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RUNNER'S NICHE

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Vol. 5 No.2 February, 2000

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

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

There are many good races that just don't get the recognition of

the mega-races like Boston, New York, Chicago, Grandma's, Bay to

Breakers, Cherry Blossom, Bolder Boulder, Al's Run, etc. It is

hard to know just what causes some races to grow to be folkloric

running traditions, while others are not well known outside of

their immediate community. Some are on the verge of being well

known, but haven't quite made it yet.

One such run is the Pacific Shoreline Marathon. My wife and I

attended this year's event, and I must report that it is well-

organized race in a beautiful city. It occurs each year on

Superbowl Sunday in Huntington Beach, California, which is just

South of Los Angeles. Well known as a hangout for surfers, this

city has a ton of appeal as a vacation spot. The beaches are easy

to get to and beautiful. While the water is cool in January, the

warm sand still offer a nice spot to relax and stretch after a

tune-up run the day before the race. There are plenty of nice

restaurants and places to shop within yards of the start and

finish of the race. Many motels and hotels are within walking

distance, as well.

While the marathon is the featured event, there is also a half

marathon, an 8K and a 5K. Because of the staggered start times

there is even an option to run both the 5 and 8K at a discounted

entry rate.

A great deal of the course for the marathon is on the Pacific

Coast Highway, which is shut down for the race. This is nice and

flat with great ocean views. Part of the course loops through

some nice, but slightly hilly, neighborhoods. The aid stations

are well managed, with plenty of enthusiastic volunteers giving

out water and encouragement.

While there are enough people in the race to keep most racers

from being left running alone, there are no problems with

overcrowding common in so many races these days. There is still

room for a little growth, though, so go ahead and make plans to

attend next year's race. Just don't tell too many people.

- WG

 

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MARATHON & BEYOND MAGAZINE - Marathon & Beyond, the only magazine

that focuses on the specific needs of marathoners and

ultrarunners. M&B offers in-depth articles on training, race

strategies, injuries, nutrition, race profiles, running history,

and more. Visit their web site at:

http://www.marathonandbeyond.com

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RUNNER'S NICHE / MARATHON & BEYOND TRIVIA CONTEST

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

Congratulations to last month's trivia winner, Chuck Newell of

Newcomerstown, Ohio. Chuck receives a free issue of Marathon &

Beyond Magazine and FAME!

Trivia contest entrants are limited to one prize per calendar

year.

When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia

contest" and answer the questions in the order they appear below.

Mail to: woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to answer all ten

questions correctly wins. If nobody answers all ten correctly, we

will award the prize to the person who answers the most questions

correctly. Good Luck!

This Month's Questions:

What university did the following elite runners attend?

1. Vicki Huber

2. Mark Croghan

3. Todd Williams

4. Sonia O'Sullivan

5. Mike Musyoki

6. Julie Shea

7. Mary Shea

8. Betty Springs

9. Annette Hand

10. Reuben Reina

Last Month's Answers:

1. Who was the first man to break 4:00 for the mile?

- Roger Banister

2. Who was the second?

- John Landy

3. Who took the world record for the mile down to 3:57.2 in 1957?

- Derek Ibotson

4. Herb Elliot was the next man to lower the world mile mark in

1958. What was his time?

- 3:54.5

5. Michael Jazy set the world mile mark in 1965 with a time of

3:53.6. What country was he from?

- France

6. Who was the first runner from the United States to own the

world record in the mile since the 4:00 mark had been broken?

- Jim Ryun

7. Famed miler Roger Bannister ran 3:46.0 in the 1500 meter

finals at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. What place did that earn

him? (Hint: he did not win.)

- Fourth

8. Who won that Helsinki 1500 race?

- Josy Barthel of Luxemborg

 

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RUNNING DELIGHTS - all occasion and holiday greeting cards,

novelty gifts, t-shirts, bracelets and many others items.

www.ontherun.com/runningdelights

Our entire catalog is now online with secure ordering.

