff). Megan's dad and uncle were college teammates of mine at U of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Heidi Westover

Remember Heidi Westover, the high mileage teacher who runs up to 200 miles per week (see post here)?

Heidi (1 hr 11 min PR in the half marathon) ran 1:15:16 last weekend in Houston (results).

Had she run 1:11, I would tell Heidi to keep doing what she is doing. Pure speculation, but I suspect she would run faster by cutting back on miles and focusing a little more on quality/tempo.

Workout Update: Big Week!

The geese were out yesterday!

Seoul Marathon in just 42 days!

Sun: 2 miles with Sumo, then 8 miles

Mon: 2 miles with Sumo, then 7 miles (6:55 per mile ave)

Tues: 2 miles with Sumo, then 3 miles on the treadmill with 5 or 6 two minute repeats at 8%. I haven't run up a hill in weeks!

Wed: We finally got a break in the weather so with temps. in the mid teens after a 2 mile jog with Sumo I laced up my light-weight pair of Brooks Launch and drove to the outdoor, .2 mile track for some 800s. I hit the first one in 3:06, then 3:02, but the next 8 were all 2:55-2:57 for a final average of 2:58 with an average rest of 1:40-1:45. I'm not saying this was easy but compared to some of my other Yasso 800 workouts I would have to say it was. I even had thoughts of tacking on one more sub 3 just so I didn't have to count the first slow one. One mile cool down so 8 miles for the day. The stepped up tempo and long interval workouts must be working!

Thurs: 2 miles with Sumo, then 6 miles easy. Seems like I haven't done an easy distance run in a while so this one felt good.

Lunar New Year and a day off, so I was torn- do I try adding on more sub 7 minute miles or go long (2 hours plus)? Common sense took over and I decided that I've been lacking long runs, so after 3 with Sumo I added on another slow 16 miles. I stopped several times, not really caring about the time on this one. 19 miles total.

Sat: Usually the day following a long one is dedicated to recovery and cross training, but given the slow pace yesterday I decided to see how my legs would feel running a few short miles at marathon pace. After a 2 mile jog with Sumo, I headed to the track again (even though the rice paddy roads are now clear) for a short tempo run. I was shocked to see my GPS average speed hovering just under 6:20 or so though one mile and 12:32 through 2. Feeling OK, I decided to tack on another 2 miles, bringing it home in 24:20- 6:05 pace with the last 2 each under 6.

Totals for the week= 66 miles, 16 miles under 7 min pace, with 7 of those miles under 6 min pace

This week was a big confidence boost, especially those 800s and the 4 miles at 6:05 pace this morning. I've still got some hamstring issues so intend to add some strength training exercises.

Note: Who knows if it makes a difference but I've started taking 200 mg of Co-Q 10 (50 mg in the Cooper Elite Supplement 2 x daily plus 50 mg CoQ10 twice a day. A quick look at the research revealed no benefits with 100 mg per day, however one study out of Japan did report "measurable improvements in performance during exercise and a marked reduction in fatigue after exercise."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011