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RUNNER'S NICHE

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Vol. 3 No. 7 August, 1998

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

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We pause for a brief word from our sponsors...

One of the nice things about Runner's Niche is that it is

free. I enjoy putting this little e-magazine out each

month, even though I make nary a thin dime from the thing.

I'd like to continue, but I'd like to see if I can at least

cover my costs.

It is with this in mind that I announce our new web site:

the RUNNER'S NICHE BOOKSTORE. This site features several

great running titles, and new ones will be continually

added. Information is provided about each book, and you

have the opportunity to purchase them at discounts of up to

40 percent off the suggested retail prices.

In addition to the books featured on this site, you can

search for most any book in print, get information on it,

and purchase it if you like. This is possible because of

our affiliation with Amazon.com, an on-line bookstore many

of you may already be familiar with.

If you are thinking of buying a book on-line, I'd certainly

appreciate the business. The web address is:

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

Now, back to regular programming...

- WG

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THIS AND THAT

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:-/ Early reports indicate that two top U.S. track

athletes, shot putter Randy Barnes, and sprinter Dennis

Mitchell allegedly failed a recent drug test and face

possible competition bans. Barnes, who tested positive in

1991, could face a lifetime exclusion since this would be

his second offence.

<#1> In much better news, the United States mens 4 x 400

relay team set a new world record at the Goodwill games,

clocking 2:54.20. An anchor leg of 43.1 by Michael Johnson

was preceded by Jerome Young's lead-off leg of 44.4,

followed by Antonio Pettigrew in 43.2, and Tyree Washington

in 43.5. The old record was 2:54.29 from 1992.

:-) "Endurance", a new film about the life of Haile

Gebrselassie, is expected to be released this fall. The 83-

minute film features Haile and his family playing

themselves, with a nephew playing the part of a younger

Haile.

:-( Three-time world record holder in the steeplechase,

Moses Kiptanui, ruptured his Achilles tendon while

competing in the steeplechase at the Goodwill Games. To add

insult to injury, he was very nauseated by the pain pills

he was given following the injury.

:-P In an advertising world filled with outrageous claims

and insane slogans this is hard to believe, but Reebok is

reportedly under investigation by the Federal Trade

Commission for their DMX 10 shoe advertisments. It seems

that the motto "the best running shoe in the world" is the

cause for all the fuss!

 

 

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TRIVIA CONTEST

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Be the first to answer all ten Runner's Niche Trivia

Contest questions correctly and win a "Jog-A-Log" computer

program for your Windows 95 PC. Jog-A-Log describes their

product this way: "This program was recently rated by Ziff

Davis (publishers of PC Magazine) with Five Stars (highest

rating) and reviewed as possibly being the best running log

program available."

Okay, here's the deal. Answer these ten questions below by

e-mailing them to: woodyg3@netone.com with the subject

"Trivia Contest." Make sure to include your name, and

answer the questions in the order they appear here. If you

are the first to answer all ten correctly, you will receive

a free copy of the Jog-A-Log program, plus your name will

be featured in the next issue of Runner's Niche! Wow, you

can win stuff AND become famous! Remember, only the FIRST

set of ten correct answers received by Runner's Niche will

win the first place prize.

(By the way, if you own a Mac or don't use Windows 95 on

your PC, we'll dig up a different, but still great, prize

for you.)

The questions:

1-6: What college or university did the following elite

athletes attend?

1. Arturo Barrios

2. Mary Decker (Slaney)

3. Alan Culpepper

4. Suzy Hamilton

5. Frank Shorter

6. Bill McChesney

7. What city is the Grandma's Marathon held in?

8. What time of day does the Boston Marathon start?

9. Who won the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate

Athletics for Women) National Cross-Country Championships

in 1978?

10. What well-known runner was sixth in that same AIAW

championship race?

GOOD LUCK!

--- For more information on the Jog-A-Log program see their

web page at:

http://www.veard.com/logajog.html

 

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RUNNING DIALOG and DANIELS' RUNNING FORMULA

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Book Reviews by Woody Green

Two very different books on running training have appeared

on the market, and each has its own appeal.

"Running Dialog" is written by David Holt, an English 31-

minute 10 K runner and registered Nurse. The 282-page book

is sub-titled "A Humorous Look at How to Train... From the

5 K to the Marathon, Beginner to Expert."

Holt avoids the common text book format used so frequently

in training advice books. While he provides a fair amount

of scientific explanation about the physiology of running,

it is done in a light, humorous manner. An outer-space

alien with training tips and several cartoons all add to

the comical presentation.