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DREAM DREAMS AND WORK HARD

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

By Woody Green

There are many runners in the United States that just need a

little more time, some good training and wise counseling to

become elite runners. There are also plenty of good runners who

don't come from powerhouse university programs like Arkansas,

Stanford, Colorado or Oregon. One such runner is 23 year old Will

Steele from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Will got off to a solid start in high school. "I attended

Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where I ran under the

guidance of Pete Boudreux, who, in my humble opinion is one of

the best coaches in the country, at any level," Will relates. Not

a great runner in the beginning, he worked and managed to

continue running in college. He went to the Christian Brothers

University in Memphis, Tennessee, which had a fairly low profile

cross-country program. "I ran in Nationals once, regionals four

years, and, placed in the all-conference teams a few times," Will

told us. Track was another matter, because the Christian Brothers

didn't even have a track program. "My bests from the track, which

I ran unattached for lack of a school team, were 3:50 for the

1500 and 13:59 for 5000."

"Since my junior year, when the coach who began the program left,

I pretty much coached myself into a lot of overtraining," Will

admits. Looking to improve that situation now that he has

graduated, he says, "It was only three months ago that I hooked

up with an excellent coach over the internet which, paired with

the use of a heart rate monitor, has helped me get back into the

right frame of mind for national level competition."

Will has set some serious goals now that he is back on track.

About the 5000 he says, " I figure sub-14 is a good goal (for

this season), because, while it's relatively fast, it's not

unattainable. Plus, it's only about 15 seconds from the Trials

standards. Within two years, when they relax the standards for

2002 nationals, I should be able to get down to 13:40, which,

from what I can tell, would put me in the top 20 to 25, depending

on how the Stanford, Colorado, and, Arkansas crews produce

runners over the next two years.

"This year, I hope to break a local 10 K course record of 29:59

on April 1, and, three weeks later, try to dip into the top 10

for Crescent City Classic in New Orleans (he figures he'll need

to be in the 29:30s). After these 10,000's, I'll drop my mileage

from around 100 mow to 90 to start hitting the track for summer

meets. Summer goals are to try to drop under 4:00 for the mile,

though my PR's only 4:07 right now. Also, that 5000 goal of sub-

14 will probably come into play around July or August, depending

on the weather here. Louisiana's climate is perhaps one of the

worst training climates in the States, but, it's what I have to

work with."

Will's short-term goals may not put him among the world's elite,

but he seems to have a realistic approach with his goal setting.

He knows it will take time, and he does have some lofty long-

range goals. "I'd like to work towards sub-28 in the 10 K, and,

if I can develop in the longer runs, try to get near an hour for

the half marathon. Some American has gotta' try!"

What about his non-running long term goals? "I'm looking for a

wife who resembles Suzy Favor-Hamilton," he laughs.

The training plan that Will hopes will get him to his running

goals is straightforward and scientific. "Even though I've heard

about a lot of professional and elite athletes training at very

fast paces, running too fast on easy days was the biggest cause

of my overtraining, and, utlimately, the past two and a half

years of mediocre training. I know many younger athletes cannot

afford heart rate monitors, but, they are an excellent way for

them to make sure they take it easy on easy days."

Just how easy is easy? "Some days, I run 10-minute miles,

especially the second day after a hard workout or race. Other

days, I run 6:20's. It just depends on how I feel. Listening to

your body is an absolute. Noredine Morcelli, the Algerian star,

is often rumored, though he will only deferentially smile and say

nothing, to train at 10 minutes per mile-and, he's a sub-3:45

miler!"

Will's current base training weekly schedule looks something like

this:

M - 11-1/4 easy

T - am: 5 easy

pm: 2 warm-up - 5 miles of speed work - 2

warm-down

W - am: 5 easy

pm: 10 easy

T - am: 5 easy

pm: 10 easy

F - 2 warm-up - 10 mile tempo run (53-55

minutes) - 2 warm-down

S - 16 easy

S - 11-1/4 easy

Of course, he took several years to build up to that kind of

mileage. Will offers some encouraging advice for young runners.

