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RUNNER'S NICHE

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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

workouts?

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

reasons.

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

and rewarding.

**************

Destiny Earned

**************

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

Boulder.

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

kilometer mark.

"I didn't go out too fast, only 17:00 at five kilometers. That is slow,"

she claimed.

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

right."

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

athlete.

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

win.

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:

6 kilometers

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:

4+ kilometers

1. Rose Koskei - KEN 14:58

Teams:

1. Kenya 13

2. Ethiopia 31

12. USA 287

Mens Senior Race:

12+ Kilometers

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

Dowling 39:16.

Mens Senior Team Results:

1. Kenya 51

2. Morocco 70

3. Ethiopia 125

11. USA 487

Mens Junior Race:

8+ kilometers

1. Elijah Korir - KEN 24:21

Teams:

1. Kenya 13

2. Ethiopia 31

12. USA 287

*********************

WEB SITES OF INTEREST

*********************

*IAAF*

The IAAF, which is the worldwide track and field federation, has a web

site with championship results, track news and more. Go to:

<http://www.iaaf.org>

*Lake Tahoe Marathon Info*

To get the low down on the Lake Tahoe Marathon, scheduled for October

12th, go to:

<http://www.laketahoemarathon.com>

 

*************

READER'S MAIL

*************

*THANK YOU!*

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

distance runners).

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

 

*RELAY POWER*

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

appreciated it!

Thank you in advance for your support.

Regards,

Mike Clark <mclark@austx.tandem.com>

-------------------------------------------------------------

Return Pledge Card to:

Leukemia Society of America

TEAM IN TRAINING

815-A Brazos

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

Cardholder Name:______________________________

Card#:________________________________________

Exp. Date:____________________________________

Name__________________________________________

Address_______________________________________

______________________________________________

Phone________________________ Date____________

 

*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?

Regards,

Daniel Siew <sch@shoppe.com.my>

 

*************

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

<http://www.wbs.or.jp/marathon>

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:

<wbs01499@mail.wbs.or.jp>

* 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

American soil!

 

*****************************

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:

http://home.netone.com/~woodyg3/runiche.html .

Pass the address on to your friends!

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