Vol. 3 No. 8 September, 1998





RUNNER'S NICHE received an interesting advertisement via e-

mail. In part, it reads:





> Now It Is! - GUARANTEED!!


> It's Safe

> It's Healthy

> It's All Natural

> It's Not a Crazy Diet

> It's Not a Military Exercise Program

> It's Safer, Less Painful, & Much Less Expensive than



> What is "It"?


Well, if we were to answer the question lastly posed, the

correct answer would have to be "bull do do." The ad goes

on to claim that all you have to do is rub this amazing gel

on your body and 2 inches of fat just plain and simply

disappears. Well, actually it claims to break the fat down

into water and waste products that your body will naturally

excrete. This is a heaping, stinking pile of lizard dung!

Don't fall for this kind of guano!

Fat is the bodies' way of storing energy. Fat stores are

removed from the body if, and only if, it is used as a fuel

source. Fat is used, for example, to provide energy when

you run. Rubbing something on your skin does not burn or

remove fat, though.

Also, you can't burn the fat off your stomach by doing sit-

ups, or off your buns by using a "bun blaster." Fat is used

from all parts of the body regardless of what kind of

exercise you do or which muscles you employ. Your stomach

will be firm and probably look better if you are doing

abdominal exercises, but don't believe the pop rhetoric

that claims you can "spot burn" fat away.

Aerobic exercises like running, cycling, swimming, walking,

and circuit training; plus a good diet; are the keys to

loosing unwanted fat. No magic gel, pill or $59.95 exercise

machine will do it for you.

Even if it did, what about making your heart and lungs

healthy? Again, aerobic exercise and diet are the keys.

There is no enchanted balm or mystical alchemy that will do

the job.



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


Point your browser to:




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





Be the first to answer all ten Runner's Niche Trivia

Contest questions correctly and win a "Jog-A-Log" computer

program for your Windows 95 PC. Jog-A-Log describes their

product this way: "This program was recently rated by Ziff

Davis (publishers of PC Magazine) with Five Stars (highest

rating) and reviewed as possibly being the best running log

program available."

Okay, here's the deal. Answer these ten questions below by

e-mailing them to: woodyg3@netone.com with the subject

"Trivia Contest." Make sure to include your name, and

answer the questions in the order they appear here. If you

are the first to answer all ten correctly, you will receive

a free copy of the Jog-A-Log program, plus your name will

be featured in the next issue of Runner's Niche! Wow, you

can win stuff AND become famous! Remember, only the FIRST

set of ten correct answers received by Runner's Niche will

win the first place prize.

(By the way, if you own a Mac or don't use Windows 95 on

your PC, we'll dig up a different, but still great, prize

for you.)

The September Issue Questions:

1-5 What college or university did the following elite

athletes attend?

1. Libbie Hickman

2. Keith Brantly

3. PattiSue Plumer

4. Pat Porter

5. Lynn Jennings

6. Who was the first runner to run 100 sub-4-minute miles?

7. At what school does famed exercise physiologist Jack

Daniels coach?

8. In what three different track events did Jim Ryun hold

the world record?

9. Who beat Jim Ryun in the 1500 at the Mexico City


10. Who was Jim Ryun's coach at Kansas University?



--- For more information on the Jog-A-Log program see their

web page at:





1-6: What college or university did the following elite

athletes attend?

1. Arturo Barrios - Texas A&M

2. Mary Decker (Slaney) - Colorado

3. Alan Culpepper - Colorado

4. Suzy Hamilton - Wisconsin

5. Frank Shorter - Yale

6. Bill McChesney - Oregon

7. What city is the Grandma's Marathon held in? - Duluth

8. What time of day does the Boston Marathon start? - Noon

9. Who won the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate

Athletics for Women) National Cross-Country Championships

in 1978? - Mary Decker

10. What well-known runner was sixth in that same AIAW

championship race? - Joan Benoit

The first to answer all ten correctly was RANDY LILJENBERG

of Lafayette, Colorado. Second was Conrad Truedson of

England, who missed being first by two hours.






Interview By Woody Green

Jim Breitenbucher has run 31 marathons with a 2:26 best,

but insists he is more proud of his four appearances in

national cross-country meets. A dedicated cross-country

addict, we decided to interview him as the Fall cross-

country season gets under way around the country.

RUNNER'S NICHE: How did you get started in running, and

with cross-country specifically?

JIM BREITENBUCHER: I started running in 1968 at Cardinal

Stritch High School in Keokuk, Iowa. I was a ninth grader

who really wanted to be in sports but at our small Catholic

school, cross-country was the only fall sport. I lucked out

and was 2nd or 3rd man on the team that year. I was never a

star but always the "work horse" of the team. Our team ran

the Iowa champs my sophomore, junior and senior years. I

graduated in 1972. Like most kids at that time, Pre,

Shorter, Jim Ryan were my heroes. Also Dave Black of

England who was world cross-country champ. Not being a star

or having much money I went to junior college in my

hometown. They had no cross-country team. About that time,

I met a guy named Larry Young from Columbia Missouri who

was 3rd in the 50k walk in the '68 and '72 Olympics. I got

interested in race walking and gave it a try for a few

years and competed in the NAIA Championships for Columbia

College. After that I decided to get a Masters Degree and

went to Pittsburg State University in Kansas. I was not

eligible to compete but got the itch to run again and I

worked out with the track and cross-country teams and

competed for a local club, the Club Midwest. After that it

was back to life as a runner.

RN: Out of the four national cross-country races you

competed in, which was the best?