"The most important things I would tell up and coming athletes

are to dream dreams, but realize that it takes a great deal of

hard work and determination to make them come true. I began on my

high school team as THE slowest runner on the team. Even though I

ran with a 15-time state champion, and many nationally ranked

high school runners, I am the only one still running. This is

just a testament to the truth of the tortoise and the hare fable.

Granted, there are a lot of wunderkinds out there who peak when

they're 22, but, running should last a lifetime; Carlos Lopez was

37 when he won the marathon; Roger Bannister-the first man to

break 4 for the mile-had a high school PR of 4:50 for the mile!

Just because you don't set the grade or school record at a given

level, that doesn't mean you cannot later become the champion at

another level of competition down the road."

One has the feeling that Will is going to be around, and running

strong, for many years.

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

TWO DAYS WITH FRANK SHORTER

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

By Tom Hoffman

Last month Frank Shorter came to Pensacola to run and launch the

annual Naval Health Excellence Symposium. I had the privilege

of knowing the program director, Mike Kohler and his boss, PRA’s

ShannonToellner (Mike/Shannon just kidding about that), who

introduced me to him. I got to talk with him over some beers

after the race and listened to his talk the next day. This

article is on my impressions of the man and his message.

I started running as a 14-year-old in 1974 in Tampa, FL. My

coach actually trained with Frank and the Florida Track Club in

Gainesville, so I learned a little about their training methods

and philosophy. I followed Frank’s career closely and pummeled

him that night with questions on how he achieved what he did,

what it was like to train as an amateur and what’s going on at

the elite level in American running. Also, we got him to drink

a bushwhacker.

Frank was a true amateur, as were his club mates. They trained

twice a day and basically lived in a small concrete room off the

side of the track. He didn’t earn any real income for his

athletic performances. It was a Spartan existence. The Florida

Track Club was the top distance running club in the nation in

the early 70’s. Three of their members made the Olympic team in

1972 at 10K and the marathon. First Frank studied medicine, but

had to quit because his pursuit of excellence in running did not

allow him enough time to sleep or study. He switched to law and

is now a lawyer. He was self-coached. He was very observant

and evolved several basic training rules that guided him

throughout his career, and even now. From this simple and basic

approach, he achieved the Olympic Gold Medal (1972), the Silver

Medal (1976-probably should have been the gold since the winner

was using performance enhancing drugs), number one ranking in

the world in the marathon for 4 years straight, numerous

international and national championship victories, American

records and recognition for inspiring the running boom. I found

him to be very straightforward, candid, open and a truly nice

guy. I asked him if he thinks he feels cheated that he didn’t

get the Gold Medal in 1976. He told me it didn’t matter,

because he knows that he earned it fairly, and that’s all that

really matters. This man did not dedicate and sacrifice for

money or glory, he did it for the pure pursuit of excellence.

Now I will describe the basic principles Frank talked about.

These are based on his experience, developed empirically, and

proven by his enormous success. They are quite simple.

Frank’s Two Weeks/Two Months Rule

Find a physical activity or routine that is right for you, that

you like. For most of us, it’s running. It could be biking,

roller blading, swimming, triathlon training, running at

altitude or in the heat, aerobic dancing, weight-lifting,

walking, water skiing, sky diving (well maybe not that). Give

yourself two weeks to learn how to perform the activity. You

need that time to develop the basic body coordination and

neuromuscular training to perform the activity correctly. We

actually train our nerves to fire our muscles in the correct

sequences to perform a specific activity. It takes practice.

Establish your routine. Allow yourself two weeks. Don’t get

discouraged.

After two weeks, give yourself two months to learn the nuances

of the activity, to learn to enjoy it, to make it a part of you,

to make it second nature. Be consistent. Be disciplined.

Learn your "Orthopedic Limit," as Frank calls it. This is the

physical limit that your body can handle. If you go beyond this

limit, you will get injured. You can gradually extend this

limit as you continue your training. The limit changes with

your conditioning.

