Tag Archives: Marathon

2011 Stanchart Nairobi Race Report

“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.” – Hal Higdon

Another year and another StanChart Nairobi marathon gone! I arrived at 2011 Nairobi marathon with a goal of running a sub 3 hours marathon. I had previously done two sub 3 hours marathon, in 2008 (2.52) and 2009 (2.56) but in 2010 I had a real back sliding, and finished in 3.23. A very poor performance by my high standards. This year was all about getting my pride back.

The eve of the marathon was perfect. No anxiety, plenty of rest, plenty of food, plenty of hydration. I woke up at 5.00 am, took a very hot shower just to warm up my body. I made sure the hot water ran down the key running muscles: the hip and the calf. The hotel breakfast starts at 7.00am so I had made my own arrangements. My pre race breakfast consisted of half a litre yogurt and six slices of bread.

With roads closed, the only way to get to the starting line was by walking. Every one was walking from Nairobi City center to the start at Nyayo National Stadium. I think Nyayo stadium is almost 1.5Kms from Nairobi City center and that walk alone is enough warm up!

The full marathon started at exactly 7.00am. My routine is to avoid the crowd in front and start from behind. I started well and when I got to the 9 Km mark I started feeling my body was not responding well. I was pushing but I was lacking the endurance to maintain apace of 4 mins per Km. Thoughts of my body may have peaked and I might never run faster again started crossing my mind.

The White Knights

At 11Km mark a man and woman team caught up with me. They seemed to be working together and they looked good at what they were doing. The guy was pacing the lady. I asked the guy what was their target and he told me, sub 3 hours. I couldn’t believe my luck! My job now was to stick with them.

I stuck with my White Knights, shadowing their every move. We crossed the 15 Kms mark at exactly 1 hour. If I maintained that pace I knew I would be on target. Nairobi marathon is a real budget race, the runners are only given water. I was drinking water at every water station. As the day got older, the sun came out and the temperatures started creeping up. I started taking an extra bottle of water and poured water on my body to cool off.

At the 25 Km, my white knights started pulling back and I raced in front. I thought I was leaving them behind only for them to catch up with me at around 28 Kms mark. We crossed the 30 Kms mark at 2 hours 8 mins. It was clear to me if I was to hit my target of sub 3 hours I would need to do something special in the final 12 Kms.

I Hit The Wall

At the 35 Km mark, my white knights took their team effort to the next level. The lady asked the guy to hold his hand and they sprinted off. I tried to chase them but my body refused. I couldn’t flip my legs faster, I had peaked. I was still running but I was not racing. ( I caught up with my white knights after the race and they informed me they crossed the finish line at 2.59)

When I saw a sign showing 3 Kms to the finish line I looked at my watch: 2.50. There was no way I could do the last 3 Kms in 10 mins. My new target now was under 3.05. To cut a long race short, I did the final 1 Km in 5 mins and finished 2011 Stanchart Nairobi marathon in 3 hours 6 minutes. Very Satisfying!

I never hit my target but some how I was very satisfied with my performance. I live to fight another day. You win some, you lose some. That’s life!

 

 

Mental Preparation For Marathon

As you prepare for the marathon it is important you maintain a positive attitude. Always believe you will be able to finish the race, you can do this by mentally visualizing yourself in the race and crossing the finish line.

Running is never easy for anyone so make sure your training is challenging enough: run hills and do speed work so that you can get used to the feeling of running under stress.

Have 100% confidence on your ability to run and finish a marathon. And the only way you can have absolute confidence is to got out and train, train and train hard. Lastly keep yourself healthy and have a positive attitude the week before the race.

Stay Positive!

 

 

Tips to Finishing or Completing a Marathon

The secret to finishing or completing a marathon is mileage. Go out there and clock as many miles or kilometres per week. The mileage should be logged for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

Ask any fast marathoner how much they run and you are sure to get something like, upward of 120 km a week. Some log even more, and I am not talking about elites either, just your average Joe who can run marathons in less than three hours.

