Vol. 2 No. 4 April, 1997
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
Spring has sprung! The weather is getting nicer, the sun stays out
longer. There are more and more races to get ready for and it is a great
time to up your training and lose some of those extra pounds from a
winter's hibernation. There is a key phrase to keep in mind this time of
year, however. "Patience is a virtue."
A recent hamsting injury reminded me about patience. I felt a sharp pain
in the belly of the muscle during an interval workout on a hilly loop. I
love interval sessions, and it took all the self discipline I had to cut
the workout short and walk to my car.
I felt like a little boy playing with my ball when a big bully came and
took it away. This wasn't fair! I was having so much fun and now my day
was ruined. Boo hoo!
I took the advice I have dispensed so often, however - ice and rest. I
did no running until the hamstring felt normal again. When I started
running, I was able to go back to my regular training and I had lost
little if any fitness. My Spring was saved.
I caution our readers to keep patience in mind this Spring. Don't let
the great weather and invitation of numerous races lull you into
overtraining. Increase your training and racing load gradually so that
the "big bully" doesn't come and take your ball away through the whole
year! Be patient. You will get in better shape, you will lose those
extra pounds, your blood pressure will come down, but not in a day or a
week. Remember: patience is a virtue!
A SAD PASSING
Leonard "Buddy" Edelen died recently at the age of 59 from cancer.
Edelen was one of the top marathon runners in the world in the early to
mid 60's. An American who lived and worked in England, he set the world
record for the marathon in 1963 (2:14:28).
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Most people remember the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for the show that U.S.
sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens put on. The men's 1500 is very
worthy of track fan's remembrance as well. It was an epic battle with
some of the legends of track history being involved. The race resulted
in a new world record, and trivia buffs will certainly want to memorize
the top five finishers and their times.
The top five:
1. Jack Lovelock (NZ) 3:47.8 (New World Record)
2. Glenn Cunningham (USA) 3:48.4
3. Luigi Beccali (ITA) 3:49.2
4. Archie San Romani (USA) 3:50.0
5. Philip Edwards (CAN) 3:50.4
ANEROBICS PART 3
By Woody Green
In the last two months we have examined the difference between the
aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in the human body. We know aerobic
to be the pay as we go approach, using oxygen to return energy, and
anaerobic to be the credit card system where we go into debt with our
body to produce a lot of energy in a short time.
There can be no doubt that you could run a fairly good marathon and
never do a lick of anaerobic training. By doing long, aerobic training a
runner's body to evolves into a better aerobic animal. The muscles
change physically and chemically to produce more energy aerobically.
More tiny blood vessels are produced to get the oxygen and nutrients to
the working muscle cells. The body learns to make better use of fat as a
fuel, which helps to keep you from "hitting the wall" in the last few
miles. Your VO2 Max, or the amount of oxygen your body can take in
through the lungs, increases from aerobic training as well.
In a marathon, almost all of the needed energy is produced through the
aerobic energy pathways. Why would there be any need to do anaerobic
training to run a marathon? Why suffer through those hard interval
Marathon training is like baking a cake. The cake itself is made with
the aerobic runs. This is the very core of what you need to do a
marathon - good old, grind it out, keep going for three plus hours and
make it to the finish line carrot cake. The cake tastes pretty good by
itself, but something is missing. You really want that frosting!
In this case, the frosting is what you get from anaerobic training. Even
though you don't use the anaerobic energy system much in a marathon, you
really want it when you need it.
Frank Shorter is certain that the reason he won the 1972 Olympic
marathon was his dedication to interval training. When he made his break
at about 8 miles, he surged hard and moved away. This is where he used
he used his anaerobic training. Frank ran under 4:40 for the ninth mile,
and nobody could stay with him. He feels that nobody in the race could
handle the faster pace because they didn't do the kind of interval
training he did. Once he got his lead, he backed off the pace and
probably made little use of anaerobic energy for the remainder of the
race. His anaerobic training likely netted him the Olympic gold.
Using the credit card analogy, you could say that most of the
marathoners in the '72 Olympics had a low credit limit Visa, while Frank
had the Gold card! (Sorry, bad pun...)
