Monthly Archives: October 2008

Paul Tergat Marathon Training Plan

From Paul Tergat’s book, Running to the Limit, written with Jurg Wirz, Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2005, I found this interesting marathon training plan.

He follows a standard marathon training program that includes one long run, one long interval, and one short interval session per week. He mentions that his typical morning runs are always between medium and fast paced, with the afternoon run at slow to medium. The long runs “are not slow at all.” Prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Tergat claims to have been running up to 300 kilometers per week-that’s 187 miles.

Importance of running on hills

Tergat’s long time coach, Dr. Gabriel Rosa, suggests that training at higher elevations is valuable, as is training on hills. “Somebody who always runs on the flat will after some time lose his strength.”

Beat Stomach Cramps, Eat Plenty of Salt

Low salt levels in the blood is one cause of stomach cramps during running. Other causes of runners cramps are inadequate oxygenation; exposure to large changes in temperature; dehydration.

Many runners experience low Salt levels because of drinking too much water before and during running. The water dilutes the sodium in your body. Sodium is a vital mineral needed for optimal bodily function.

The week before a marathon many runners spend time eating carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water. Few runners step up their salt intake because there is a lot of writing is focused on dangers of eating too much salt.

Salt is as important as water and carbohydrates.

Terence From Amazing Race at 2008 NYC Marathon

Terence, the one half of Terence and Sarah team in season 13 of Amazing race will be running at this sunday’s New York marathon.

Last month I got an add on facebook from a guy called Terence, I didn’t know him but anyway I accepted the add because he was a fellow runner, a member of Run NYC group on facebook.

Terence  will be keeping to tradition of celebrity runners at New york marathon. P. Diddy has done it and last year Katie Holmes  a.k.a Mrs. Tom Cruise also ran this famous race.

Katie Holmes finished the marathon in time of 5 hours 29 minutes, in 2003 P. Diddy finished in 11372 nd place with a time of 4 hours, 14 minutes, 52 seconds.

Terence in real life doubles up us a running coach and I bet he will beat P. Diddy’s time.

My Heros of Running From 2008 Nairobi Marathon

I don’t think the guys who come in first are the only heros of running. Other heros are the guys who come in last.

After crossing the finish line of 2008 Stanchart Nairobi marathon in new personal best time of 2 hour 54 minutes, I stayed behind for hours and watched other runners cross the finish line. I saw determined runners cross the finish line 6 hours after the marathon started. Even after the roads had been opened, determined runners walked on the road side determined to get to the finish line.

This never say die spirit and determination to finish no matter how long you take is truly admirable.

In 1980 the Bishop of Pennsylvania during the 1908 London Games gave a sermon titled “The most important thing is not to win but to take part!” Today, this is the motto of Olympic games.

My Race Report From 2008 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon

After trying to run under 3 hours in the last two years I finally did it this year and set a new personal best of 2 hours 54 minutes.

2008 Stanchart Nairobi marathon was my fastest race so far but it was the easiest run compared to my two previous marathon. I finished the marathon feeling physically strong unlike the last two years when I could barely stand on my feet after crossing the finish line.

This year I had trained to run at a pace of 4 minutes per Kilometre and that is what I did from start to finish. If I had pushed harder maybe I would have hit a better time??

My only mistake of the race

I started the race from my favourite position, which is behind the crowd. At the back I was happy to flirt with the few female runners but the small talk later proved to have been a big mistake.

A short while after the marathon had started I decided to check the time on my wrist watch only to discover I had forgotten to activate my stop watch at the start. The flirting had distracted me such that I forgot something so important!!

Marathon  Route to nowhere

Without my my wrist watch on there was no way I was going to keep track of my time, I thought of activating it at the sight of 10K mark but it wasn’t to be, the organisers had not marked the distances on the route. I didn’t understand how they failed to provide such crucial information. Every runner I met with at the finish line complained about the lack of markings on the route.

Experience counts

With the wisdom of having run two marathons I stuck to my race pace of 4 mins per Km. With some runners charging ahead there is always a great temptation to follow them but this year I did not make the mistake I have made in previous years; running beyond my ability. Later in the race I overtook many runners who  started full speed, some were slowing down others were  dropping out of the race.

No Hitting the wall

I had feared my pace would drop near the end but to my surprise my calves never felt sore, thanks to the hill repeats, stretching, diet and long run I did during my marathon training. I knew I had a beautiful race but since my wrist watch was off I wasn’t sure whether I was still within my target of a sub three hour finish. As I cleared the final 300 metres I could see the timer on the finish line indicating 2:50s, I made a final push and crossed the finish line in 2 hours 54 minutes. The official time recorded by my championship chip and written on my finishers certificate was 2 hours 54 minutes 23 seconds.