The book begins with an explanation of how to form a sound

training foundation, with an emphasis on how beginners

should start off. From there he adds training components

such as long runs, speedwork, tempo runs and intervals. He

also explains the possible benefits of strength work,

resistance training and cross-training. Finally he sums up

the strictly running portion of the book with racing

preparation and strategy.

The book continues with advice on diet, injury prevention,

special considerations for marathon runners and several

extra topics. Finally there are a few fun to read essays at

the end of the book.

A nice feature is the side bar pieces sprinkled throughout

the book from coaches, runners and writers such as Roy

Benson, John Babington, Scott Douglas, and many others.

Hult has certainly done a good job of presenting a large

amount of training guidance in a relatively compact

package. As with any training advice book, Hult has certain

training recommendations that are somewhat uniquely his.

The main concepts and ideas, however, are strictly

scientific in origin and any runner will benefit from

reading this work.

If there is a weakness, I believe that it can become a bit

difficult to follow each training scheme as it is presented

in a narrative format. Hult seldom presents training

information in table or outline form, and the detailed text

explanations can be hard to plow through. Of course, this

may be an attribute for certain people who prefer a less

academic feel to their reading.

Hult deserves credit for trying something new, and this

book is a good addition to the library of either an

experienced veteran or a new, first time runner.

RUNNER'S NICHE BOOK RATING: 4 out of a possible 5 winged

feet.

-----

"Daniels' Running Formula" (Human Kinetics Publishing)

Jack Daniels has long been recognized as a leader in the

areas of physiological research and coaching. His teams at

State University of New York at Cortland have won 7 NCAA

Division III titles, and he has advised top runners such as

Penny Werthner, Jim Ryun, Alberto Salazar, Joan Samuelson,

Doug Padilla and Ken Martin.

His new book outlines what he believes to be the four basic

foundations of a strong training program. He lays out a

general plan that will bring the runner into the best

possible race condition when he or she wishes to peak for a

special race. He advises that the "training season" be

broken into four periods, ideally of six weeks each, but

variable according to the runners needs and yearly schedule

of competition.

If this all sounds somewhat geared to a scholastic runner

preparing for the league championships or an elite runner

training to peak at the national meet, you would be right.

Daniels works with elite runners on the college, national

and international level, and that bias is definitely

evident in his book. While not a book for the beginning

runner, the advice is sound and could help the average

runner to plan a workout program that will truly maximize

their racing potential.

Throughout the book it is emphasized that each runner is an

individual, and each must have a separate, unique training

plan. I found this a fresh break from training books that

simply lay out a one-size-fits-all program for every

runner. Advice is given at the end of the book for

specialized training according to a runner's preferred

racing distance, which should be helpful in individualizing

a runner's program and taking advantage of specific

strengths.

Particular strong points of this work are the detailed

scientific explanation of running physiology and the theory

behind specific training schemes and workout types.

Extensive tables and graphs present this information in a

clear manner that does not require a particularly

scientific mind to understand. The writing is generally

plain English and easy to digest. Only very occasionally

did I find the book to become bogged down in scientific

discourse.

Some people may find Daniels to be a bit of an elitist. He

refers to an entire classification of runners as those who

are less talented and who will always be frustrated by

their inability to achieve at the level they desire to.

Some may find his tone a bit opinionated, as well. I found

this to be a mild annoyance, but the information in the 286

pages of this book is valuable to any and all serious

runners, especially those looking to be as competitive as

possible.

RUNNER'S NICHE BOOK RATING: 4 1/2 out of a possible 5

winged feet.

 

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PHYSIOLOGY EXAM

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By Woody Green

Listed below are some questions on the physiology of

running. Test your knowledge by trying to answer the

questions, then look up the answers, which are placed later

in this issue.

1. True or False. When preparing for a marathon, two one-

hour runs produce the same training result as one two-hour

run.

2. True or False. Distance runners can improve their sprint

speed by running sprints, which will increase the number of

"fast twitch" muscle fibers in their legs.

3. The quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh is

actually a group of muscles. How many muscles make up this

group?

4. Many runners have relatively weak quadriceps muscles.

Which of the following exercises would be good for a runner

to use to increase quadriceps strength?

a. Leg curls on a weight machine.

b. Cycling.

c. Very long, slow runs.

5. What joint does a strong quadriceps muscle help to

protect?

Answers follow "WEB SITES OF INTEREST."

 

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WANT TO RUN BOSTON?

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To run the Boston Marathon, you have to qualify. Here are

the standards you must meet for the 1999 race. These marks

must have come in a race between 10/1/97 and 3/1/99. Next

year's classic race is on April 19th. What are you doing

sitting there reading? Go get in a long run!

