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RUNNER'S NICHE

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Vol. 3 No. 1 January / February, 1997

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

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This year's San Diego Marathon was a wonderful event. The weather

was great, The course was well monitored and aid stations well

organized. Both The marathon and half marathon had top notch elite

runners as well as hundreds upon hundreds of everyday runners. Other

than The fact that I got a silver dollar sized blister running a leg in The

marathon relay event, I had a great time.

As with most major running events in The United States, There were

few Americans represented in The top ten of The marathon or half

marathon. 46 year old Doug Kurtis, running what he says will be his

final competitive marathon, was seventh and one of only two Americans

in The top ten of The mens marathon. Ukrainians took The top spots in

both The mens and womens marathon, while Kenyans took The top

spots in The half marathon.

Half winner Simon Sawe, interviewed by The San Diego Union-Tribune,

was asked why The foreign runners dominate road races in The United

States. He dismissed The idea that Kenyans were in some way mystically

or genetically superior athletes.

"It's about commitment," he said. "When you don't have much, you have

many distractions. American kids, if They were deprived of many

luxuries that They have and just went out not only to run, but do The

best They can on The field of sport, could be just as good.

"I hate to say that kids in The U.S. are spoiled. But They are.

"Training is never easy. Running is never easy. It's not about winning,

it's about struggling. When you struggle, one day you'll get your goal."

Later he went on to say, "In Third World countries, developing

countries, The needs are basic, food shelter and medicine. Here, it's The

other way around. A kid leaves The house, he is given a car by Mom and

Dad and goes to college. He doesn't see The reality of struggling.

"I work hard for what I do. I train hard. I run hard in The race. Knowing

where I'm from is a kind of motivation."

While I've heard similar thoughts hinted at and eluded to by top foreign

athletes, this was The most direct and to The point statement yet. While

I might argue a point here or There, overall I can't disagree with Simon.

The majority of us have it pretty easy in The United States. It is a rare

individual that is ready to gut it out day in and day out to succeed at a

sport like running.

There are Americans who work just as hard at being top runners as The

best Kenyans, Ethiopeans, Russians and Mexicans. It's just that There

aren't very many of Them. It's simple math. The larger The pool of

talented runners that are training to a top level, The more that will

succeed from that group. There are likely one hundred serious,

dedicated Kenyan runners for every single devout American.

Those of us who live in The United States need to stop wondering why

we're seeing races won by foreign runners all The time. Let's not worry

about what country each runner comes from, and instead enjoy

watching Their athletic ability unfold on The roads and tracks. Cheer for

The Kenyans, The Russians, anyone who has what it takes to win The

race. Cheer for Them as runners and individuals, not as representatives

of Their country.

As runners ourselves, we know The dedication it takes to be our best as

runners. Let's be happy for The runner who is The most dedicated,

albeit with a good dose of inborn talent, and ignore his or her

nationality.

- WG

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TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

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A recent study by researchers at the University of Cape Town Medical

School in South Africa indicates that when exercising at high intensity in

moderate temperatures (20 degrees Celsius) for one hour or less,

drinking fluids may actually worsen your performance.

The research was done on cyclists, but the information may be

important to runners as well.

One possible reason for decreased performance might be the distraction

of taking fluids while engaged in high intensity exercise. Another is the

uncomfortable feeling of fullness in the stomach, and a very low rate of

fluid absorption during high intensity work.

It is certainly possible that the cyclists in this study simply took in too

large a volume of fluid - they ingested 1.7 liters of water or sugared

drink. It seems likely that smaller volumes of water would be absorbed

much better, and would be less of a distraction.

This study does NOT mean you should refrain from taking water during

exercise. But if you are interested in achieving your maximum

performance potential at a shorter distances in cool temperatures, it

seems advisable to take in only small amounts of water. Also, remember

to hydrate well BEFORE and AFTER any exercise!

 

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RUNNING'S LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENTS

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(Reprinted with permission from Running Journal - Bruce Morrison,

president, Running Journal)

-- Allow yourself to run.

-- Enjoy the spirit which propels you. Run for life.

-- Run and smile. Smile = mile with an "s."

-- Compliment the efforts of other runners, don't brag about yourself.

-- Don't run a marathon until you're ready.

-- Thy children shall run for enjoyment with your gentle

encouragement.

-- Don't criticize volunteers. They make the race possible.

-- Respect slow runners. It's harder to run slower because it takes

longer to finish.

-- Don't drop out. Achievement comes to those who run the full

distance.

-- Others may judge you; answer with a smile and understand we are all

imperfect.

-- Learn from losing and you'll always win.

-- A medal does not make you a winner; your actions make you a

winner.

-- Run to win but remember you win when you run.

-- Praise young runners and smile when doing so.

-- Older runners are smarter; they know the real victory of finishing.

-- There are more finish lines for runners; the road is longer -- and

better.

-- Visualize. Know you can accomplish what you allow.

-- Be not always driven, enjoy being tranquil, refuel for the long run.

-- Share knowledge with others and their improvement shall be your

reward.

