Monthly Archives: May 2008

Causes of Running Stomach Cramps, Pain

Every runner must have at one time experienced some unpleasant and painful sensation in the stomach. The pain is what is called cramps and its caused by the overexertion nature of running.

Stomach cramps and diarrhea

Stomach cramps vary from one runner to another, some runners complain of stomach cramps and diarrhoea others stomach cramps and diarrhea others just upper stomach cramps.

What causes painful stomach cramps during running?

  1. Dehydration. – For your smooth muscles of the stomach/intestines to function properly they require to be hydrated.
  2. Low blood salt – With all the sweating taking place your body will be losing too much salt and your body will soon be starved of salt.
  3. Inadequate oxygenation – During running, a lot of your blood will be redirected from the stomach to other muscle. And since your stomach muscles are starved of oxygen they will not work properly.

The above causes are made worse by factors such as a extreme weather conditions. Too high temperatures will increase rate of dehydration.

Video of How To Get Rid of Stomach Cramps

Medicine for stomach cramps.

This is not your typical medicine to cure cramps but a simple guide on how to avoid them. Its important to make sure you drink enough water. I experience most of my stomach cramps during my training because in training I don’t have water points every 2K like I find in a marathon.

Drinking water is good but drinking too much is dangerous! Drinking too much water will cause your salt levels too go too low causing you stomach pains and in a worst case scenario death! Every runner should remember to put enough salt in his food. During the the race, Eat salt pallets offered. Lastly, Practice good breathing technique.

Remember the more you run and the more experienced you get, the less stomach cramps you will get from running.

Obama Running Lifestyle Born From Kenyan Root

Barrack Obama regularly runs 3 miles. That is according to Obama medical report from his doctor.

For someone who has his roots from Kenya am not surprised Obama is a runner. This self declared “skinny guy with a funny voice” has another semblance with Kenyan runners, he has a lean body and has no excess fat.

Am wondering what does Obama love more, Basketball or Running?

Egg Diet: as Good as Your Mama’s Breast Milk

For the first six months of your life you survived solely on your mothers breast milk. The breast milk contained enough protein to meet your growing needs.

According to an article on runners world magazine, an Egg is as good as breast milk.

Egg protein is the most complete food protein short of human breast milk, which means the protein in eggs contains all the crucial amino acids your hard-working muscles need to promote recovery.”

Women's Running Resources Beginner Running Resources High School Runner Resources

An egg will give you;

  • Vitamin K – Vital for healthy bones
  •  Choline – brain nutrient that aids memory (You will never forget your route)
  • Leutin – A pigment needed for healthy eyes (For those who love running at night)

See Runners world magazine, best foods for runners

Bon Appetite

Overcoming Your Running Fears

Last week I suffered from food poisoning  and the whole week I struggled with stomach pain. When I woke up yesterday morning the question was to run or not to run. I wasn’t feeling any stomach pain but I had this fear that I might suffer a severe stomach pain while I was out running.

But a Sunday is never a Sunday if I don’t go for my long run. As I was putting on my trainers when I remembered how Paula Radcliffe stopped to pee at London marathon. Paula later blamed the pee incident on pre race pasta meal that was causing her stomach pains. Would I suffer a similar embarrassing fate?

Overexertion causes stomach cramps, so I decided to take things easy. That decision not to overdo the run seemed to have been right because the whole 21k run went uneventful.

Looking back it would have been very easy for me to put off the run for fear of suffering a stomach pain  but as they say “the only thing to fear is fear.”

Have a fearless week

Why Paul Tergat Won’t Run Beijing Olympic Marathon

At Bangalore 10K run on 18th May,  Kenya’s  multiple world champion  Paul Tergat  finished 19th.  India’s national daily termed his performance “a forgettable 19th”

Just before Kenya’s Olympic Marathon team was announced Tergat convened a news conference where he withdrew his name for consideration into the Kenya Olympic marathon team. His reason for withdrawal was “I have been there, done that and now I want to give the new young runners a chance.”

While that was a kind gesture from Paul, his performance at Bangalore 10k shows his best  days might be behind him. In Bangalore he was the oldest amongst Elite men at 39 years. The 10K run was won by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadesse who outkicked Moses Kipsiro of Uganda in a close finish. Both men are in their early twenties.

