Archive | February, 2011

Apolo Anton Ohno New York City Marathon

Apolo Anton Ohno to Run 2011 New York City Marathon

Apolo Ohno, the most decorated Winter Olympian of all-time, has decided to run the New York City Marathon this fall.

The marathon will be the latest challenge to Ohno who is in intense athletic shape but is not used to endurance competing for longer than a couple of minutes at a time. Most of his speed skating races last anywhere from 40 seconds to just over a couple of minutes.

Subway’s mega-spokesman Jared Fogle (the guy that lost 9 billion pounds and is forever their spokesman) persuaded Ohno into accepting his challenge. Jared asked several other Subway endorsers, but Ohno was the only celeb to say “yes!”

Apolo realizes it will be difficult and much different than the races on ice that he is accustomed to.

“I’m not going to jump out of the starting gates like I’m doing the 500 (meters),” he said. “People will say, ‘Apolo’s looking amazing … now he’s going to the port-a-potty. What’s going on?’ So I do have to change my mentality. I’m going to have to break it up in segments.”

Ohno is a fierce competitor having not only won eight Olympic medals but also the Dancing With the Stars title back in 2007 (with dancing professional Julianne Hough).  So expect Apolo to train hard, run even harder than most expect, and surprise many onlookers and fans at the NYC Marathon.

Ohno has yet to decide if he will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Posted in Marathon2 Comments

Ultra Marathon Drop Bag

10 Things to Remember in your Ultra Marathon Drop Bag

Most ultra marathons offer the option of leaving a ‘Drop Bag’ at various points along the course.  This offers runners the opportunity to have needed items available throughout the race.

Drop bags can be anything from a clear plastic bin to a plastic bag to a duffle bag.  Since most races will specifically dictate what is or isn‘t allowed, be sure to check your race website.

As for which is best, my personal preference is a clear plastic container, about the size of a shoebox,  that allows you to easily find what you‘re looking for. What you’ll need to pack depends largely on the race distance, the layout of the course, and the offerings at aid stations.

While the following is a list of suggested items to pack, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have so much ‘stuff’ that you spend a lot of time rifling through your bag to find what you need.

Also, make sure that the things you need are placed at the appropriate aid stations.  For example, if you’re packing a headlamp in a race bag, you’ll want to make sure that it will be at the aid station you’ll pass as it’s getting dark.  Likewise, suncreen won’t do you much good at night.

Most of all, remember that someone is kind enough to haul your ‘necessities’ to the aid station so that you’ll have what you need so DO NOT OVERPACK.  Happy Trails…

Fuel:  (Gels, Energy Bars, Electrolyte tablets) Although most ultra marathons offer a standard fare of sweet and salty snacks, you will want to make sure you have plenty of what your body is used to.  I find that cutting energy bars into bite sized pieces and putting them in a Ziploc works for me.

Extra shoes:  Especially for ultras of 50 miles or more, you may want to consider having an extra pair of shoes.  You may also want to consider making sure that your ‘spare pair’ is at least a half size larger since your feet will most likely swell.

Extra Socks:  Dry feet are happy feet.  Period.

Extra Clothes:  Know your race.  Check the weather forecast and be prepared.  If there’s a chance of rain, pack a light water-proof jacket.  If it’s a scorcher, getting out of sweaty clothes before the sun goes down will help with chills.  Temps in some races can vary 30-40 degrees between day and night so be prepared.

BodyGlide:  Whether you prefer Glide, Vaseline, Desitin Clear, or some other goo, you’ll want something on hand in case chaffing becomes an issue.  This should be in EVERY drop bag.

Blister Kit: You can buy these or make your own.  Basically, you need a sterilized needle and a bandage.  Frankly, I like duct tape as well or better than any type of band-aid I’ve tried.  If you run far enough, you WILL have a blister.  Use the needle to relieve the pressure, cover tightly with your bandage of choice and move on.  Just make sure you store the needle so that it won’t ‘poke’ you while you’re looking though your bag.

Sunscreen:  As you sweat (or go through water crossings if you’re lucky) you’ll want to re-apply.  You’ll most likely hurt in enough places when the race is over that you won’t need a sunburn to remind you of your accomplishment.

Headlamp (and extra batteries):  Obviously, you won’t need this for most 50K’s but for longer races such as 100 milers, a headlamp is your best friend.

Bug Spray:  I include this for personal reasons after running 50 miles at Ouachita and swatting horseflies for hours.  Likewise, you will find that a battle against mosquitoes is one you won’t win.

Small pack baby wipes: All I can say is that a clean ___ is a happy ___.  Fill in the blanks as you wish.  You can never go wrong with baby wipes.

Posted in Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Land Between the Lakes 50 mile 60k trail run belt buckle

Land Between the Lakes 50 Mile & 60K Belt Buckle

Here is a look at the impressive Land Between the Lakes 50 Mile & 60K belt buckle. The buckle is given out to the finishers of both distances.