Have the right attitude as you’re learning this new activity.

Develop your own anecdotal rules and techniques. For instance,

if you take up roller blading, develop the ideal workouts for

you. Steve Plasencia, a masters runner now (placed fourth in

the 1996 Olympic Trials at age 39 and recently ran a 2:17

marathon), roller blades for 2 hours if his legs feel too beaten

from the hard pounding of running. He correlates this to a good

hour run.

Anecdotally, I have been using Frank’s Two Weeks/Two Months

rules when talking to my patients about starting an exercise

program. Feedback has been good so far.

When Injury Strikes

It will happen to you. You will get injured and won’t be able

to run correctly. Once Frank determines that he has an injury

that affects his running enough to alter his stride and

enjoyment, he takes two weeks off. No matter how good he feels

during those two weeks, he will not run a step. When this

happens to you, apply Frank’s Two Weeks/Two Months rule and find

another activity to fill the void left by not running. You’re

not abandoning running! You’re just finding an alternative that

will keep you fit so that your return to running will be quick

and smooth. You can use this alternative activity when you’re

too worn down or need a break from running. Frank likes to use

biking as his alternative. Due to his competitive nature, he

now competes at biking as well as running.

Finding an alternative is a good idea for those of us who use

running as a physical AND mental conditioning and stress

release. I relate the sad story about Barry Brown, a Florida

Track Club runner slightly older than Frank. Barry was a sub-4

minute miler, one of the best steeple chase runners in the

country in the early 70’s, was with Frank and Bill Rogers at the

20 mile point of the Olympic Trials marathon before fading. He

set the American Masters Marathon record of 2:15:15. Barry was

under a lot of stress 5 to 10 years ago. He was a financial

consultant and invested money for many of his running friends.

He had made some bad deals and was in a lot of debt. He had let

his friends and family down and was in financial ruin. To make

it worse, he couldn’t run his usual 80 to 100 miles a week due

to a back injury. He had no release for his tension and stress.

No long runs to think about things. Barry committed suicide

rather than deal with the guilt and consequences. I asked Frank

his impressions about this. Frank feels that had Barry

developed an alternative activity, he may have been able to

consider his final act with a better perspective, and maybe

would have come up with a different solution.

Interval Training

To get faster, you need to do intervals. You should do them

once or twice a week. Of course you will miss doing them

sometimes. Ultimately you need 12 HARD, TO THE LIMIT workouts a

year. That’s all!

To get the biggest bang for your buck, your intervals should be

no longer than 3 miles total distance, last no longer than 3

minutes per fast run, and should be at faster than your 5K pace.

The rule of 3’s! You should also drink 3 beers afterwards (just

kidding). So, for an 18:30 5K runner (6 minutes a mile), run no

longer than a half mile per interval, at faster than 3 minutes

per half, and do no more than 6 halves. How do you know if you

did an adequate workout? As Frank put it, when you finish that

last interval, and someone put a gun to your head and said do

one more, you say, "shoot me".

Of course, modify the workout to your needs and how you feel.

But, use the rule of 3’s as your starting point in developing

your plan. I really believe in running intervals at faster than

your 5K pace. 5K pace is probably your anaerobic threshold. To

improve that threshold, you have to train your lungs, oxygen

delivery to your muscles and your neuromuscular system to

perform at FASTER than threshold level. Also, I believe that as

you’re doing the workout, your pace should gradually get faster,

so the last few 400’s should be faster than the first few. It’s

better for your body, since you gradually warm up, minimizing

injury. It’s better for your mind, because you’re training

yourself to start your race at a good pace (but not too fast)

and to gradually get faster, which is a much more enjoyable way

to run.

Hard/Easy

Every hard day should be followed by at least one easy day.

Make that easy day EASY. You tear muscles when you run hard,

you need 24 to 48 hours to rebuild them, and they rebuild

stronger, adapting to the stress of the hard work-out. That’s

why we run hard. If you don’t rest, your muscles and nerves

don’t get a chance to adapt. You should do some sort of

activity on your easy day. Activity increases blood flow to the

stressed region of your body, bringing nutrients and building

blocks used to repair and rebuild. At my age, I usually take 2

easy days after a hard day. After a couple or several easy

days, I actually look forward to a hard day (and the beer).

