Vol. 2 No. 5 May, 1997
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
I tried very hard to think of a way that I could stay home from work
on Boston Marathon Monday so that I could watch the TV coverage
live. Instead, I set the VCR to tape it and did my duty at work.
When I got home, I went straight for the VCR and ate dinner while
watching the coverage. What a race!
I watched closely for people who I knew in the race. Mark Plaatjes
was in the lead for several miles of the race. I often see Mark
running out by the Boulder reservoir, and I buy shoes and talk to
him frequently at his running store. Colleen De Reuck, who I see
training at the University of Colorado track, took a turn at the lead of
the women's race. All along, I hoped that somehow Uta Pippig, who I
had seen only a few weeks earlier, could pull off a forth consecutive
win. None of them wound up winning, but it was exciting to watch.
Then there were my friends Dave and Tim. These are some of the
guys my wife and I eat breakfast with after Sunday fun runs. We
play poker together, drink a few cold ones on Friday nights and
pound each other out on the roads. I knew how hard they had
prepared, but, I never picked them out of the crowd in the race.
"I wonder how they did?" I said.
"Could you find the results on the 'net?" my wife wondered.
I fired up the computer and found my friends' results on the World
Wide Web. In the mean time I downloaded all kinds of other
information about the race and poured over it.
I began to realize that I was proving again that I am quite obsessed .
Most people just read about the race the next day in the paper. Most
people don't care about half-way splits or age-group placings or how
many Kenyan men finished in the top ten. In fact, a lot of runners
probably didn't even realize the Boston marathon was on TV that
While I realize I am a little off the scale on running fanaticism, I
can't help but think that a good deal of runners are missing out on
one of the best parts of being a runner. That is in being a fan of the
By watching races like Boston, learning about some of the top
runners and reading all the race results of some of the big races, you
might find yourself enjoying the sport even more. You'll discover
there are more similarities between you and elite runners than you
might have imagined. By relating to the top runners, even if you've
never met them, you can certainly find inspiration for your own
Why wait until the next Olympics to watch running on TV? There are
many exciting races coming up this year. This summer you might
want to catch the World Track and Field Championships on the tube.
ESPN has a series called "Running and Racing" that shows running
events from all over the US and occasionally from other countries.
Magazines like Running Times, Runner's World, American Runner
and especially Track and Field News have plenty of coverage of races
around the world.
There is no reason your pleasure of the sport has to be limited to the
time you are out enjoying your runs. Why not become a fan?
By Dave Dooley
Every time someone asked me if I run marathons and I say "yes," the
next question was "have you run Boston?". After saying "no," their
next thought was probably "well he really hasn't run THE marathon
then." Probably not what they were thinking, but I felt that
someday I ought to do it just so I could answer the question with a
"yes." I've always thought I would and had qualified for the 100th
last year, but couldn't due to work schedule. So I figured since I just
got into another age bracket - I won't say which one but the
adjective "old fart" was used more then once - this would be as good
as any year to do it. So that's how I got there.
Early in January I adjusted my training for the marathon and
everything was going well until I caught bronchitis with three weeks
to go. Fortunately I recovered quickly and wasn't set back too much.
Who knows, it may have given my body a chance to rest a little and
I always wondered why Boston started at noon. I'm sure they have
other reasons, but busing 11 to 12 thousand runners to the start is
probably a large part of it. One would have to start at a ridiculous
hour for an early morning start time. The general race organization
is first rate, after a hundred times, they got it figured out pretty well.
One can have a very long wait before the start, though. I sat around
the start area for 3 1/2 hours.