In the 70s, 80s and 90s, long distance running especially the marathon was dominated by runners in their thirties. The conventional wisdom was that long distance running required experience. Runners started in the middle distances, as they got older they graduated into longer distances and eventually marathon running. That was the route runners like Paul Tergat and Haile Gebreselassie followed.

But that old route is now being deemed too long. In Kenya we are seeing runners just out of their teens running marathons. Samuel Wanjiru at 21 years is the youngest member of Kenya Beijing Olympic marathon team, he holds the world best in half marathon. Luke Kibet was 24 when he won Kenya it’s first gold in 20 years at 2007 Osaka IAAF World championship. As the marathon prize money has got fatter, aspiring runners are aiming for the marathon. It’s the sure route to be a young multimillionaire!

Competitive marathon running is now becoming a young man’s game!

Running and Your Fertility


Last week I met a police man who told me he was a good runner when he was a cadet at police training college. I asked him if we could train together for the Nairobi Full marathon and the guy frankly said No!……He is unmarried without kids and somehow he believes marathon running is bad for his fertility. He did not have any facts to back his claims so I decided to do my own research as to whether his claim was just one of the many myths about running.


Do Pro marathon runner have families?
To get answer to that question I first checked the family status of reknowned marathon runners.

  • Catherine Ndereba, she is married and blessed with one kid.


  • Paula Radcliffe, just gave birth to a bouncing baby girl and she trained during her pregnancy.
  • Paul Tergat is married to Monica and they have three children.
  • Haile Gebreselassie is married to wife Alem and they have three daughters.


So far nothing to worry about. I then checked to see what the professionals say about this issue. I first read an article by Coach Jenny Hadfield, a blogger at Runners World magazine. She wrote an article about marathon and female fertility. She wrote the article in response to a distressed mother of three who was training for a marathon and wondered whether marathon running would inhibit her getting more kids. Coach Jenny wrote;
Marathoning is very demanding on the body, even if you are training to run it for fun. Marathoning can exacerbate these issues and increase the chance of fertility problems. If our bodies are struggling [stress, diet, over exertion] we have a built-in mechanism that will shut off our fertility systems to help us survive. She adds “Every woman is different. We all have similar anatomy, yes, but we eat, sleep, work, stress, run, and live at different intensities. Not to mention we respond to all these things differently as well. And it is these variables that make the difference in whether it is a good idea to train to run a marathon or not”


Sign that running might be affecting your reproduction.
Just like too much water is not good for you so too much running can affect your reproductive functions. She advices the ladies to consider the physical and mental demands of running and if your periods stop, then you should stop running and consult your Physician.

Men and how they are affected
As a single childless man, I was more than curious to know how running affects me. On they have this article running and men fertility. The conclusion was the only effect was a slight reduction on semen. It was based on A study in the medical journal, Fertility and Sterility. Twenty-four marathon runners had their blood and semen checked regularly as they increased their training for competition. All sex hormones remained the same except for an increase in the hormone, prolactin, which did not affect their ability or desire to make love. The only change in sexual function was a decreased volume of semen.

Dont Trust Your Eyes

Officials at the Sunfeast 10K in Bangalore India, on Sunday, 18 March 2008, decided they could not visually separate the top two women, Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey and Grace Momanyi of Kenya, who were timed in 32:02.

After a two hour long deliberation they were declared co-winners and the prize money ($32,000) was split,  each awarded $16,000.

Just like the Obama / Clinton duel ……Too close to call?

Source, Hindu News

Democracy and Its Impact on Kenya Running

Getting Kenya runners into a residential camp is proving to be a headache for head Coach Julius Kirwa, who is pleading in local media for the athletes to heed Athletics Kenya call to train together for a month to boost their prospects in Beijing.

With the rich European Golden League and Grand Prix season just starting, some of the elites feel their bank balances would be seriously dented if Athletics Kenya insists that they pitch camp in Eldoret before next month’s Olympics trials. Most runners are opting to do their own training.

