Monthly Archives: September 2008

End of 8th Week of Marathon Training: Last Long Run

I would have loved to continue with my long run but with less than 30 days to 2008 Nairobi marathon, my long run yesterday was the last. Am now tapering.

I enjoy long runs because I do them at a slow pace,and I don’t have to worry about my time, unlike the speed works where you have to push faster and faster and at times running round a track can be boring.

Don’t run too much: Avoid fatigue

The distance of my long run yesterday was a 42K. That is my longest distance I have run this year. I would have loved to do atleast three more but with less than a month of training, running such a long distance could leave one fatigued. Instead of being a better runner you would suffer reduced endurance.

Sign of Dehydration

The run was made worse by the hot sun. We are in the hot season here in Kenya and this is the hardest time to train for a marathon. I had hoped to run the whole distance non stop but at 30K mark I was too thirsty to continue and I wasn’t sweating enough, which is a sign of dehydration. I stopped at a highway motel where I borrowed some water.

Running With Sore Calf Muscle.

At the 36K mark I got a familiar feeling in my calves. They felt sore! I thought of stopping but I decided to keep running. In my last two marathons when my calves felt too sore , I started to walk. This time I decided to see whether its possible to continue running with sore calf muscle. I held onto my pace and got to the finish.

The lesson from this last long run is that it’s possible to run with sore calf muscles. You just need to learn how to ignore the pain.

Berlin 2008: His Highness Gebreselassie Breaks the Marathon Record for the Second Time

After breaking the world marathon record for the second time Haile Gebreselassie must surely be singing Britney Spears song “I did it again…”

The ever smiling 35-year-old Ethiopian became the first man to run under two hours, four minutes as he clocked 2:03:59 at 2008 Berlin Marathon.

After the win I quickly checked the records and I noticed it is the sixth time the marathon world record has been broken over the flat Berlin courseIs it possible?

The last time he broke the record he was asked whether it was possible to run the marathon in 2 hours flat, the following was his answer

“Sure, it will happen,” he told reporters on Monday. “But when? Will it be in 20 years? Or 40 years? Nobody knows. The more technology develops, the more athletes will run faster. I believe one day it will happen.”

Lets us see how the time has been brought down from the past to the present.

In 1895, Spiridon Louis of Greece ran in 2hrs 58 minute.It wasnt until 1925 that American Albert Michelsen became the first man to run under 2hrs 30mins, by running in 2hrs 29mins. It took another 40 years for the time to go below 2hrs 10mins when Derek Clayton of Australia ran in 2hrs 9mins in 1967. 40 Yrs later Haile Gebresellasie is the second man to have ran below 2hrs 5mins.

Making an educated guese I think it will takes us another 40 plus years before we see a marathon runner running on 2hrs flat.

Mick ‘n’ Phil: Runner Pushing Son On WheelChair

Running alone is hard enough, Imagine running a 42K marathon while pushing someone on a wheelchair.

This is the incredible story of Mick and Phil, Mick is the parent of Phil who is extremely disabled and in a wheelchair. Phil suffers from Cerebral Palsy. His father Mick is a very accomplished runner and he and Phil have run many half marathons/marathons over the years. Mick pushing Phil’s wheelchair.


Their personal best is 4 hours 12 minutes.

On Mick ‘n’ Phil website, Mic narrates how they started running. “My wife gave me an ultimatum in early 2002, “either take Phillip in his wheelchair running with you, or pack it all in as, as I cannot cope any longer”. Well, I can tell you now, I thought it was the end of things, so I had a long hard think. Would the wheelchair stand up to it? Would Phillip like it? and most importantly, could I do this whilst pushing him? Running is hard enough at times no matter what standard you are. This was make or break, all or nothing. We started with a 2 mile fun run, taking 17m 45s, moved up to a 10k clocking 46m then tackled a 10 miler in a time of 1hr 48m. The final test was the full marathon where we achieved a time of 4hr 12m. This was fantastic, we were both loving it and quite simply, having the time of our lives. The rest they say, is history.”

Be Careful, Someone Could Steal Your Race Number

On my blog travels I found this funny running story by Baldrunner . The story is how a thief stole his daughters race number and went ahead to race.

The theft took place at 2006 city of Angels Half Marathon.  According to the post  , They arrived at the Expo only to find that her daughters running pack was missing, the attendants informed them that someone had collected it.  King of Pot then says,

We later found out from the results of the race that an unknown male runner used my daughter’s race number and started and finished way behind us. He finished the race in 2 hrs 33 minutes & 03 seconds with split time at 10K in 1 hr 06 minutes & 14 seconds. He had 10:40 minutes pace in the 10K and 11:41 minutes pace for the half-marathon. The guy did not register for the race but just simply ran the race using my daughter’s original designated race number.”