Once I decided to run Boston I also decided to modify my training
from my usual routine. I felt that my racing lately has not been up
to expectations. I know that aging thing is a part of it, but even so, I
concluded that it is one of two things: I was burnt out, in fatigue, etc.,
or I hadn't been doing enough lactate threshold running. If I
assumed I was fatigued, then rest would, of course, be the
prescription. I felt that I didn't have enough time to cut back and
then ramp up my training in time for Boston, so I assumed that my
training needed some modification. The risk being that if I was
wrong, I would really get myself worn out and Boston wouldn't
happen. Fortunately, my training went fairly well, except for the
bronchitis. I was doing about three workouts a week - a lactate
threshold run (intervals, hills, or fartleks) at about 90% -95%
maximum heart rate (I started using a HR monitor) up to 8 miles; a
goal pace run at about 85% up to 13 miles, and, of course, the long
run (every other week). This was a lot more long, relatively hard
running then I was used to. The long runs were slow, I would guess
65% to 75% HR. I did not do any really fast running and avoided
racing. This is nothing really new for many runners, but for me, it
was a departure from my normal workouts. It was specific for the
The weather for Boston turned out pretty good - clear at 50 to 55
degrees and a slight head breeze. If it had been run a few days
earlier, we would have had heavy rain and 40 to 50 mph head
winds. No race goes perfectly as we all know. If it did we wouldn't
have any excuses. I did some things right and some wrong. My first
little mistake was waiting too long to get to my start section - last
minute pit stop. I was near the back of my section and it took 15 or
20 seconds to get to the start line after the start. Compared to most
runners, I guess this was still pretty good - the Bolder Boulder has
spoiled me in that regard. This may have actually helped since it
prevented most from going out too fast the first mile or so. I am not
used to seeing so many discarded water cups at the water stops by
the time I get there. It seemed like there were a couple thousand
runners ahead of me at the start, but it was probably more like a
couple hundred plus. As those who have run Boston before know,
the first 10K is downhill and it is very easy to go too fast. One thing
I think I did right was to hold back on this section. It seemed like I
was just jogging, but still managed to be nearly a minute ahead of
pace at the six mile mark. I felt that wasn't too fast considering the
downhill. I was still slightly ahead of goal pace at the 20 mile mark,
but lost some during the last 10K - nothing unusual there. In the
end I ended up pretty close to what I wanted to run. I'll take it.
As usual I took advantage of every water stop. There was so much
unofficial water available that all you had to do at any time was stick
your hand out and someone would put a water cup in it or give you a
high-five which many times I couldn't resist. The biggest thing
about the race that impressed me was the crowd support. The
cheering never seemed to stop. I was amazed at the enthusiasm
those people had; they were more hyped then the runners and they
do this every year. I assumed, of course, that they were all cheering
just for me. What a kick. The infamous heartbreak hill was still
there, but it didn't seem as big a deal as I had heard. Maybe I was
expecting such a gut retching climb that it made the series of rolling
up hills seem easier. I never really figured out which one of those
rolling hills was actually "heartbreak".
One thing about Boston - it ain't cheap! I won't say what I spent, but
I could keep myself in running shoes for a long time with that
money. No regrets, though. I would even do it again - if I ever run
another marathon again. I've spoken those words before.
ED: Dave ran 2:45 and placed 5th in his age group. He now sports a
very nice Boston Marathon jacket and a very sore adductor muscle!
BLAST FROM THE PAST
A GOLD, A SILVER AND A DECADE
By Woody Green
Frank Shorter was voted the Marathoner of the 1970's by Track and
Field News. No one would dare argue differently.
Frank's first indication that the marathon was his best race came at
the Pan American Games in 1971. The race was run in very hot
conditions in Cali, Columbia. Despite having to dive into a ditch to
relieve himself mid-race, he won the gold. From there he went on to
win 4 straight Fukuoka Marathons, 5 consecutive National Cross
Country championships and countless other track and road races.
The two most important races of his career, however, were the 1972
and 1976 marathons in Munich and Montreal.
In Munich "I woke up feeling great," Frank said. In Montreal he woke
up and got up on the wrong side of the bed. "Literally the wrong side
of the bed. I ran into the wall," he relates.
With millions of Americans watching the live TV coverage of the
Munich marathon. Frank moved away from the field at about the 8
mile mark. He used his intense interval training and track racing
savvy to make a strong move that none of the other runners could
respond to. Frank put in a pair of sub - 4:40 miles on his ninth and
tenth miles. He wound up winning by two and a half minutes.
Montreal offered weather that was far from Frank's liking. He hates
the rain, and it rained through the entire race. He had a sore ankle,
which he later found was a broken navicular bone that he had hurt
earlier in the year doing intervals on the University of Colorado
indoor track. He put these concerns out of his mind.
"After the race I didn't remember the rain," he said.