Okay, if you want to win a marathon, it makes sense to do some anaerobic
training, to get the frosting on your cake. But, why bother if you are a
"common" runner just trying to finish the doggone thing? There are many
First, something you should understand about anaerobic training is that
by its very nature it is strength training. Most people think of lifting
weights when we talk about strength training. When lifting, we give the
muscle a heavy load and ask it to work hard for a short period of time.
The same thing happens when we do interval training. We are running fast
over a relatively short period of time, and we are asking the muscles to
generate much greater force than when we take an easy distance run.
Strong leg muscles will help to protect a runner from injuries. It helps
running efficiency and form, as well. Strength alone would be a good
reason to do a few intervals in preparation for your next marathon.
There is more good news, though. Intervals help teach your body to take
in more oxygen, that is to raise your VO2 Max. Long runs do this, too,
but interval training can help raise the VO2 max even higher when used
in conjunction with long distance training. This is another reason the
frosting on our training cake tastes so good.
Anaerobic training will also help you to overcome some stumbling blocks
along the way. Did you get to the first mile marker and discover you
went out to fast? You will want to ease back to the correct pace right
away, of course, but at least your interval training will provide some
damage control. What about heartbreak hill? A stronger runner who can
produce anaerobic energy efficiently can handle hills better than those
who have done no interval training.
All of this is not to say that a marathon runner needs to do a great
deal of hard anaerobic training. The basis of all marathon training has
to be long runs. You can't have a cake with just frosting!
Next month we'll take a look at what anaerobic training offers the five
to ten kilometer runner.
ABC'S OF SHOE SELECTION
By Mick Aguilera
Fitting oneself in the correct running shoe can be simple, as long as
you have a salesperson who is patient and has the proper knowledge of
the biomechanics of running, and has a good selection of running shoe
brands. Most customers I work with will try on at least 5 different
pairs of shoes before they decide on the right one. And the runners I
work with know they have come to the right place when I ask them to take
off both shoes so I can immediately look at their arches.
I call it the ABC's of shoe selection: ARCHES, looking at the condition
of yours, BIOMECHANICS, explaining how your feet need the right shoes,
CORRECT FIT, explaining the importance of "thumbs width between the tip
of the big toe and the end of the shoe", fitting the larger foot first,
and considering sock selection when looking at the fit. Proper shoe
fitting is no easy task, but by following the basics, it can be made fun
By Woody Green
Uta Pippig has a contagious condition. Her genuine, gleaming white smile
spreads to everyone around her. I witnessed this recently as she and her
coach and companion Dieter Hogen addressed a group of runners in
She has certainly made a place for herself in marathon history. A best
of 2:21:45 makes her the third fastest marathoner of all time. She won
the Boston and Berlin marathons three times, and also managed a win at
New York. As impressive as this list of accomplishments may be, many
remember her best for the way she wins.
Uta normally blows kisses to the crowd as she approaches the finish. She
celebrates her victory without the common self-centered approach of so
many athletes. Instead, she makes the crowd a part of the experience,
she shares it with them and people love her as a result.
This evening in Boulder, the crowd clings to each word with the
attention normally reserved for royalty.
As dramatic as her come from behind win was at Boston last year, the
first question put to Uta was about her disappointing show at the
Atlanta Olympic Games. Much had been made of the hardship she went
through in Boston, and the media was certain she would never recover in
time to run well at Atlanta. In fact, she did not run well, eventually
dropping out of the race with a noticeable limp. Uta put the record
straight, however. She said her training had been going very well, she
was quite fit, and there were no left over problems from Boston.
"I hope you have a tissue," she told the crowd as she began her story of
the Atlanta Olympics.
In great shape and ready to go for the gold medal, Uta decided early in
the race to make a move. She pulled ahead to a 30 second lead by the 5
"I didn't go out too fast, only 17:00 at five kilometers. That is slow,"
Uta recalled talking to Joan Benoit a few months before the race. Joan
made a very similar move early in the 1984 Los Angeles games and won
that race. None the less, she warned Uta not to go out too fast in
Atlanta. Uta laughed at the comment. "But Joanie," she said," what did
you do at LA?"