STANDARDS

Under age 35 Males: 3:10 / Females : 3:40

Age 35-39 3:15 / 3:45

Age 40-44 2:20 / 3:50

Age 45-49 3:25 / 3:55

Age 50-54 3:30 / 4:00

Age 55-59 3:35 / 4:05

Age 60-64 3:40 / 4:10

Age 65-69 3:45 / 4:15

Age 70 + 3:50 / 4:20

To get more information and entry forms send a large self-

addressed, stamped envelope to:

B.A.A. Boston Marathon

P.O. Box 1998

Hopkinton, MA 01748

 

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SAD PASSINGS

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+ Alvin Chriss died in New York's Beth Israel Hospital on

Friday, July 17th. He was 68. Criss was instrumental in the

struggle to professionalize road running. He was also an

aid to former USA Track and Filed Chief Ollan Cassell.

+ Well known Vail, Colorado mountain runner Lyndon Ellefson

died while overseas for the second annual World Skyrunning

Championships held at the foot of the Matterhorn in Breuil-

Cervinia, Italy. Ellefson died two days before the

scheduled race when hiking with friends. He slipped into a

hidden crevasse and fell about 100 feet to his death,

apparently hitting his head, then drowning in the icy cold

water at the bottom of the crevasse.

 

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WEB SITES OF INTEREST

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--Roberto Buonasorte's Running Site--

Italian runner with information to share:

http://www.geocities.com/colosseum/midfield/9803/index.html

--Going the Distance--

Info on a new inspirational marathon audio tape at:

http://www.runforyourlife.com

 

AND AS ALWAYS:

RUNNER’S NICHE at:

Home.netone.com/~woodyg3/runiche.html

 

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ANSWERS TO PHYSIOLOGY QUESTIONS

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1. FALSE. The results of training are specific to the

stress you place on the body. A two-hour run will do more

to increase the endurance factor needed for marathon

running than two separate one-hour runs. For example,

scientific evidence shows that runs of about 90 minutes or

longer are especially effective in increasing

vascularization in the leg muscles, that is to say more

tiny blood vessels that will increase oxygen delivery to

the muscles.

2. FALSE. While running sprints will increase leg strength

and running efficiency, which will make a runner faster,

there is no way known by science to increase the number of

"fast twitch" muscle fibers that an individual has. This is

why, to a great extent, sprinters are born with the ability

to run fast over short distances. They have a large

percentage of fast twitch fibers in their legs. These

fibers contract very strongly, but can maintain their

output for only relatively short periods of time.

Slow twitch fibers, on the other hand, cannot contract as

strongly, but they have the ability to continue firing for

a very long period of time. Good marathon runners, as you

might expect, have a good deal more slow twitch fibers than

a sprinter.

Interestingly, fast twitch fibers can be changed with

training to become "intermediate twitch" fibers. These are

fast twitch fibers that "learn" to contract repeatedly over

a long time, similar to slow twitch fibers. Slow twitch

fibers, however, can never be "taught" to be more like fast

twitch fibers.

3. As you may have guessed, four, thus QUAD-riceps.

4. Cycling makes extensive use of the quadriceps, and thus

is a very good exercise to strengthen them.

(Leg curls work the muscles on the back of the thigh, the

hamstrings. Try the leg extension or leg press machine in

your weight room to work the quadriceps. Long runs do more

to strengthen the hamstrings than the quadriceps.)

5. The quadriceps muscles help to hold the knee in proper

alignment. This is why rigorous quadriceps exercise is such

a big part of physical therapy following knee surgery. It

is also a good reason to strengthen the quadriceps as a

means of preventing knee problems!

 

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MIDNIGHT IN BANGKOK

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For any readers interested in a Midnight Run, Thomas

Tapken, General Manager of the Amari Watergate Hotel,

Bangkok, is organizing Bangkok's first such event on 10

October 1998. There will be a 10k and a 19k run through

the city, starting at the hotel. All proceeds will go to

charity. Special accommodation rates will be available at

the Amari Watergate, and interested persons can contact

Thomas Tapken or Ms Srirat Pool-Eiam, Clark Hatch Fitness

Centre Manager at the hotel's email address:

watergate@mozart.inet.co.th

 

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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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--Marathon Motivation--

Dear Runner's Niche,

Regarding the article on marathon training goals in your

July issue. How about running a marathon in honor of

someone else?

I have run five marathons with the Leukemia Society's Team

in Training program, and while I have personal goals for

each of the marathons, it is the fact that I am running in

honor of my friend Harry (leukemia patient) and to raise

money to find a cure that keeps me going.

Andrew Keyt

Mentor - Chicago chapter

Team in Training

e-mail: akeyt@wpo.it.luc.edu

 

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