Monthly Archives: November 2008

Aserne Wenger on How to Find Talent

Asernal football team has riches of young talented footballers. While many top English premier league team prefer to buy proven footballers, Aserne Wenger seems to have this canny ability to find young talented footballers.

Wenger Philosophy in Finding Football Talent

In an article I read in the BBC football, the frenchman believes it is either you have talent or don’t ….”Wenger says if a player doesn’t have the technical ability by the time he is
14, if he doesn’t have the physical capability by 16 or 17, the tactical ability
by the time he is 18 or 19 then he will never make a really good footballer.

 

America Most Physically Unfit Town To Get a Town Marathon

In a U.S health report, Huntington West Virginia was ranked America’s fattest and unhealthiest city.

Nearly half the adults in Huntington’s five-county metropolitan area are obese. Huntington leads in a half-dozen other illness measures, too, including heart disease and diabetes. It even tops in the percentage of elderly people who have lost all their teeth (half of them have)

A local physician Dr. Thomas Dannal is trying to change the bad statistics. The local newspaper has called him “an exercise evangelist” for founding the city’s triathlon, marathon and other projects designed to make exercise popular and fun.

Benefits of Beer in Running For Runners

Is it safe to drink alcohol after running? I have been asked that question so many times. Although I celebrate by marathon finishes by drinking atleast one bottle of beer, I have never advised anyone to drink.

But I found this article on alcohol for athletes by nutritionist Kim Pearson (www.equilibria-health.co.uk). “Beer contains predominantly water and carbohydrate, both of which are essential in post-race recovery,” she says. “A recent study at Granada University in Spain found that the sugars, salts and bubbles in a pint can help athletes absorb fluids more quickly than rehydrating with water.

“The carbon dioxide in beer helps quench thirst more quickly, while the carbohydrates replace some of the calories lost through exercise.”

If you must drink, my thoughts are “Drinking beer after a run is a great way to unwind, but match it with plenty of water and healthy post-run snacks.

Cheers

A Runner’s Experience With Petty Thief at 2007 Nairobi Marathon

I love reading fellow runners blogs because every runner has a story to tell. Yesterday I read an amusing marathon story at Caitlin’s blog, she is a white lady working as a consultant in Kenya. She ran the 2007 Nairobi marathon, where she saw firsthand, Kenyan bad habits of lateness and disorganization but the highlight for her was being pick pocketed by a fellow runner at the start.

Catlin’ story as told on her blog

I made it through the registration and warm-up and to the start in plenty of time. But my punctuality turned out to be irrelevant, because 15 minutes after the scheduled start time we were still pacing and stretching restlessly behind the start line. Finally, about 35 minutes after we were meant to begin, a horn blew and the runners crowded together in assembly before the start gun. As the crowd pressed up to the start, I felt something moving against my back. I turned around to find some anonymous runner trying to get into the oh-so-stylish fanny pack thing I had brought to carry some snacks, ibuprofen, music, etc.

The Pickpocket

It took me a minute to realize that I was actually being pick-pocketed DURING a marathon. Luckily, the anonymous runner-thief did not manage to steal the snickers bar (shockingly they don’t sell Gu in Africa) or feminine hygiene products I had in the outer fanny pack pocket.

We were off. The first half of the race went smoothly- I was just trying to hold myself back and go slowly so I could finish (my training had only consisted of two long runs). I had written my nickname on my number tag, as I’d seen experienced runners do, so that people could cheer for me. But no one cheered. There were crowds of people watching, but they just stared at the runners in mystified silence. The only paroles I heard during my four and a half hours of running were the guttural yells of this Chinese guy who was leading a blind running partner, and who I kept pace with for a while, and a comment from a little boy who looked about 7 or 8. “Give me money!” he shouted as I ran by. Maaannnnn, that is so NOT motivating!

After being lapped by the spectacularly fast Kenyans, I somehow made it past kilometer 30, and I began looking for the 35 km marker so I could push myself to the finish (42 km) where I could stop running. But the 35Fast kenyans km marker never came. I began to notice that the course was being taken down. Sure, I was slow and all, but there were still lots of people behind me. But once the leaders had finished, everyone’s interest in the race waned. Even the water stations were being disassembled. I got kind of lost, because the signs directing runners to the finish were now unhelpfully stacked on the ground.

Eventually I found my way and crossed the finish. As I was cooling down and trying not to faint, a Kenyan approached Derek and I and asked if we could take a picture with his daughter, Then he told me (after I’d given him the half of my banana he asked for) that he wanted a souvenir, and that he really liked my watch. Just another day in Nairobi.

Feeling Weak After Running or Workout? Change Your Style

I was flipping through a Fitness magazine when I found this interesting article about Reg Park. For those who don’t know who he is, Arnold Schwarzenegger often refers to Reg Park as his childhood idol and the greatest inspiration and influence on his own bodybuilding and life successes.

According to Reg, an effective training program focuses on increasing confidence. You should feel strong, empowered, and ready to take on the world after each workout. If you feel weak and defeated, then you’re doing something wrong.

I think that advice also applies to us runners, if after your run you feel excessively tired, bored, want to give up and are asking yourself “why the hell am I doing this?” May be you are doing the wrong thing ; running too fast or running too much beyond your ability.

The best way to be a better runner is to start small, first develop your cardiovascular then focus on speed endurance.