Uta is no stranger to bold moves. She and Dieter left East Germany after
the fall of the wall, but she was technically a deserter since she was
still officially a part of the old East German army. She and Dieter were
on their own.
On her own at the front of the Olympic marathon, she clearly had no
fear. The early move was not a desperate act as some in the media
thought. It was a calculated approach to the race by a very confident,
fit runner. In fact, 17:00 for five kilometers is about 2:23 marathon
pace. This was a pace she felt confident she could maintain.
Uta's undoing was not a mistake in pace or pre-race training. It
involved her racing flats. These were the same shoes she wore to victory
in Boston, and they had been occasionally used in training.
Unfortunately, these comfortable shoes had a worn outsole that made them
a little slick on the rain wetted pavement at Atlanta. In addition,
there was a little too much room in the shoes. Perhaps they had
stretched with use. In any event, the slipping both on the pavement and
inside the shoe cost her dearly. She got a severe pain in her midfoot
first, her shin later. Sciatica shot up her leg. She continued until it
was apparent there was no reason to go on. When she left the race she
had slipped all the way to eighth place.
Uta handled the disappointment better than her parents, who couldn't
stop crying when she visited them after the race. She told them this
wasn't so bad.
"I can run, at least," she told them. "There are people out there who
would like to run and can't." Such is Uta's outlook.
Dieter handled the disappointment in his usual, scientific, manner. He
had to dissect the problem. He made use of ultra high speed cameras to
photograph Uta's foot inside the racing flats. He discovered a serious
twisting of the metatarsals as a result of the slipping motion, which
caused a stress fracture in her foot and in her tibia.
After twenty marathons, Uta said, "it was a stupid mistake. I should
have known better." Neither she or Dieter blamed bad luck.
Did luck have a part in her come from behind win at Boston last April?
At Boston Uta was behind race leader Tegla Loroupe almost the entire
race. She had bad cramps from both intestinal problems and menstruation.
She had visible diarrhea and bleeding associated with these problems,
and yet she didn't stop. Behind by over 100 yards with a mile to go, she
pressed on. Then Loroupe was hit hard by leg cramps. She was reduced to
a shuffle which permitted the diligent Pippig to take the lead and win
in dramatic fashion. It hardly seemed like luck at the time, it appeared
to be destiny.
It has been said that people often create their destiny, and perhaps the
extreme training Uta puts in had a lot to do with her ability to
persevere. At times she puts in as many as 180 miles in a week. She
lifts weights, does specialized resistance exercises and follows a
strict diet. In the past Uta indicates she has been so involved in
training that she doesn't even go shopping for months at a time. All of
this is carefully prescribed by Dieter.
Hogen was a coach in the old East German sports system. If this brings
to mind the injection of various banned substances, put your mind at
ease. Dieter was a rebel in the East German system. He felt trapped by
the political system. Before the fall of the wall, East German officials
would not let Uta and Dieter leave the country. "They were afraid if we
left the country, we wouldn't come back," Hogen relates. "They were
The very calculated, scientific approach of the East German sport system
fit Dieter well, however, and he takes a highly cerebral approach to
Uta's training as a result. Training paces are still calculated in the
old East German method of meters per second, for example.
As precise as the training approach is, Uta let us in on a secret. Each
day she takes note of how she feels and adjusts the training plan
accordingly. Plans may even change mid-workout if need be. Uta and
Dieter feel strongly that an athlete must learn to read their body.
Uta's diet includes plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin and
mineral supplements are employed, as well as sports drinks before,
during and after workouts.
"Dieter is the cook," Uta says. He figures the number of calories that
Uta burns each day and cooks just the right amount of food to replace
those calories. There is no deficit and no overage. "Except on ice cream
days," Uta laughs. "Dieter hates ice cream days."
It sounds as if no nutritional stone had been left unturned, yet Uta had
been making a nutritional mistake that contributed to the colon problems
that were so evident in the Boston race. She wasn't hydrating enough. It
wasn't that she wasn't drinking water. She was making a real effort to
drink water daily. It just wasn't enough.
The stress of training and the dry air in Boulder had taken its toll.