JB: My best finish in a national was in the 1986 meet in

San Francisco. I finished 276th in 35:55 for 10.5

kilometers at Golden Gate Park. I was 33 at the time and in

some ways this is my best memory of a National. The race

was loaded that year. Pat Porter, Steve Jones, Keith

Hanson, John Tracy, Bruce Bickford. You get the idea. It

was my first National, first trip to California and just

had a ball. That year I ran as a member of the Racers Edge

club out of Saint Paul, our team was 15th but I was a non-

scorer. Outside of Nationals, one of my best memories of

cross-country were the Open-Alumni meets I've run at some

college invitationals in places like River Falls, Wisconsin

(UW River Falls) and Northfield, Minnesota (St. Olf

College), Kenosha WI (Parkside). The coaches at these

schools need a pat on the back. They, and others who open

up their meets, are filling a huge void. That is part of

the solution to the problem of cross-country. There must be

hundreds of college invitationals across the country, why

not add an open 5 mile to each? It would only take up

another 30 minutes and the college kids seem to get a kick

out of seeing old farts running!

RN: Why is cross-country so important to you?

JB: I think it is the weather, the tough competition but

especially the course! If I had one piece of advice to

anyone thinking of organizing a cross-country race I would

say "it's the course stupid" (to paraphrase James

Carville). Or to steal from Robert Kennedy; some men see

cross country courses that are and say "why?" I see cross-

country courses that never were and say "why not?" If I

take a ride in the country, I'm always commenting to my

wife, "wouldn't that park or farm, or field, make a nice

course? Drives her nuts! Golf courses just don't cut it for

me. Comparing the course at Wisconson-Parkside to a golf

course is like comparing Wrigley Field to the Seattle

Kingdome! We need more mud and fewer fairways!

RN: Why do you think there are so few open cross-country


JB: In a way, I have always believed that the running boom

of the '70's stymied cross-country. Let me explain, in the

'70's more and more people began to get involved in running

for health and recreation. Not a bad thing but all the

sponsorship began to gravitate to road races because that

is were the masses turned up every weekend. In addition,

all the resources, media, volunteers and so on got involved

in road races. It didn't kill cross-country, but it

prevented it from growing as it should have at a time when

it should have really taken off in popularity. In a way, I

don't get it. Here's another thing; long distance trail

races are huge these days. The have a kind of cult

following among some runners. Trail races are great, lots

of fun. I've done several myself but I always wonder why

people will run a 50 k race on hills and trails but won't

run an 8 k race on hills and trails. They are both really

cross-country but one is just longer then the other. I'm

not optimistic that these things will ever get fixed. I

just have to accept that cross-country is a sideshow in the

overall running picture. If you are a high school or

college runner cross-country, enjoy it while you can!




By Woody Green

Listed below are some questions on the physiology of

running. Test your knowledge by trying to answer the

questions, then look up the answers, which are placed later

in this issue.

1. When running at a very easy pace, most of your energy

will be provided by:

A. Protein

B. Fat

C. Carbohydrates

2. True or False: Eating a potato will not increase sugar

levels in the blood anywhere near as fast as eating a piece

of candy.

3. True or False: Runners who refuse to eat properly and

starve themselves in the name of loosing weight may

actually be forcing the body to tear down muscle tissue in

order to provide an energy source.





---Endure Plus---

EndurePlus and EndurePlus Online, a subscription, hard copy

newsletter and an online magazine, respectively, that

provides sport nutrition and training information for all

endurance athletes:



---Run Coach---

Australian Running Software and information;



---Running Obsession---

Running Obsession -- a humorous look at the obsession known

as running:

http:// www.alphaprime.com/run









Dear Runner's Niche,

I'm responding to the answers of your PHYSIOLOGY EXAM

questions (August issue of RN). The quadriceps is actually

made up of 5 muscles. I learned this from my orthapedic

when I went there to have my knees examined. He told me

that when the muscle was named the scientists only thought

there were 4 muscles, thus the name. It was latter learned

that there are 5 muscles. He told me that this mistake was

made on a number of muscle groups in the body.


Mike Perlberg

ED: Thanks for your letter, Mike!

I have to admit that I don't know what your orthopedic

surgeon might be referring to. Every physiology and

kinesiology book I have ever seen refers to the quadriceps

as the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus

intermedius and the rectus femoris. These four muscles are

grouped together for convenience, since they function

together as a group when straightening the knee. Also,

scientists have been quite aware of all the muscles in the

body for hundreds of years. We continue to learn, however,

how all these muscles work together.

I suspect that your doctor feels there is an additional

muscle that should be grouped with the other four due to

function, especially as it relates to the movement of the

knee. If you see your doctor again, ask him what additional

muscle he has in mind. I would be very interested!

Thanks for the information, and I hope your running is

going well!




1. Fat is the primary fuel used for the body during easy,

extended exercise.

2. False. Potatoes have been shown to digest very rapidly

and increase blood sugar levels about as fast as candy or

other simple sugar sources.

3. True. This is one of the dangers of anorexia. The body

uses protein as an energy source only when all other

sources are unavailable. Runners who work so hard to get

those muscular, strong legs must remember that they have to

eat properly to keep them!





"Runner's Niche" is free, but its contents are copyrighted.

Nobody may use the content without permission of the author

and "Runner's Niche."

SUBSCRIPTION IS FREE. Just write via e-mail to:


Include your e-mail address. We'll send you an issue via e-

mail every month or so.

If you don't want to continue receiving "Runner's Niche",

simply mail with your e-mail address and ask that your

subscription be stopped.