Diet

There are a million diets out there. Keep it simple. Know the

food groups and how much of each you need each day. Try

different routines until you find one that works for your life

style. Get those fruits and veggies and ice cream in every day.

Like a checklist. OK, the day is complete: I ran, I did the

dishes, I ate my greens and apple, I took out the trash, and I

got my protein in, I walked the dog, I kicked the cat (just

kidding). I’m done. It’s Miller Time! For Frank, his routine

is grains/breads in the morning. He can’t drink juice in the

a.m. He has his juice, fruits and greens/salad at noon. At

dinner, he has his protein (meat) and carbos (pasta/potatoes,

etc). After 9:00 p.m., the frig is an open target to whatever

he wants. This makes sense. It’s hard to pig out after 9:00

p.m., we’re too tired by that time! So, figure out what you

need in your diet, divide it up into three meals and snacks

during the day, and find the mix that works for you.

Drugs

Frank opened my eyes to the prevalence of performance enhancing

drugs at the elite level. I thought the proliferation of

records at all levels, especially the rapid lowering of the

distance world records (10K record went from 27:22 in 1978 to

27:08 in 1988, while it went from 27:08 in 1988 to 26:22 in

1998), was due to improved training and competition. But,

according to Frank, to compete, you have to be supplementing.

Do you want your kids having to face that decision in their

pursuit of excellence in sport? Needless to say, Frank is at the

forefront in addressing this problem.

I must admit, meeting and talking with Frank Shorter was a major

highlight in my life. By his example, he rekindled my enjoyment

for running. When he got to Pensacola, he did an hour run to

experience the sights and smells he remembered from running here

in the past. The next day, after his talk, he again went on an

hour run. I remember Mike remarking, "every time I look for

him, he’s out running! That guy sure likes to run!" That

typifies the man. He runs because he truly likes it, not for

the money or the glory. And we’re all welcome to join him!

 

 

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

STREAK INTO THE NEW YEAR PART TWO

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

Last month we featured an article suggesting that running every

day over long periods of time without days off, commonly known as

"streaking", may not be a good idea for most runners.

Ultramarathon World Editor sent the following email in response:

 

Woody:

Your advice is probably excellent for most runners, but not this

group. This list might interest you. I have a page on streaking

at Ultramarathon World. The address is:

http://fox.nstn.ca/~dblaikie/streak.html

Streak Runners:

1999 United States List

Ultramarathon World

October 30, 1999

Windber, Pennsylvania (UW) - This is new updated list of streak

runners in the United States compiled by George Hancock of

Winber, Pennsylvania, in co-operation with Ultramarathon World.

It includes all information added since the original list was

compiled last April by Ultramarathon World. While it is the

most comprehensive list yet assembled, it is not complete and

will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

"There are many more running streakers in the U. S.," Hancock

notes. "Many individuals sent information about other running

streakers. However, these 15 to 20 runners could not be located

or their streaks verified as still active. Another 10 runners,

from my original list, were dropped for the same reasons. These

runners could be added later swelling the running streak ranks."

The list includes only those runners whose streaks are still

going. The name of one long-time streak runner, Don Slusser of

Monroeville, Pennsylvania, is missing from this list. A teacher

who ranked seventh overall, with a streak dating back to January

3, 1972, Don's running streak ended following knee surgery that

unfortunately created more problems than it solved. "He faces

reconstructive surgery in a few weeks," Hancock reports.

Handock says his goal in compiling his "U.S. Active Running" is

to serve as a reference point, "not as a running contest."

"If you have an active running streak or have any information on

a running streak, then please contact me with the following

information. I need your name, address, phone number, E-mail

address, running streak start date, date of birth, occupation,

marital/children status and please include a running biography."