It is only after I crossed the finish line that I realised that I could have run a faster time. I finished feeling strong, I walked around comfortably and I did not feel any muscle pulls.

This year I proved to myself I can run faster and am now looking at the future with hope and determination.

My Result and Photos From 2008 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon

After 3 months of intensive training, I ran the 2008 Stanchart Nairobi marathon. In 2006 I ran my first marathon in a time of 3 hours 26 minutes. In 2007 I cut my Personal Best time by 20 minutes, and finished in a time of 3 hours 6 minutes.

Am happy to say this year I finished the marathon in a new personal best of 2 hours 54 minutes. My goal is to beat Lance Armstrong time of 2 hours 45 minutes, I didn’t do it this year but am on the way!!

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According to marathon guide website, in 2007  only 6000 thousands runners out of 500,000  runners were able to run a 42K marathon in under 3 hours. Am happy to have finally joined this elite club!!!

My Running Mantra at 2008 StanChart Nairobi Marathon

For 2008 marathon I have chosen “Pain is only temporary, Keep  going”. I chose it because I will be attempting to run my first sub three hours marathon and I will need lots of perseverance to stick on my pace of 4 minutes per Km.

Elite Runners Mantra

Having a mantra during a marathon can help you get to the finish line. Even the pro have their’s, Kara Goucher 2008 NYC Marathon rookie, will rely on “Mind Over Mileage” to cross her first finish line, 26.2 miles away. While Paula Radcliffe will be chanting  “Concrete, Meet Courage,” as she returns to NYC to defend, to conquer.

Never underestimate the power of words. Just look at the rise of Barrack Obama, by mastering the perfect words he has charmed his way on a path to the white house.

 

Why You Should Eat a Pre Race Meal

Eating a few hours before a race can boost your running performance.

I did a small experiment to determine whether it is necessary to eat before running a race that starts at 7.00 am in the morning.

The experiment was deliberately done between 7.00 am and 10.00 am because that is the time most marathon take place.

On one day I did not eat breakfast in the morning, I wanted to see how my body would react during the early morning hours. I got in the office at 8.00 am and by 8.45 am I started to have a craving for a snack. At 9.30 am I was starting to lose concentration  my head felt a mild pain, a sign of lack of sugar. At 10.00 am I was too hungry and dizzy to continue working and I went to eat my belated breakfast.

From my experiment I concluded, after a long night (8-10 hours of fasting), your energy levels are heavily depleted and it is Important to eat something before engaging in an energy demanding activity like running a marathon.

Eating a meal rich in simple carbohydrates a few hours before your run can greatly boost your running performance.

Marathon Training Plan For the Last Week

This is my training plan for the last week before I run 2008 Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon.

Running

Its important to  continue running at a low volume to help maintain your fitness.

On Monday I run a 16K run at my marathon pace of 4 minutes a Kilometer. I take a rest on Tuesday and wednesday. On Thursday I do speed work,  five repeats of 800 x 2. On Friday I run a 20 – 30 minutes jog and on saturday a 15 minutes Jog.

Stretching

Stretching is important because it helps to make the muscle flexible.  The more flexible the muscles the faster you can run. I do stretching daily, in the morning and in the evening.

Hydrated. 

Six glasses of water a day.

Salt. 

Eat very salty food to ensure the sodium levels remain high. Low sodium levels is one cause of stomach cramps during running.

Carbon Load.

Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates to boost my energy reserves. I eat large portions of sweet potatoes during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The daily protein diet of chicken and fish remains as usual.

Peace of mind.

Avoid mental stress, too much stress will weaken your body. I have read stress makes people to gain weight. The last thing you need in the final week is to add weight that you have painfully shed during training.

Running Shoes: Nike Vs Asics

The most important running gear is the running shoe. You get it wrong and you are doomed! Wrong running shoe equals, bad performance and risk of running injury.

For this year’s Nairobi marathon I decided to try out two types of shoes, Nike and Asics. I bought both and  tested each on a 15K training run.


The Colour of the Running shoes

The Nike running shoe blue colour looked beautiful, the kind of shoe that turns eyes at the starting line.  As for the Asics, the colour is ordinary white, nothing spectacular.

Performance of the Running Shoes

The Nike fitted nicely but when running it didn’t feel as good as the Asics.  The Asics might look boring but I felt more comfortable running in it.

I have decided to wear Asics running shoe during  2008 Nairobi marathon.