The buckle pictured here is from the 2010 race, but it will likely be the same buckle given out at the 2011 event as well.

The 2011 Land Between the Lake races will take place on March 12, 2011.

Land Between the Lakes Facebook Page

[photo: Naresh Kumar]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Medals, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Elite Marathoner Josh Cox’s 3 Tips for Finishing Your First Marathon (Video)


Elite marathon runner Josh Cox shares three of his best tips in this video for finishing your first marathon or half marathon.

Cox won the 2010 Las Vegas Marathon with a time of 2:25:06.

Posted in Marathon, Video0 Comments

10K in Knoxville, 2010

Silent Lessons … When Not Running

10K in Knoxville 2010

Most of you may know I am taking a mini-break from running while healing from Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. I’m almost there, kids ;-). I have been running a little here and there, but I’ve consistently been listening to my foot while running these past few months. I also listen to my foot the days following a run, because it speaks to me and tells me how it’s feeling.

Taking a break from running has helped me look inward with regard to my running. Looking back at 2010, running seemed like such an outward event. I am still every bit the runner I was last year, but probably haven’t even run 20 miles this year. Funny, I’m not too bothered by that.

I firmly believe that listening to your body is the key that will determine the life of your running career (or hobby, or whatever it is). If you don’t take heed and really listen, you may be forced to take a short, or long, or indefinite break from the sport, hobby and passion that you love. I can’t say there was anything in particular that could have led me to believe I would develop Plantar, but I also can’t say I was listening very closely to any issues that may have been developing as they happened.

The injury itself is really not too big of a deal, and as long as I keep up my massages, stretches and icing, I should be back on track to run the Palmetto Half Marathon on April 16th (one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run … hummm, I think I say that about almost every half marathon I’ve ran, ha, ha, ha)! Seriously, the Palmetto Half is an amazing event.

I truly believe this break from running will make me an even stronger runner when I get back to it. I already know it has made me a smarter runner because now I know how to listen better and what to listen for, and I won’t think twice about taking a week of if I feel I need to. If my body tells me that is what it needs.

It’s not about “racking up the mileage” for me anymore, or seeing how many races I can squeeze into one month, or how many half marathons I can run in a single year. It’s about being a smart runner, a runner who listens, so that I can be a runner for as long as there is breath within me. Or until my legs just give out at 90-something years old ;-).

In the mean time, I have been spending hours at the gym focusing on building muscle and gaining strength. Fitness is a huge part of my life, so if I can’t run I will find something else fitness-related to keep me healthy and active until I return to the pavement. And even then, I think strength-training will be much more a part of my fitness regime than just running alone.

Posted in 5K, Events, Half Marathon, Injuries, Marathon, Running, Uncategorized1 Comment

Girl Cross Country Running

Building Strength and Preventing Injury: Lessons from Cross Country

Building Strength and Preventing Injury: Lessons from Cross Country

Jason Fitzgerald (or Fitz) is the founder of Strength Running, a 2:44 marathoner, and online running coach. He loves running the trails, strong coffee, and cycling. Strength Running unleashes Fitz’s passion for helping runners achieve their best and prevent running injuries. Subscribe to get instant updates from Strength Running.

Cross country is like the middle child of distance running: often forgotten and undeservedly ignored. Typically reserved for high school and college runners, cross country offers numerous benefits that aren’t often utilized by runners training for track or road races.

Nearly all aspects of cross country – from hill workouts, avoidance of the track, and a focus on a long base period – provide injury prevention lessons.

Here’s how you can learn from cross country and build running strength while avoiding injury:

Skip the track and hit the dirt. In college, we only ran about 25% of our fast workouts on the track. In high school, none of them were on the track. Instead, we chose to run on grass fields, wooded trails, dirt paths, and crushed gravel that gave our legs an even more forgiving surface than the hard track.

The more uneven trail and grass surfaces helped us improve our coordination and allowed us to run more total mileage. And let’s not forget that the consistent left turns on a track can cause muscle imbalances that often lead to injury.

Tracks are very useful tools to run workouts, but often you can spare your body by choosing other venues.

Focus your workouts on hills and tempo runs. For most of our cross country season, our bread and butter workouts were hill repeats and tempo runs. Cross country demands leg strength and a huge aerobic engine, both of which are improved with hills and tempo workouts.

Ideally, run your tempo on a soft surface off the track, like a dirt path. Tempos increase your body’s aerobic capacity – or put in a sexier way, they help you run faster without getting so fatigued. And everybody wants that!

Hills are perfect for developing leg strength (like you’d get from the gym) and speed (like you’d get on the track). There is less impact on your legs in uphill running and it reinforces proper running form, so they prevent overuse injuries and help you become a more efficient runner.

Run more volume! Too many runners think they can run fast on the track and in their local 5k without running a lot of miles. That’s simply not true. To maximize your potential for your goal race – and your long-term development as a distance runner – it’s important to run as much as you can within the limitations of experience, safety, and desire.