The sensational Finnish runner Lasse Viren was in the Montreal
marathon, hoping to add a third gold medal to his winnings after
having taken the 5,000 and 10,000. His coach told him to stay with
Shorter, and do whatever he did.
Frank suspected this strategy, and played hide and seek with Lasse
during the early part of the race. He tried to keep another runner
between himself and Viren, and Lasse would occasionally panic,
looking all around to see where Shorter was.
Later in the race it was time for business. Shorter put in his
trademark surge at about the half-way point, and he pulled away
from the pack. He gained a lead and some figured it was another
Shorter win. An East German by the name of Waldemar Cierpinski,
who Shorter mistook for Carlos Lopes, had other ideas. He caught
Shorter, then pulled away.
As Shorter entered the tunnel to the stadium, he heard the crowd
roar for Cierpinski. It reminded him of the roar he had heard in
Munich, only it was not for him there, either. An impostor had
entered the stadium ahead of Frank, and the crowd cheered wildly
for the phony until they realized he was not the real winner. When
Frank stepped onto the track, the crowd was whistling its
disapproval of the impostor, and only as Frank neared the finish line
did he hear a few cheers.
It should be noted that to win a silver medal on a broken ankle is
quite an accomplishment. In many ways Frank says, "getting second
in Montreal I was just as proud as I was when I got the gold in
If you wonder which victories meant the most to Frank, his Olympic
medals naturally rank number one and two. Interestingly, the next
most important win to him was his 1981 win at his hometown race,
the Bolder Boulder 10 K. He was past his prime by then, and there
were numerous, young, elite runners in the race. Somehow, Frank
pulled it off, perhaps gaining energy and strength from the people of
Boulder who screamed wildly for him all along the course. When he
entered the University of Colorado stadium at the end of that race,
the roar of the crowd was all for him.
PHANTOM OF THE DARK
By Jerry Bloom
I suppose I've led a spoiled life. Up until a couple of months ago my
commute to work was seven miles, no stop lights, no traffic, no hour
in the car. Many times I would run to and from work.
Life is dynamic and on occasion adjustments must be made. A new
career, a new city, a new work schedule call for many adjustments.
My running program has had to accommodate itself to this new
Being an afternoon or evening runner I always had great respect for
the early A.M. runner. I knew it takes real dedication to get up out
of a warm bed and leave your spouse before you have to. I would
see these "Phantom of the Dark" runners on rare occasions when I
absolutely had to get up early to be somewhere.
The mornings with this career change have been fairly flexible,
leaving home around 7:00 A.M. but I have yet to get back home
before 8:00 P.M. I went the first couple of days without running, but
by the middle of the first week I really wanted to get out and run.
In fact the desire was so great by Tuesday evening that I set my
alarm for 5:30, got up and put in four miles on Wednesday morning.
On Thursday I set the alarm for 5:00 so I could run even farther.
Friday I slept in knowing I could get in a couple of long runs on the
All the next week I got up a hour earlier than necessary (without
setting the alarm) just to go out and run, I was becoming a Phantom
of the Dark runner.
My respect has not diminished for this group now that I am a
member. However my over all perception and respect for us runners
as a group has gone up, now that I have transferred from the setting
sun running group to the before the sun group. I have realized that
no matter what life dishes out, we runners can adapt to our
environment, we make the time we need to affirm what we are.
I am fortunate to be a member of this Phantom of the Dark running
group and am grateful for the time I have to run and am really
thankful that when I go outside at 5:00 a.m. there isn't two feet of
snow on the ground!
ANAEROBICS PART 4
By Woody Green
Anaerobic training makes the difference between simply running a
5 or 10 K and actually racing it. Last month we discussed marathon
training and noted that it was entirely possible (although not
optimal) to run a marathon with no anaerobic training. That's true of
a 5 or 10 K too, but you are limiting yourself quite a bit if you skip
intervals, hill work or fartlek training.
You are actually running fast enough in a 5 K to use your anaerobic
system for an important portion of the energy you expend during the
race. While it is a fairly low percentage, usually estimated at 5-10%,
it is far from insignificant. Even in a 10 K around 3% of your energy
comes from anaerobic sources.
Two things can happen if you don't do any anaerobic training.
