Monthly Archives: January 2009

Samuel Wanjiru Marathon Training Plan

At 22 years, Samuel Wanjiru is doing what other young men have been unable to do, Win Marathon races! In December 2007, while he was 20 yrs old, Sammy made his marathon debut in Fukuoka. He won the race in a new course record 2:06:39. He then followed that up with a 2nd place finish in London, running 2:05:24, a personal best and the 7th fastest time ever. Then in August 2008 he won the Olympic Gold medal in a new olympic record of 2 hr 6 minutes. Now everyone believes he is the chosen one to beat Haile Gebrselassie marathon world record.

Samuel Wanjiru Marathon Training

In an interview with Japanese Asahi newspaper and re-posted in Japanese running news, the guy shared his marathon training plan as he trained for the 2008 Beijing Olympic marathon.

(1) July 9: 38 km cross-country at a slow pace around 4:30 per km
July 10: easy day
July 11: speedwork (400 m x 10)

(2) July 20: 30 km pace run on flat ground in around 1 hour 34 min.
July 21: easy day
July 22: easy day
July 23: speedwork (3000 m x 3)

(3) July 30: 38 km cross-country at a slow pace around 4:30 per km
July 31: easy day
August 1: speedwork (400 m x 10)

(4) August 10: 30 km pace run on flat ground in around 1 hour 34 min.
August 11: easy day
August 12: easy day
August 13: speedwork (3000 m x 3)

Daily Workouts

Other than that he also runs about 15 km at 7:00 am or 8:00 am in the morning before he eats breakfast. He start’s around 4 minutes per km, drops it down to 3:30 in the middle, then ends up down at about 3 minutes 5 seconds.

Doe he do any Strength Training?

” I never do any strength training. You can get enough strength from running on cross-country-type courses.”

Best Running Surface for Runners

When it comes to injury prevention, surface matters!

Avoid rock-hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks and aim instead for grass or dirt trails. The idea, of course, is to run where the ground will absorb more shock, instead of passing it along to your legs.

Runners World have a ranking of surfaces on a scale of 1 (awful) to 10 (best):

  1. Grass 9.5
  2. Wood chips 9
  3. Dirt 8
  4. Cinder track 7.5
  5. Track 7
  6. Treadmill 6.5
  7. Asphalt 6
  8. Sand 4
  9. Snow 2.5
  10. Concrete

Running Quotes By Haile Gebreselassie

Quotes on what pushed Gebreselassie to start running,

“He was not a runner, my father, but he was quick. I always remember it was very difficult to escape from him when he was angry. If he wanted to beat us he would always catch us. Even me, he could always catch me.” Haile Gebreselassie

I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.” Haile Gebreselassie

“In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we’d have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.” Haile Gebreselassie

His father never believed in running

“My father thought sport was something fun – he didn’t know it was a way to make money. Then I won a Mercedes at the world championships and I gave it to him. From the moment it arrived my father said: ‘Good, you can support not just yourself but me too” Haile Gebreselassie

The most important things for Haile Gebreselassie

“I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn’t feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first” Haile Gebreselassie

“I’m lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife” Haile Gebreselassie

The future

“At the moment I am a little bit politician, yes. I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people.” Haile Gebreselassie

His thought on his “crooked” hand

“This hand is not very active always, because it was in this hand that I carried my books. My carrying hand was always my strongest. Now I think my other hand has developed more muscles from signing all those autographs.” Haile Gebreselassie

Gov. Sarah Palin : Her Love of Nike Air Structure Triax

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin is a passionate runner, she even named her first born son “Track”

Sarah Palin favourite running shoe

She told Wall street journal that she runs 3 miles every other day. In the same interview she mentioned she runs in Nike Air Structure triax.

Her marathon finishing time

She ran the 2005 Humpy’s classic marathon and finished in a respectable time of 3:59:36.

Nike Air Structure Triax

Sarah Palin Running Diet


Wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit and what about her post workout food? “Nothing. I just drink water.” she said

Funny Marathon Photos

A marathon race is never complete without the fans. They encourage us to keep running or like my friend Dean says in his blog “They have a job to do. They must help their runner drag his or her sorry carcass across the finish line.”

They say it with their mouth better still with a hand made marathon poster. One of the most memorable poster I ever so was during my first marathon a dude wore a T-shirt with words “No money no honey” I think that was a clever way to motivate runners to go for the Jack pot!