To increase mileage, back off on the intense workouts. Learn from the previous lesson and switch a fartlek or interval session to a hill workout. Replacing grueling interval workouts with volume will help you become a faster runner in the long-term. High total mileage was always reinforced during cross country season and often took a backseat to fast workouts during track. Don’t make this mistake.

Barefoot strides are your best friend. During the high school and college years, cross country training and racing happened over the summer and fall. We took advantage of these warm months and ran barefoot strides after most of our distance runs.

Barefoot strides are one of the most effective injury prevention strategies that you can implement in your training. They strengthen your feet and lower legs and reinforce efficient running form. Sprinting also recruits many more of your muscle fibers, improves form, and makes running slower seem easier. Start with two 100m barefoot strides on a well-manicured field and progress to 6-8 over a month or two of training.

Preparatory mileage is crucial to success. A lot of new runners don’t give the base phase of training enough attention, or devote a few weeks to easy running before they start with harder workouts. This is a mistake and they’re missing a big opportunity to improve their fitness.

A college cross country season starts at the very end of August, but training begins usually in late May. During these three months, the majority of focus is on easy running: building an enormous endurance base that will support the harder workouts and races that come in the fall.

This long period of easy base mileage includes strides, but rarely any structured workouts before August. It’s more difficult to get injured during easy mileage – and easier to get injured if you skip this base phase of training.

I’ve run 8 seasons of competitive cross country in high school and college (and another “season” after college with two more races). They’re by far my fondest memories of running: serene trails, long runs in summer heat, and the feeling of morning dew on your bare feet.

Cross country is sometimes the forgotten middle child of running, but let’s look at the lessons it provides and learn from them. I think we can all prevent an injury or run a little faster if we take these lessons to heart.

[image: easylocum]

Posted in Injuries, Running0 Comments

Memphis Man Has Run a Mile a Day, Every Day for 39 Years

Retired Memphis dentist Jon Simpson has never run in or competed in an endurance race in his entire life.

However, Simpson has run at least a mile every day for 39-years and counting. His impressive streak, which is the 6th longest of it’s type according to the U.S. Running Streak Association, started way back in 1971.

Heck, Jon doesn’t even measure his miles by car or high-powered GPS. He just gets out and runs for at least 30 minutes every day.

Jon started running, several decades ago now, to strengthen his right leg which is affected by polio.

Read More About Jon Simpson’s Streak at The Commercial Appeal

Congrats to Joe on his impressive streak!

Posted in Running0 Comments

Mary Keitany – World Half Marathon Record Holder

Mary Keitany Demolishes Half Marathon World Record at the RAK Half

Kenya’s Mary Keitany destroyed the half marathon World Record at the RAK Half Marathon today in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE when she ran a 1:05:50.

Lornah Kiplagat had set the World Record back in 2007 at the IAAF World Half Championships in Italy with at time of 1:06:25.

[Read More on Mary's Historic Race]

Way to Run It Fast Mary!

Posted in Half Marathon, Running0 Comments

First Robot Marathon (26.22 miles) in Japan

Sorry Humans! First Robot Only Marathon

The first robot marathon is set to take place in Osaka, Japan, on February 24th.  The race will feature no humans, simply mechanical robots that will cover 26.22 miles.

The robots will have to “run” around the 328ft course 422 times to complete the marathon.

It will take them an estimated four days to finish.

Robot Robovie-PC said in Japanese: “Stretch to prevent injuries and aim to run the whole marathon.”

If the robots fall over they have to get back up on their own.  However, if their batteries get low or die than are allowed to be changed by a human.

No word yet on when the Vibram-Robot, Naresh Kumar, will arrive in town for the race.

Check out the video below to see the robots putting down some practice laps:


With the new Boston Marathon Qualifying Times released yesterday these robotic tadpoles would be systematically challenged to qualify.

Posted in Marathon0 Comments

Better Run It Fast for New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

Better Run It Fast for New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced on Wednesday that they are lowering the time to qualify for the Boston Marathon by 5 minutes for both genders of all age classifications.

The change is in response to the 2011 Boston Marathon filling up in just over 8 hours.

There will also be no 0:59 second leeway on the times. (Example: A 3:05:59 will no longer qualify you. You have to actually be under 3:05.)

The New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN
18-34 3hrs 05min 3hrs 35min
35-39 3hrs 10min 3hrs 40min
40-44 3hrs 15min 3hrs 45min
45-49 3hrs 25min 3hrs 55min
50-54 3hrs 30min 4hrs 00min
55-59 3hrs 40min 4hrs 10min
60-64 3hrs 55min 4hrs 25min
65-69 4hrs 10min 4hrs 40min
70-74 4hrs 25min 4hrs 55min
75-79 4hrs 40min 5hrs 10min
80 and over 4hrs 55min 5hrs 25min

The updated qualifying times will go into effect for the 2013 marathon.

Fair or unfair?

I now, only, have to run a 3:05 to qualify. Happy up!

Posted in Marathon4 Comments


Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free