-- Accept praise with gentleness and you shall enjoy harmony.

-- Travel to new races and places -- and enjoy new faces.

-- The long road reveals who and what we are. For every uphill, there is

a downhill.

-- Keep going, it avoids defeat.

-- Suffering must be experienced to know the full measure of joy.

-- Eliminate limitations for they are imposed only by you.

-- Ride your feet, fly without effort, soar and glide.

-- Go where only discovers can go. Running is an enjoyable hurt.

-- We do know our purpose in life. It is to finish.

NOTE: Info to those not familiar with Running Journal:

We cover the Southeastern United States. Running Journal's web site is

http://www.runningnetwork.com/RunningJournal

 

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WEB SITES OF INTEREST

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*South African Runner's World*

Don't miss South African training tips at:

http://www.runnersworld.co.za/

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CHINESE WOMEN, OR NOT - Part 2

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TRACK AND FIELD NEWS snubbed the Chinese women almost completely

in their annual rankings. The magazine noted that this was not due to

any suspicions of illegal drug use or unethical practices by the Chinese.

Instead, they reminded readers that annual rankings have always been

based on performances in major international meets and especially

championship races. The Chinese "world records" all came at the Chinese

championships with no foreign competition. In addition, the Chinese

were almost completely absent at the World Championships and major

Grand Prix meets.

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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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*Ouch!*

Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,

I just read The Nov. "Runner's Niche" and I am glad to see that I am not

The only one who does "injury denial." Although now I deny it less and

less - and am actually spending less time injured. Maybe after almost 9

years of running I am finally catching on ...

Anyway, I liked your description of physical Therapy. I'd never had any

until my October visit to Doug Hanna (Boulder Physical Therapist).

Although I'd had one or two people describe physical Therapy as

"painful," I had had no idea what they meant. That all changed when

Doug managed to force an additional 15 degrees of motion out of my left

quad/hip extensor complex. Geez, that hurt! I just tried to stay calm and

keep breathing.

Happy trails,

Chris H. - Boulder, CO, USA

*Winter Training*

Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,

... check out the new Nike Air Minot shoes (www.nike.com). specifically

geared towards winter slop runs. I've been wondering for years when

someone would come out with a Gore-Tex shoe; was hoping that some

company other than nike would do it...but no one did. So, I put the

Minots on my holiday wish list. Maybe

this will be the year that I forego the plastic bags over my socks on

those slushy days that are soooo common around central Pennsylvania.

Jay

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SPORTS CLUB '98

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The International Specialized Exhibition "SPORTS CLUB'98" will be held

in Moscow from July 8 to July 12, 1998.

The "SPORTS CLUB'98" Exhibition is included in The official Program of

events timed to The World Youth Games that will be held in Moscow

from July 11 to July 19, 1998 under The patronage of The International

Olympic Committee.

It will be The first Olympic Games for children. Some of Them will

perhaps become Olympic Champions a few years later. Sports and fans

delegations from 140 countries will visit Moscow during These days!

Moscow will become a center of sports life of Russia and CIS countries.

The World Youth Games are considered to be The most important event

in The public life of Moscow in 1998.

SPECIAL SUPPORT for The Exhibition is provided by: The World Youth

Games Executive Directorate, The Foundation for Tennis Development in

Russia.

The Exhibition is a unique chance for companies involved in Sports and

Recreation related business and trade to establish direct contacts with

Russian regions and CIS countries.

The Exhibition will be visited by participants and guests of The World

Youth Games, thousands of sports experts and fans from all The Russian

regions, CIS and many other foreign countries, representatives of The

organizations dealing with promotion of sports, physical training and

recreation, sports clubs management and businessmen. The Exhibition

will feature: * equipment for stadiums, sports grounds and clubs; *

training equipment and trainers; * sports equipment & supplies; *

athletics clothes, footwear and sports apparel; * rehabilitation and health

care means and products, food products for sportsmen; * literature and

video tapes on sports, specialized publications; * associations, clubs,

firms and organizations engaged in sports, physical training and

recreation promotion.

Specialized seminars will be held within The framework of The

Exhibition.

Firms and organizations dealing with any summer or winter sports,

physical training and recreation are invited to participate in The

Exhibition!

The Exhibitors are offered a full range of exhibition services and a

flexible system of discounts up to 45% depending on area rented and

payment terms!

The open area out of The Exhibition Hall will be covered with a number

of demonstrating playgrounds for different sports and games, such as

tennis, football (soccer), basketball, mini golf, paintball, as well as

yachts, camping equipment, etc.

The Exhibition is organized by:

Stand Service Ltd. 57, Profsoyuznaya Str., # 525, Moscow , 117420,

Russia Tel: +7-(095) 332-0210, 332-0296 Fax: +7-(095) 937-5040,

(502) 937-5040 E-mail: stand@co.ru

 

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RUNNER'S NICHE IS ON The WEB!

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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!

Also visit The COLORADO RUNNER'S NICHE site at:

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

This publication is a print version of The electronic RUNNER'S NICHE,

with an emphasis on Colorado running.

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