Vol. 5 No.2 February, 2000
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
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.
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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:
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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
When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia
contest" and answer the questions in the order they appear below.
Mail to: email@example.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?
5. Michael Jazy set the world mile mark in 1965 with a time of
3:53.6. What country was he from?
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.)
8. Who won that Helsinki 1500 race?
- Josy Barthel of Luxemborg
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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
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
Will's current base training weekly schedule looks something like
M - 11-1/4 easy
T - am: 5 easy
pm: 2 warm-up - 5 miles of speed work - 2
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, PRAs
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 Franks 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 whats going on at
the elite level in American running. Also, we got him to drink
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 didnt 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 70s. 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 didnt
get the Gold Medal in 1976. He told me it didnt matter,
because he knows that he earned it fairly, and thats 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.
Franks Two Weeks/Two Months Rule
Find a physical activity or routine that is right for you, that
you like. For most of us, its 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. Dont get
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
Have the right attitude as youre 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
Anecdotally, I have been using Franks 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 wont 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 Franks Two Weeks/Two Months rule and find
another activity to fill the void left by not running. Youre
not abandoning running! Youre 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 youre
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 70s, 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 couldnt 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.
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. Thats 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 3s! 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 3s 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
youre doing the workout, your pace should gradually get faster,
so the last few 400s should be faster than the first few. Its
better for your body, since you gradually warm up, minimizing
injury. Its better for your mind, because youre 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
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. Thats
why we run hard. If you dont rest, your muscles and nerves
dont 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).
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). Im done. Its Miller Time! For Frank, his routine
is grains/breads in the morning. He cant 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. Its hard to pig out after 9:00
p.m., were 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.
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, hes 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 were 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:
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:
1999 United States List
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
Phone: (614) 467-6908
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,
20. George A. Hancock, 2/26/1978, Windber, Pa., UniversityEmp,
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,
(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
Ultramarathon World: http://fox.nstn.ca/~dblaikie
George Hancock: firstname.lastname@example.org
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http://www.uflash.com, your online night safety store is now
OPEN! Visit our website and give us your feedback! Be Seen, Not
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THIS AND THAT
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
Meet Director & Information:
Greensboro Pacesetters Track Club
Charlie Brown, President
2304 Gracewood Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27408-2509
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:
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
*Speaker Fleece Headbands*
Want to listen to your Walkman while exercising in the cold? If
so you might like this new product:
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