Running Exercise and Inability To Sleep

One month after running the 2008 Nairobi marathon I have noticed that in the last month my sleep has been better than the month leading to the marathon. This days I sleep longer unlike the last month leading to the marathon when I used to wake up at a frustrating 4.30 am, two hours early before my desired wake up time.

When I noticed this change in sleep pattern I decided to find an explanation. I found this article at wikipedia on overtraining that states  “Training at a high intensity too frequently also stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and can result in a hyper-adrenergic state that interferes with sleep patterns.” 

According to that statement too much exercise may cause sleep problem. In the last month I have not been running, this lack of physical activity explains why my sleep is good.

My next marathon will be next year and I plan to crank up my training. I don’t think a runner should cut down on his weekly miles just because he is losing a few hours of sleep. To be a successful runner you need to make lots of sacrifices and that includes missing a few hours of sleep. A runner will get enough sleep after a race and like Benjamin Franklin said “There will be a lot of sleeping in the grave

Running Tip : Post Race Food Intake

What a runner eats after a run is as important as what he/she eats before a run. Eating a meal before a run will give you energy to fuel your run while eating after a run will help you in replacing spent energy.

Jeff Galloway a Long distance Running coach stresses why runners need to bite something after a race.

Foods to eat after marathon running

“After you finish running, you should always try to eat something within 20 to 30 minutes. The latest research that Jeff has seen suggests eating about 200-300 calories immediately following your long run that is made up of 80% simple carbs and 20% protein. This will best aid you in recovering your spent muscle glycogen. You should also continue to eat throughout the day to restore most of the calories that you burned, but that 200-300 calories will do the most good within half an hour of your workout.”

How To Improve Your Speed & Marathon Finish Time By One Hour

If you are wondering how you can improve your marathon running time by one hour you need to look at the inspiring story of Ms. Joy Johnson.

In 2007 Joy Johnson ran ING New York city Marathon and finished in a time of 7 hours. Not happy with her time, she cranked up on her training and at 2008 NYC marathon she cut her time to 6 hours.

These times might not be impressive to some but it’s good to note Ms. Joy Johnson is  a silver haired 81 year old lady, who has refused to grow old.

Talking to a Wallstreet Journal reporter she explained how she amazingly cut her time in one hour in just under one year of training.

Ms. Johnson Marathon Training Plan

 

  1. She trained for months, she didn’t say how many but I assume the plural months means many months.
  2. Through out the summer she ran 50 – 55 miles each week instead of her previous 30 – 35 miles.
  3. She ran hills. In Paul Tergat’s autobiography his coach says, if a runner stops running hills, he will sooner or later lose his strength.
  4. While most of us use a track field to do our speed work this lady decided to make use of the grand stand by running up and down the stadium steps. How innovative is that??
  5. She ran one serious tune up event before NYC marathon. Four weeks before NYC marathon, Ms. Johnson finished the Twin Cities Marathon in six hours, six minutes and 48 seconds. That was for confidence building.

How to increase your speed

It’s clear from Lady Johnson’s training that, if you increase your weekly mileage, change your training methods (stop running flat surface and start running hills) and increase the time spent training you will be guaranteed to improve your times.

Lastly, I loved this sunny lady motto “I want to die running. That’s my goal.”

Why Runners Run Anti-clockwise on a Track

Because Nature is Left-handed

I found this interesting answer from Wikianswers.

“We run counterclockwise because everything in nature tends towards counterclockwise motion”

The list of natural things that run counterclockwise is quite impressive. It includes: the molecule structure of amino acids, the shape of seashells, the rotational direction of all the planets (except Venus), and the orbital direction of the earth around the sun.

The list of man made events is even more interesting. Carrousels, windmills (except in Ireland), revolving doors, cable operated airplanes, the usual direction in which people spin Hula Hoops, the running track in Central park, most washer and dryer, baseball runners and Elvis’ hips all move counterclockwise.

Pretty interesting stuff!

My Body Health, Fitness 2 Weeks After Running The Marathon

Its two weeks since I ran the 2008 Nairobi marathon and I feel it is necessary to update everyone on how my body feels.

The 2008 Nairobi marathon was my third marathon having run the marathon in 2006 and 2007. My finish time in 2008 was 2 hours 54 minutes, a big improvement from my first marathon in 2006 when I finished in 3 hours 26 minutes. 

General Body Health

Two weeks after the marathon? No post-marathon sickness to report. Marathon runners are notoriously vulnerable to infections, weeks following a marathon. Marathon running stresses your critical organs, the heart, lungs, kidneys  beyond their limit. The immune system weakens and any slight contact with a virus could live you sick. I remember after my first marathon, I fell sick for one week. To protect myself I have avoided unnecessary shaking of hands, cold virus are mostly spread through hand shakes. 

Body Muscles

My leg muscles, the thighs and calf feel fine. I didn’t feel sore during the marathon, which means I did not release large amounts of Lactic acid. Lactic acid is responsible for the muscle pain experienced during running. Lack of lactic acid is the major reason why I have recovered so rapidly.

To delay the release of lactic acid, I had trained hard for this marathon. I did six months of intensive  marathon training, during that period I made sure I ran slow long runs of upto 32K once every week. The long run helps a runner develop endurance. I also did hill repeats to strengthen my thigh and calf muscles. 

Ankles, Hips and Knees Joints.

None of these critical joints are aching. Thanks to my three years of road running. The more years of running you do, the stronger your body gets. Experienced runners report fewer running injuries.