George A. Hancock

1020 First Street

Windber, Pennsylvania

15963

Phone: (614) 467-6908

E-mail: <mailto:ghancock+@pitt.edu>ghancock+@pitt.edu

U.S. Running Streaks

1. Bob Ray, 4/4/1967, Baltimore, Md, Retired, 61

2. Mark Covert, 7/22/1968, Lancaster, Ca, College Instructor, 49

3. Jim Pearson, 2/16/1970, Ferndale, Wa, Teacher, 55

4. Ken Young, 7/6/1970, Petrolia, Ca, Software Consultant, 58

5. Steve W. DeBoer, 7/20/ 1970, Rochester, Mn, Dietitian, 44

6. Alex Galbraith, 12/22/1971, Houston, Tx, Attorney, 48

7. Walter Byerly, 11/5/1974, Dallas, Texas, Real Estate, 68

8. Robert R. Kraft, 1/1/1975, Miami, Fl, Songwriter, 48

9. Jimmy Behr, 3/19/1975, Staten Island, NY, Teacher, 51

10. Dick Vincent, 4/23/1975, Saugerties, NY, Sales Rep, 47

11. Kurt Kroemer, 11/26/75, Bowie, Md., Analyst, 38

12. Rob Zarambo, 6/15/76, Whitehall, Pa., Teacher, 52

13. Stephen Reed, 6/16/76, Wiscasset, Maine, Doctor,52

14. Geza Feld, 10/1/1976, Farmingdale, NY, Manager, 54

15. John Liepa, 1/2/1977, Indianola, Ia, Educator, 54

16. Bill Robertson, 2/8/1977, Framingham, Ma, Analyst, 46

17. William Benton, 4/23/1977, Farmingham Hills, Mi, 49

18. Joseph Wojcik, 6/13/1977, Claremont, Ca, Retired, 58

19. Larry Baldassari, 1/8/1978, Hamilton Square, NJ State Emp,

49

20. George A. Hancock, 2/26/1978, Windber, Pa., UniversityEmp,

46

21. Chuck Lindsey, 10/16/1978, Canyon Country,Ca, Teacher, 48

22. John Roemer IV, 11/1/1978, Parkton, Maryland, Consultant, 39

23. Craig Davidson, 11/5/1978, Phoenix, Ar, Retail/Teacher, 45

24. Scott Ludwig, 11/30/1978, Peachtree City, Ga, JCPenney,44

25. Chester Tumidajewicz, 12/25/1978, Amsterdam, NY, Security,

45...

(Ed note: There were quite a few more "streakers" listed, but we

cut it at 25. To see the whole list go to the Ultramarathon

World site.)

Ultramarathon World: http://fox.nstn.ca/~dblaikie

George Hancock: ghandock@imap.pitt.edu

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

http://www.uflash.com, your online night safety store is now

OPEN! Visit our website and give us your feedback! Be Seen, Not

Hit!

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

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

THIS AND THAT

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

*Nationals*

Entry Forms or tickets are now available to the 2000 USA

National Winter Cross-Country Championships at Bryan Park,

Greensboro, NC on Feb. 12 & 13.

The 2000 meet is set in the beautiful and scenic golf course at

Bryan Park.

Information:

Meet Director & Information:

Greensboro Pacesetters Track Club

Charlie Brown, President

2304 Gracewood Dr.

Greensboro, NC 27408-2509

EMAIL SNOOPYTRAC@AOL.COM

Ph. 336-282-8052

Fax 336-282-1664

*Endurance*

If you got to see the movie "Endurance" about the life of Haile

Gebrselassie while it was in theaters, you were lucky. The movie

had a very short run. Runner's Niche reader Kurt Uhlir reports

that Disney is not sure if they will release the movie on

videotape. If you'd like to help persuade them you can go to

their web site at:

http://disney.go.com/DisneyPictures/endurance/index.html

 

 

 

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

WEB SITES OF INTEREST

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Want to listen to your Walkman while exercising in the cold? If

so you might like this new product:

www.sykegear.com

 

 

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