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RUNNER'S NICHE

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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

day.

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

sport.

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

running, too.

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?

 

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

Boston Memories

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

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

actually helped.

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

marathon.

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.

Happy trails!

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

Munich."

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

schedule.

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

weekend.

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

race.

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

result.

Of course, it is still important for runners to remember that they

need to have a solid base of distance training before attempting hard,

anaerobic training.

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

offering advice.

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:

<http://www.libbie.com>

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:

<http://www.slip.net/~leeway/marathons.html>

 

*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:

<http://www.imn.htwk-leipzig.de/~saxonia/list/relay.html>

 

*MASTERS TRACK SITE*

The USATF Web site is finally including a masters T&F section. It's

under construction at:

<http://www.usatf.org/masters/index.htm>

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

READER'S MAIL

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

*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.

- Mark

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,

<windah@etruria.net>

 

*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

contributing writers.

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-

Thanks,

Mo

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?

Sincerely,

Conner Dary - U.K.

 

 

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

ODDS AND ENDS

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

*Jack Daniels Running Camps*

The following is information on the Jack Daniels running camps for

this summer:

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

runner's paradise.

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

one of

our camps:

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.

5:00 Supper

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

5:00 Supper

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

http://www.gccc.com/taste/taste.htm

 

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

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:

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

Pass the address on to your friends!

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