Kenya runners have been upstaged by Ethiopian runners in recent major meetings and Kenya athletics federation thinks one reason why Ethiopian runners have done so well is because they train as a team just before a major a tournament. But Kenya runners won’t heed calls to report to camp.

Why Kenyan Runners Can’t be forced into a training Camp

One difference between Ethiopia and Kenya is the level of democracy in these countries. The way a country is governed is always reflected in the way sports federation are run. While Kenya is miles ahead of Ethiopia in development of democracy; active opposition, free media and assertive citizenry. Ethiopia is still ruled by a strong man. Just last week, Ethiopian President Zenawi was re-elected without opposition.

Anything Zenawi says, Ethiopia does. And the Ethiopian federation officials have learn’t from him; when Haile Gebreselassie announced he wont be running in Beijing the Ethiopian federation hit the roof,


It is not up to Haile Gebrselassie to decide on participation in the marathon event in Beijing,” EAF technical director Dube Jillo said.

“It is the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, representing the nation, that determines whether Haile is fit to compete in the marathon event in Beijing’s Olympics or not.” As they tried to force Haile to run the marathon.

While this command and control style has helped the Ethiopian federation force discipline in the national team, In Kenya such tough talk would be met with talks of WE HAVE RIGHTS!

Their word was law

In the 80s Kenya was an autocratic country and thats how everything was run. Most sports federation were run by allies of the president. If the federation said “get into camp” everyone got in running. In the 80s dissidence was not tolerated in Kenya. This was an era Kenya runners won medals after medals around the world, thanks to the forced discipline. If any runner had tried to run outside the country without the authority of the federation, it would have been very easy for the officials to have his pass port withdrawn.

In the 90s multi party democracy arrived in Kenya and citizens got a voice. Street mass action became a divine right, teachers who are employed by government even staged a successful strike in the 90s that forced the government to award them a 200% salary hike. Kenya athletes started jetting outside the country to compete, confidently knowing no one had powers any more to stop them.

Today, With their old power dismantled, the Kenya federation officials can only look at Ethiopia federation with envy.

Long live peoples power!!

Bamboo Bike for Heart, Lung Exercise

Looks cool! A work of art!

I was flipping an old copy of Newsweek magazine when I came across this fine Bike, ITS MADE FROM BAMBOO!

How strong is this bamboo bike? Calfee designs, the guys who pioneered use of carbon fiber material on racing bikes claim on their site that “a Calfee Bamboo bike won 1st place in the open class at the Great Western Bicycle Rally’s Concourse d’Elegance show.”

I was schooled in a boys boarding school and I remember our principal had a bamboo stick that he used to spank anyone who misbehaved. Today, Corporal punishment has been banned in Kenya schools and its good to know their is now a better use of bamboo stick than using it as a weapon.

Bamboo Bike Features:

  • High performance frame. Weighs about 4 pounds but has good stiffness.
  • Crash tolerant. Bamboo is a lot of tougher than most people realize.

Do you ride a bike as part of your cardiovascular exercise? May be you should try a new bamboo bike.

Foods To Avoid Before Running.

Am always experimenting with different ideas that can make me a better runner. I have discovered eating a banana just before your run can do more harm than good. This was surprising because I know fruits are rich in sugar which provides energy for muscles.

I ate a banana before my yesterday, regular Sunday morning half marathon training. My thinking was that the sugar from the banana would give me an energy boost.

After 30 minutes of running I started feeling like a stone was inside my stomach. Something heavy was inside my stomach and made me feel uncomfortable. When one is running your whole body is shaking, the stomach and the intestines are moving from one side to another. This shaking makes it impossible for any digestion to take place and the poor banana was stuck inside the stomach.

Since no digestion took place I never got the expected energy boost. I just persevered running with the discomfort until my mind forgot about it.

Other foods I never eat just before running.

Bread, although I know bread is one of the carbon loading food, I have discovered eating it just before your run, leaves’ you feeling like a stone is inside your stomach, just like the banana. Bread is best eaten at least 3 hours before road running.

Fruits, orange, passion fruit, the juice is great but when you start running it leaves your throat irritated, dry and makes you feel thirsty.

If you have a food that you avoid eating before a run, share with me?