Uta now drinks at least a gallon of water a day. This is in addition to
sports drinks and other fluids she might consume.
Twenty marathons and still learning. Such is the life of a world class
As the enchanted group that had listened to Uta filed out of the church
meeting room, I wondered about the future.
After she ran 2:21:45 at Boston in 1994, many wondered if Uta would be
the first woman to break the 2:20 barrier. If she does, it is likely
that sports statisticians will remember her primarily for that
accomplishment. Most of us, though, will remember the kisses she blew to
her fans, her dramatic 1996 Boston finish, and that infectious smile.
WORLD CROSS COUNTRY
The IAAF World Cross Country championships were held in Turin, Italy on
March 23rd. In the team scoring battle, Kenya won all but the womens
senior race, which was taken by the Ethiopians.
The womens senior race was a tight battle, with Derartu Tulu, Paula
Radcliffe and Getencsh Wami locked in a sprint to the finish. Radcliffe
had the lead with 300 meters to go, but Tulu sprinted from behind to
The mens senior race was close, as well. After a blistering pace was set
by Kenyan Thomas Nyariki for the first nine kilometers, Paul Tergat and
Salah Hissou took over. With two kilometers to go, Hissou attacked and
got a small lead, but in the end Tergat overcame Hissou's lead and
managed a two second victory.
Womens Senior Race:
1. Derartu Tulu - ETH 20:53
2. Paula Radcliffe - GBR 20:55
3. Getencsh Wami - ETH 21:00
4. Julia Vaquero - ESP 21:01
5. Sally Barsosio - KEN 21:05
US finishers: 26. Amy Rudolph 22:00, 29. Deena Drossin 22:02, 35. Elva
Dryer 22:09, 44. Kristen Beaney 22:12, 51. Nnenna Lynch 22:19
Womens Senior Team Results:
1. Ethiopia 24
2. Kenya 34
3. Ireland 64
6. USA 128
Womens Junior Race:
1. Rose Koskei - KEN 14:58
1. Kenya 13
2. Ethiopia 31
12. USA 287
Mens Senior Race:
1. Paul Tergat - KEN 35:11
2. Salah Hissou - MOR 35:13
3. Thomas Nyariki - KEN 35:20
4. Paul Koech - KEN 35:23
5. Mohamad Mourhit - BEL 35:35
14. John Brown - GBR 36:08
US finishers: 51. Scott Larson 37:15, 57. Mark Coogan 37:19, 85. Joe
Lemay 37:42, 86. Peter Julian 37:42, 98. Brian Baker 37:50, 110. Tim
Hacker 38:00, 140. Shawn Found 38:31, 158. Robert Cook 38:54, 173. Keith
Mens Senior Team Results:
1. Kenya 51
2. Morocco 70
3. Ethiopia 125
11. USA 487
Mens Junior Race:
1. Elijah Korir - KEN 24:21
1. Kenya 13
2. Ethiopia 31
12. USA 287
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
The IAAF, which is the worldwide track and field federation, has a web
site with championship results, track news and more. Go to:
*Lake Tahoe Marathon Info*
To get the low down on the Lake Tahoe Marathon, scheduled for October
12th, go to:
Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,
I would like to thank you for writing such inspiring editorials.
A few months ago my daughter told me that she was subscribing to a
running newsletter that was good and that I should do the same.
I am certainly glad that I did.
Each of the editorials has hit home with me in some way that related to
my own running (many moons ago), my own coaching experiences (lots of
moons also) and/or my daughters' running experiences (both of whom are
As I approach 50, I've never written a letter to the editor, called into
a radio talk show or appeared on TV for or against anything. And I will
never be able to write that previous sentence again.
I am person with a pretty simple life with few passions. Running is one
and thank you for expressing in words what I have felt at times during
running, coaching or watching my kids run.
- Tom Crapisi
I want to thank you for your article on the mile relay. I'm a junior in
high school and have run that event in every meet for the four years
that I've been running varsity. Your article was so descriptive that it
made me feel as though I was funning right along beside you. Thank you
for giving others just a small taste of what is like to run the 1600m
relay. I've run other races, from a 5K to the 100m, but none of them
come close to matching the
power of the mile relay. Thanks again!