Another funny marathon poster I have seen was a this one from a collection on deans blog!

To all Male Runners

To all Male Runners

And to all running sisters

funny marathon photos images

Elite Runners Footstrike Pattern, How they Land

When I started running one of my first questions was how is the foot supposed to land during running. Was it the heel, mid foot or forefoot? I tried to read around but real evidence was scarce the ideas out there were personal opinion.To be honest I have never found the perfect answer, I try to run with the most comfortable style.

Japanese Elite Runners Running Style

The only scientific report I found was from the science of sport. It was done in 2004 in Japan, and published in 2007 in the Journal of Strength of Conditioning. The full reference, for those interested, is Hasegawa et al., J Strength & Cond., 2007, (21), 888-893

It was performed at the 2004 Sapporro International Half Marathon in Japan. The scientists set up a high speed camera  at the 15km mark of the race, and captured most of the runners coming through. In total, they were able to observe the foot strike of 248 men and 35 women, and characterize them as either heel-strikers, mid-foot or forefoot strikers. They also measured Ground Contact Time at the 15km point.

This was what they found:-

  • The vast majority (75%) of the elite runners land on their heel.
  • About 1 in 4 (24%) elite runner landed on their mid foot.
  • Only four out of 283 runners landed on their fore foot.

The fastest runners?

Non of the four runners who landed on the fore foot finished among the first four.

When the researchers divided the finishers into groups of 50, they started to see something of a change in mid-foot landing as you moved further down the list. In otherwords, there was a higher percentage of midfoot strikers in the first 50 runners than in the second, and then third, and so on.

Why You should Join a Running Club

Clubs are the Lifeblood of running!

They drive the competitive landscape and provide the organisers, officials and marshals that are essential to so many races. They offer an access point to newcomers, and guidance, encouragement and competition to improvers, but importantly they also create a social and sporting hub for the communities they operate within. Without clubs, running as we know it would not exist.

Train : Run : 10K Race

10K, It’s the perfect distance: 10 kilometres require relatively little build-up, the training doesn’t take over your life, and the race is over fairly quickly unlike the half marathon or marathon.

Training for a 10K and Ways to Improve Speed

According to a runners world article I read , by logging only three or four runs per week, you can be ready to toe the line of a 10K in just five weeks.

If your goal is just to finish, your training runs should be at a comfortable pace. If you are aiming to beat a time then you should consider adding some faster training to your schedule, it is the best way to improve your speed and endurance.

Running Tip   For  10K

Don’t start running at a fast pace. Start slowly and save energy for the last mile.

The Loneliness of Long Distance Runner

Alan Silitoe short story “The Loneliness of a Long Distance runner” features a juvenile delinquent sent to a youth prison for robbing a bakery; he turns to running as a relief from his difficult life. An excerpt:

“… running has always been made much of in our family, especially running away from the police. I’ve always been a good runner, quick and with a big stride as well, the only trouble being that no matter how fast I run, and I did a very fair lick even though I do say so myself, it didn’t stop me getting caught by the cops after that bakery job.”

My First Run of 2009 : Checking My Fitness

Last Sunday I went for my first run of 2009. And it was one painful experience. I had not run since November 2008 and I thought I should try a 5k run round a track but I only managed to run 2k.

I tried to run fast but  I felt as if my legs were tied with sacks of sand. My chest was on fire and it was hard to believe I was the same person who had cruised to a comfortable 2 hours 54 minutes finish at October 2008 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon. It was clear the partying over Christmas holiday had done lots of damage!

The purpose of the run was to assess my physical fitness in readiness for  2009.

1. Fitness of my knees

Sore and painful knees are a bad sign. Mine felt okay.

2. Ankle fitness test

Ankle wear and tear are inevitable in running. Mine were not aching so am assuming everything is fine.

3. Strength Test

I did pull ups – three sets of 8 repeats. The goal of pull ups was to assess my upper body strength. I did the three sets but I had to push harder than normal.

4. Vertical Jump Test

How high you can jump is a sign of how fit you are. The higher the better. I jumped the normal length but it has more to do with my improved jumping technique, a  friend of mine taught me how to jump higher.

5. Leg Strength

Lack of speed and heavy legs during running is a sign I need to do stretching exercises.

6. Cardiovascular Fitness test.

Running is a cardiovascular exercise. As I was running my chest felt like it was on fire and when I stopped running my chest felt tight. The solution is to start running again.