Monthly Archives: August 2009

Calculating Cost of Marathon Training & Running

Calculating the cost of marathon training and running is pretty simple, just add the cost of shoes, shorts, T-shirts plus ofcourse the race entry fees and you have your simple answer.

I have always thought like that but after listening to economist Justin Wolfers, who teaches at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a frequent contributor to the Freakonomics blog, the mathematics it got complicated.

How much does it cost to train & run a marathon

According to the economist, who is training for Marine Corps marathon, the real cost of training for a marathon is more expensive, Each hour you spend running is an hour you don’t spend working harder to get a promotion, studying for a degree, or shopping around for the cheapest groceries.

This is what the economist writes

The foundation of all economics is something called opportunity cost. It says that the true cost of something is the alternative you have to give up.

So each hour that I spend running is an hour that I don’t spend hanging out, working or sleeping. How do I choose? Following economic theory, I keep doing an activity only as long as it yields greater benefits than the alternative….

The same logic applies to you. Each hour you spend on your hobby is an hour you don’t spend working harder to get a promotion, studying for a degree, or shopping around for the cheapest groceries.

That is smart analysis from him, personaly I consider time spent running time well spent. The joy and pride I get from running is priceless!!

How To Inhale and Exhale To Run Faster

Learning how to breathe (inhale and exhale) properly has benefits such as improving a runners performance.

A good description of a breathing technique on how to breathe and boost performance is from Military.com

Many experts will say that to fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of carbon dioxide you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you INHALE on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and EXHALE fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. You will notice a lower heart rate as you are able to get more oxygen in and more importantly push all the carbon dioxide out of your body. You may notice that you naturally drop to a 2:1 ratio when you are really pushing it to the finish. That is OK. But realize it is difficult to maintain a pace that requires you to breathe at a 2:1 ratio.

There are many techniques on how to breathe, the best way to find a method that works for you is to try them all. If a method you tried does not work, try another method, when you find a method that works stick to it.

The following breathing tips have worked for me.

Breath more from your diaphragm (belly) than your chest (chest breathing is more shallow).

Focus on exhaling more fully. This will remove more CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and allow for deeper inhalations of O2 (Oxygen), I do this when I reach a hill and slow my pace.

Funny Running Quotes on Runners T-shirts

From the back of a T-shirt at 1993 NYC marathon

I may be slow but I am faster than you.

The best T-shirt I have ever heard about was from a friend, who while struggling to a 6+-hour NYC marathon finish, had to laugh when passed at around 24 miles by by a runner, the back of whose T-shirt read,

“Now You’re Last!”

Stanchart Marathon Training Week 12 : Time Out

Last week was a rest week.I took a one week rest from running. I had been running for four weeks non-stop and my last 28 K long run had been difficult than usually. I had struggle for breath during the last miles and I thought I needed to give my body a rest.

Sometimes you need to take a step backward to make two steps forward.

Rest and getting stronger

Taking a period of time out during a training program is good for your running. The rest period will give your body extra time to recover from the stress of running. Joint muscles are in constant action during running and the impact of road running leads to small tissue tears. A prolonged rest period will allow complete rest of joint muscles and total healing of the tissue tears. Once the body recovers you will be a stronger runner.

Best time to take an extra rest from running.

When you feel your run times are getting slower. Another indicator is if you feel your legs are getting heavier or you are struggling to breath, which is a sign of tired lungs.

Rest can be a stimulant

That one week of rest stimulated my appetite for running. I kept longing for the next run and feeling confident about it.

How to Attract More Marathon Entrants To A Race

Marathon business is a competitive business. In the USA alone over 400 marathons are organised each year targeting something like 400,000 runners.

The big marathons such as New York Marathon, Boston marathon and the Chicago marathon have no problem attracting runners, they dont even need to spend alot on marketing because it is the runners that come to them. But for many marathon races how to attract runners is a big headache.

Any race director who is organising a marathon and is wondering how he can attract more runners needs to read the following case studies. I read them from raonoke dot com.

Case Studies of formers struggling marathons and how they solved the problem

The Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee

The race started 10 years ago with hilly course, and participation fell off from 7,500 the first year to 6,300 the second year, said Adam Zocks, the race’s general manager. Organizers flattened the course and added a half-marathon. Last year, the races had a combined 31,000 participants.

The Mount Rushmore Marathon.

The mount Rushmore marathon in the black hills of South dakota which had a mountainous course has seen steady growth in recent years, says Steve Kurtenbach, president of All Sports Central, which organizes the race. He attributed part of that to adding a second, easier marathon course that now draws more runners than the original.