One is that you will simply run slower and not tax your anaerobic
system at all. This will mean running comfortably for the full
distance, but most people want to push a little harder than that in a
The other is that you will push hard and discover that your ability to
increase your pace beyond your training pace is pretty limited. I
have talked with many runners who say that in a race they can go
only a little faster than their training pace. Interestingly, these same
people usually mention that they don't do any interval training.
By doing intervals, hill training, fartlek or a combination of such
training, you will permit your body to provide extra energy when
you race, and you will likely see a significant drop in times as a
Of course, it is still important for runners to remember that they
need to have a solid base of distance training before attempting hard,
Next month we will look into some different forms of anaerobic
training and how you might incorporate them into your training.
A BETTER BOOK
Book Review By Woody Green
Prolific running author Joe Henderson has come up with a different
approach this time around. His book BETTER RUNS (Human Kinetics
Press, $14.95 list) appears to be a typical training advice book at first
glance. Chapters deal with training schedules, equipment, weather,
racing tactics, and similar topics.
What makes this book quite different, however, is its tone. As I read
I felt I was listening to a friend talk about his favorite subject. The
advice is very down to earth, and BETTER RUNS offers something for
both new runners and age old veterans.
A good example of the practicality of this book is the chapter on
shoes. The typical information on proper fit, support and cushioning
is absent. Henderson instead gives you ideas on saving money on
shoes, modifications you can make to your shoes to improve fit and
comfort, and a method of rotating different pairs to help you log
injury free miles.
Without being a philosophical tome, this book also looks into what it
means to be a runner. One of the better lines in the book is, "accept
whatever weather blows your way. Take pride in running on days
when fair-weather runners stay home." This is information on the
true essence of running.
I admit that I didn't agree with ALL the ideas presented in the book.
You may not either. That doesn't take away from its value, however,
because of the way Henderson presents the material. Reading his
ideas will force you to reevaluate your running, which we should all
do from time to time. He does not try to force feed the reader. He
simply puts ideas forward for you to ponder. Again, like a friend
This is a book you can read in a weekend, or you can pick at it a
chapter at a time. Either way, paging through BETTER RUNS will be
time well spent.
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
*LIBBIE JOHNSON - HICKMAN*
Libbie Johnson - Hickman, the American road racer of the year for
1991 according to Runner's World, a 1995 World Championships
team member and a forth place finisher in the 1996 Olympic trials
has her own web site. It offers running and
stretching tips, a race time calculator, running calculator and a calorie
calculator to keep you on track. Libbie also offers running advice via
e-mail. Check it out at:
By the way, Libbie just set a new American record for four miles on
the roads with a 20:08 at the Trolley Run in Kansas City.
*BAY AREA LONG RUNS*
The San Francisco Bay Area Marathons page can be found at:
*MASS RELAY RECORDS*
A web site is now devoted to World records for mass relays such as
100 x 1 mile and similar events. You can find it at:
*MASTERS TRACK SITE*
The USATF Web site is finally including a masters T&F section. It's
under construction at:
*SUMMER WEIGHT LOSS*
ED: Last month in the Notes From the Editor, we mentiond that
Summer was a good time to shed a few of those extra pounds gained
over the winter. Reader Mark Foster writes:
Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,
Hi from cold and wet New Zealand. A reminder for some of your
readers. Summer is not the best time of year to lose those extra
Pounds or Kg. It's winter. Running in the cold of winter burns off
more fat and will use more energy in less time than summer. This is
due to the body having to fuel both your running and trying to keep
warm. Summer you will find will keep you in shape but the effort
you have to put in (to lose weight) is more than winter running.
ED: Point well taken. Also, readers, don't fool yourself into thinking
that weight loss comes from sweating it out. Water loss from exercise
must be replaced by drinking water after the workout. Make sure
you are properly hydrated!
*PEN PAL REQUESTED*
I'm an Italian road-runner (age 40) and I'd like to correspond with
other runners, if possible.