- Karen LeMar
*A RUNNER NEEDS YOUR HELP*
Dear RUNNER'S NICHE READERS,
I need your help.
On June 21, 1997, I will be running in the Anchorage Marathon - 26.2
miles in Anchorage, Alaska, to benefit the Leukemia Society of America.
I'm doing this as a member of the Leukemia Society's "Team In Training".
I will be running in honor of Travis Lewis. Travis is 7 years old, and
is running a much tougher race - the race for his life against Leukemia.
I am asking you to sponsor me in this marathon. My goal is to raise
$3,500 to benefit Austin/San Antonio area Leukemia patients and their
families. With a pledge of $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 or more per mile or
whatever sum you would like to donate, you will help Travis and I reach
our goal. Maybe one day, he will be the one running a marathon!
If you are interested in making a donation, please return the pledge
form below. Also, please e-mail and let me know you've donated, I sure
Thank you in advance for your support.
Mike Clark <email@example.com>
Return Pledge Card to:
Leukemia Society of America
TEAM IN TRAINING
Suite 226, Austin, Texas 78071
YES! I will help conquer leukemia in recognition of the efforts of:
Mike Clark - Team in Training, Austin, Tx. Runner
I will be a SPONSOR at the following level:
__ $1 per mile = $26 __ $ 5 per mile = $130
__ $2 per mile = $52 __ $10 per mile = $260
__ Other Amount = $__________
METHOD OF MAKING CONTRIBUTION:
__ My check is enclosed.
__ Charge my donation to my credit card:
( ) Mastercard ( ) Visa ( ) Amex
*Make checks payable to the LEUKEMIA SOCIETY
**Contributions are 100% tax deductible, you will receive confirmation
from the Leukemia Society for tax purposes.
*ANOTHER RUNNER NEEDS HELP*
I am interested in promoting running in Malaysia and have looked at many
advertisements where runners are able to help contribute to patients of
leukemia, cancer, etc. Is there anyone out there who can give me a brief
outline on how we can contribute to this
cause; how to organize such an event?
Daniel Siew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ODDS AND ENDS
*A MARATHON COURSE YOU CAN USE SPIKES ON?*
Just announced is the Oigawa Marathon Course in Shizuoka Prefecture,
Japan. Live pictures will be shown on
of the opening ceremony and run on May 10, 9:00am JST (0:00 GMT).
Viewers can donate $30 to plant a tree along this course. The tree will
have a plaque with their name on it.
What is so special about this new course? The entire course is a
rubberized urethane surface. It will be the only dedicated marathon
course in Japan. The route is 21.0975 km long allowing a full marathon
run by going out and back. The mileage on this 2 meter wide synthetic
surface course will be marked by signs. The course runs along the
Oigawa river in the heart of Shizuoka Prefecture (halfway between Tokyo
and Osaka), Japan. Runners can run solo along the natural river habitat
undisturbed by car traffic.
If you have questions please contact Michael Stevens at:
* MORE CASH FOR FAST MARATHONS*
The Pittsburgh Marathon, which is the selection race for the mens
marathon in this summer's World Track and Field Championships, will
offer a $25,000 bonus to any US male who runs faster than 2:12:57. That
mark is the current US citizen record for Pittsburgh.
In the windy city, there is a bigger incentive. This time the cash will
not be limited to Americans. Any runner who can break the current world
record for the mens or womens marathon at Chicago will get an extra
$100,000 to take home.
* TWO, TWO, TWO RECORD IN ONE! *
One fact has been missing from all the reports about Morroco's Hicham El
Guerrouj's new indoor world record in the mile. His time of 3:48.45
broke Eamonn Couglan's 14 year old record on the boards, but it broke
another record that had never fallen in the history of track and field.
The record mile race was held in Ghent, Belgium. This marks the first
time ever that the men's indoor world mile record has been set off of
RUNNER'S NICHE IS ON THE WEB!
RUNNER'S NICHE has a web page! We have some cool links, and past issues
can be downloaded there. Also, we have a Macintosh training log program
for free download. Features are continuously being added. If you'd like
to visit, the URL is:
Pass the address on to your friends!
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