He goes further and claims, “I had a suspicion that the guy who got her race number was a Chinese!!!!”

Muthuka : Kenyan Runner Banned for Doping

Elizabeth Muthuka, a Kenyan sprinter has been banned for two years for testing positive to banned substance nandrolone.

This news did not surprise me.

Back in July, Elizabeth made news headlines when she qualified for Olympics. Kenya is a country that produces long distance runners and when a sprinter emerges there is hullabaloo.  In a spun of a week the 33 year old broke two national records.

What caught my attention was not her record breaking times but her muscular body.

See for yourself

Elizabeth Muthuka during Olympic trials

I know a man who has spent years in the gym trying to get such muscles, after 4 years of lifting weights the man hasn’t made much progress.

According to Wikipedia  effects of  Nandrolone include muscle growth, appetite stimulation and increased red blood cell production and bone density.

In the hearing, Elizabeth admitted using the drug after she was advised to do so by her doctors.

Muthuka becomes the fourth female runner from Kenya to test positive. Others are Udine half marathon champion Pamela Chepchumba, former world cross country junior champion Lydia Cheromei and marathoner Susan Chepkemei.

Running Tip: Building Endurance By Jeff Galloway

Building Endurance

“The development of endurance is very simple. You just increase the distance of your long run.” Jeff Galloway Author of Marathon: You Can Do It

For any length of run, you can hold your endurance for at least 2 weeks. If your long runs are usually over 17 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 3 weeks. If your long runs are over 26 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 4 weeks.See The Book: Marathon You Can Do It

Running Tip : Learn How to Race With People

“I understand that I need to be able to run my own style of racing. I was up with the guys for a while, and then when I fell off, I was able to find my own rhythm and catch back up again. That was a big confidence boost for me, to know that just because people get away from you once, that you can still get back up to them. I need to learn how to race with people, but also how to run my own race.”

Ryan Hall, USA marathon runner explaining what he learnt  the first time he ran against top athletes at 2008 London Marathon.

End of 7th Week of Marathon Training: Rest, Rest and more Rest

The last week I have ran only twice, the first run was a Jog on Wednesday followed by another Jog on Thursday. By my standards this was very low but it was necessary because I suffered an ankle strain on my right leg during my last 35K long run and the last thing I need now (35 days to go  before 2008 Nairobi marathon) is to suffer a serious running injury due to over training.

Over training  causes serious running injury

A good example of how running injuries are caused by over training was the large number of injured marathon runners at Beijing Summer Olympics. In the women’s marathon Paula Radcliffe ran with a strained thigh, American Deena Kostar dropped out the race after 3 miles suffering from a foot injury. Japanese Mizuki Noguchi who was favourite to win the women’s marathon did not make it to the start line after she withdrew citing fatigue. In the mens event Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya was my favourite to win the gold, but he withdrew on the eve of the race citing a thigh injury that had refused to go away.

Having these facts in my mind, I decided to focus on injury prevention. This is what I did during the week

1. Cut down on my weekly runs.

2. Iced my ankles

3. Used an anti-inflammation spray to speed recovery

4. Massaged the ankles

Marathon runners are prone to suffer running injuries due to over training because the nature of the sport is  that you need to accumulate lots of distance to be ready for an event. It is a volume business.

An interesting book I have seen on Amazon on this issue is

Running Injury Free, How to Prevent and Treat

Women’s Running Book: Get Started And Training For Any Distance

Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury Free Be Safe and Train for any Distance

woman.jpgAn interesting book I have come across is Runners World Complete book of women running.

More than 10 million women across U.S.A now identify themselves as regular runners. In response to the dramatic increase in the number of women in the sport, Dagny Scott Barrios and the experts at Runner’s World have created this singular guide—where women will discover how to:

Train for any race, from a 5K to a marathon
     • Eat nutritiously and for maximum energy
     • Lose weight permanently
     • Deal with self-consciousness and body image
     • Run during pregnancy and through menopause
     • Choose the best clothes and accessories
     • Run anywhere safely
     • Prevent and treat injuries, especially those that women are   most likely to encounter

With clear photographs, running sidebars, and testimonials from women runners of all ages and abilities, this comprehensive resource provides the most current practical advice available anywhere for women runners of all levels.

To get yourself a copy of this useful book see Complete book of women running at Amazon stores 

Running Myth: Running Wears Out Our Knees

I am yet to see scientific evidence that says those who run regularly suffer knee complications at a higher rate than those who don’t run. This means you can continue with your morning jog without worrying that you are wearing out your ligaments.

However, guard against overextertion. The trick is to begin your run slowly and give yourself rests in between. Driving yourself too hard may lead to injuries such as knee ligament tears.

As a precaution, get running shoes that adequatly absorb the impact of your feet hitting the ground. without proper foot support, you are only setting yourself up for knee problems.