Thank you - Regards,
*A DEDICATED RUNNER DROPS US A LINE*
Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,
It has been a long, snowy, icy, winter here in the heart of the
Rockies. Conditions have been...well.. not the best for running. I
qualified for Boston in May and have managed to run almost 900
miles in the last four months. Most of those were done only with four
legged friends. I just wanted you to know that the connection you
have provided me with has been so valuable. When I am out the
door at 5:00 am, or running my long 20 miles in 10 degree weather,
or snowshoeing because the streets are closed, my mind not only
wanders to April 21, and all the people I will get to play with on that
day, but often to your pages. I ponder your advise. I think about the
You've provided me with a running connection that I really needed.
I just wanted you to know
-I'm out here running too-
-and you make a difference-
ED: We hope Boston went well for you!
*A CYNIC IN OUR MIDST?*
Dear RUNNER'S NICHE,
Golly, I sure like your newsletter. It makes me want to go out and
run and run like my hero, Forrest Gump. Do you know where I can
get some EPO so I can run fast like all my other heroes?
Conner Dary - U.K.
ODDS AND ENDS
*Jack Daniels Running Camps*
The following is information on the Jack Daniels running camps for
Saturday, June 21st - Friday, June 27th: Lake Placid, New York 7
days, 6 nights; $625; food, housing, camp materials; limited to 30
campers We will be hosting the camp at a local hotel near downtown,
which offers many shops and attractions. This is a beautiful time of
year to visit this well-known Olympic City.
Monday, June 30th - Friday, July 4th: Gunnison, Colorado 5 days, 4
nights; $365; food, housing, camp materials; limited to 40 campers
This is the site of our first camp ever. The host site is Western State
College, which is home to many great distance-running teams. The
beautiful weather, low humidity and 7000+ foot elevation makes this
Saturday, July 5th - Friday, July 11th: Rohnert Park, California 7
days, 6 nights; $625; food, housing, camp materials; limited to 30
campers Sonoma State University will be the host site for this camp.
Located just 50 miles north of San Francisco this is a great location
for runners. The price for this camp reflects the quality of the
surroundings. Sonoma State is in high demand for athletic camps
and we are fortunate to be able to bring our camp to visit.
Saturday, July 19th - Friday, July 25th: Kenosha, Wisconsin 7 days, 6
nights; $585; food, housing, camp materials; limited to 40
campers Kenosha is home to the University of Wisconsin Parkside
and has been host to countless Cross-Country national championship
meets. UW Parkside is famous for it's perfectly laid out Cross-
Country course, which is surrounded by acres of trails through the
forest next to Lake Michigan. Kenosha is half way between
Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. This is an ideal place to
wrap up our summer session of camps.
Following is a typical schedule that you may expect when you attend
Day 1: 12:00 Check in (starts at noon and continues);
Time to settle in
and take an easy run in
the late afternoon if you wish.
7:00 Group activity to get to know everybody
Middle Days: 7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Possibly a lecture or time to rest or attend
church (if on Sunday)
10:30 Track: Stride rate, breathing, etc.
Noon Lunch & rest
3:30 Easy run
6:00 Lecture on the principles of training
Last Day: 7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Morning run and preparing for departure
12:00 Check out
Other lectures that you can look forward to will include, but are not
limited to: 1.Systems of need 2.Types of training for specific needs
3.Training paces 4.Body composition 5.Visualization and race tactics
6.How to create weekly and season schedules 7.Returning from
setbacks. We also plan local group excursions to see-the-sites of each
of the areas.
If you have specific questions you can contact us by calling toll
free1-888-CAMP-RUN. Web site: http://www.altcom.com/running.
*FORK IN THE ROAD*
Taste of Cincinnati Presents
Fork In The Road Run
On Memorial Day
Eat Street, U.S.A. Hosts Annual 5-Kilometer Race:
The longest-running culinary arts event in the nation presents the
second installment of the Fork in the Road Run, a 5-kilometer race, at
10 a.m. Monday, May 26.
Awards also will be given to the top male and female open runners,
the top three masters and the top 10 percent of each age and weight
division based on preregistration. Fitness walkers are welcome.
An Event Kids Fun Run for toddlers and younger children also will be
held prior to the Fork in the Road Run awards ceremony. The course
for kids stretches about 300 yards. Parents are encouraged to
accompany their children, and strollers are welcome. Ribbons will be
awarded to all kids finishing the course.
For more information,
contact Raymond L. Buse III
at (513) 579-3194
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:
Pass the address on to your friends!
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