From this two case studies is clear that if the marathon course is hilly and tough a marathon race will find it difficult attracting willing runners, if a race directors manages to convince some novice local runners to participate, they will have a hard time such that they will not participate again.

But what about a race that with an easy flat course but struggles to attract runners.

Few marathon race can survive on local participation. The race director and the organisers must target runners from out of town. To get out of town runners to come the organisers must give them a good reason, rather than the marathon alone, as to why they should visit the town.

Like the organisers of country music marathon added “part of the Country Music Marathon’s success was people realizing that Nashville was a great destination apart from the race.”

Another well market marathon is the Suntrust Richmond marathon, the marathon targets first time marathon runners with the tagline “America’s most friendliest marathon”

Risk of Weight Lifting For Breast Cancer Survivors

After a woman has surgery for breast cancer, she is typically given a long list of don’ts. Don’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds, including your child. Don’t carry a heavy purse or grocery bags. Don’t scrub, push, pull or hammer.

Why Breast cancer survivors should not carry heavy weights

The goal is to prevent lymphedema, a painful and unsightly swelling of an arm or leg that can occur near the site where lymph nodes have been removed or damaged by radiation.

Linet Masai and How Honey Treats Stomach Cramps & Pain

After Kenyan Linet Masai Won 10,000 meters gold at IAAF world championship in Berlin Germany the leading daily in Kenya carried an Interview with the father.

The father, a runner in his childhood, took credit for the girls success urging the girl to start running early. He said he weaned her on honey to help reduce stomach upsets, especially while running the long distance to school.

Medicinal Wisdom from bygone Era

What was special about the honey? The 55 old man had an insightful revelation, he explained that the family lived near Mt. Elgon forest which has many indigenous trees, which have medicinal significance, and bees inside the forest suck nectar that contains the medicinal value.The honey harvested from the forest bees is used as medicine.

The community has traditionaly used honey to treat stomach upsets.

Traditional honey versus modern honey

From the old mans  explanation it is convincing why honey would be cure for stomach upset. But it is also clear the modern processed honey would not work because it is produced in a farm environment away from the indigenous trees with their medicinal value.

If you intend to use honey bought from supermarket to treat stomach pain, sorry, it wont work!!

How To Stimulate Appetite & Eat More Food

If you are one of those people who cant eat food or eat little food and you want to stimulate your appetite and eat more food then is for you.

According to a Time magazine Headline WHY EXERCISE WONT MAKE YOU THIN, the article argues doing exercise to cut weight is pretty useless.

From the article I found this piece,  The basic problem is that while it’s true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.

So, if exercise stimulates hunger, then people who have a poor appetite  can stimulate their appetite to eat more food by engaging in exercise.

The desire to eat is prevalent among people who want to gain. A combination of more food and exercise is usually recommended.

For this technique to work the exercise has to be moderate enough to arouse desire to eat. Excessive exercise may lead to drastic weight loss putting negasting the desire to gain weight.

How Tyson Gay Can Beat Usain Bolt

We know Jamaican Usain Bolt is faster than American Tyson.

A BBC article titled Why Bolt is special analyses the performance of Bolt and Gay at the 100 metres IAAf finals 2009 Berlin Germany.

According to the article Both athletes strides

Bolt needed 41 strides to win gold on Sunday while Tyson Gay, who claimed silver with a magnificent time of 9.71, took 44½ strides.

On How Tyson Gay can Beat Usain Bolt

The article adds If Gay is to challenge Bolt’s world record it would appear he needs to improve his stride length while maintaining his stride frequency – which is easier said than done when travelling upwards of 27mph.

Bolts biggest advantage is that he has legs longer than his fellow athletes, the Jamaican is 6.5fts, which means he has longer stride.

If Gay cannot run faster by improving his stride length then he may consider undergoing surgery to have longer legs? That may work!!!!

Usain Bolt Puma Running Spike : Material Of Bolt Shoes

Usain Bolt Puma Running spikes or shoe are known as Puma Theseus II spikes. Usain Bolt worked with Puma to develop the optimum running shoe.

Material Bolt Running Spike Shoe is made from.

Following this collaborative process, the complete Theseus II was born. Made from synthetic leather with an airmesh upper construction for maximum breathability, it enhances sprinting efficiency due to its stiffness of material.

Bolt of the blocks

Image courtesy of Puma Running.