Unfortunately, we cannot just adapt that theory and start running 100 plus miles a week. You can start small say 20km then progress from 20km to 35, 50, 60, 70 km etc.

So, if you have been asking how do I complete a marathon? Go out and log those miles!

How To Improve 5K speed / Time By Jeff Galloway

Jeff Galloway has helped many novice runners, run and finish marathon. (he has helped over 1 million runners according to his site) His secret is simple, you dont need to run the full distance to finish a marathon, you just need to run some parts and walk some parts of the course.

In an article published at active.com, 5 ways to improve your 5K speed. Jeff Galloway dishes some ideas on how you can run faster at this distance.

Jeff Galloway Tips on Speed.

I learn’t the following running tips from coach Jeff Galloway on how to increase speed.

1. Every two weeks increase the distance of your long run.

2. Regularly do some speed works

3. Stay injury free, to run fast you need to stay fit. doing the small stuff such, warm ups, massage and stretching will go a long way in helping you stay injury free.

Funny Sports Athlete Quote

The following quote is the funniest quote I have heard in 2010 from a sports athlete. Although some may disagree with me I think it is cracking.

“The delivery was way worse than a marathon, but in the end my daughter was born healthy so I’m very happy.”

from Japanese Marathoner Reiko Tosa after she gave birth.

Best Core Exercise For Runners

The best way to ensure you remain injury free is to combine your regular running with some targeted core exercise.

The core exercises will strengthen your abs, back and pelvis for better banlance and stability.

This idea of working on core exercise came to me while reading an interview of a 56 year old runner, Reno Stirrat who just finished 2010 Boston full marathon in 2.40s. This Dude has been running sub-three hours marathon since 1970s.

To be able to run that fast over the years you need to work hard on your fitness to ensure you remain injury free.

When Reno was asked his injury prevention secret, core exercises, especialy for the hips. he answered.

He was kind enough to describe his exercise routine,

For the upper body I do pull ups, push ups, dips, running arm motion with 10 lb. dumbbells and curls. For the legs I do one-legged squats with 15 lb. dumbbells and lunges with 15 lbs. I also do one leg hip exercises with a band for the hips. Sit ups, plank, side plank and reverse plank are what I do for core . I do this 2 to 3 days a week.

Do some of this core exercise/strength training exercise and you will becomen a better runner. You will train harder, run faster and run injury free.

Read Reno interview at runners world

Visit Reno coaching website distance running tips

2010 Oakland Running Festival Photos : Images

The inspiring news from 2010 Oakland running festival was the 40 year old winner of the marathon event. He won the race in 2 hrs 21 mins 28 secs. 5 minutes ahead of a 24 year old runner.

See the pictures and photos of Oakland running festival at flickr photo gallery

Tips For a Speedy Muscle Recovery : Running Recovery

The more you train the stronger you get, but when training gets too much it leads to fatigue. When fatigue builds up you experience reduced performance and risk sudden training injury. It is important to take breaks from your regular training to allow muscle recovery.

Tips for speedy muscle recovery

  1. Take a complete rest from training – missing one or two days cant hurt?
  2. Massage
  3. Hot baths with bath salts,
  4. Stretching properly
  5. Stay hydrated day in day out

All the above will all add to the big picture of good recovery and reducing injury.

The tips can also be followed by runners who want a speedy recovery from a half marathon or a full marathon.

Marathon Shoe Inserts

It is estimated the impact of hitting the surface while running on a road is 2-3 times your body weight. This impact is one reason why running does so much damage to runners knees, ankles and foot. One way of minimizing the impact is wearing marathon shoe inserts.

How Marathon Shoe Inserts Helps

When you run, your foot flexes and absorbs the shock on the body hitting a hard surface.Wearing shoe inserts while you are running can properly cradle your foot and its arches and give the much needed support to the ball of the foot. The ball of the foot is where the “spring” in your step occurs and eases your steps into a fast and smooth pace. The balance a good arch support shoe insert offers can make running fun and easy.

Where to Buy Marathon Shoe Inserts

Marathon shoe inserts can be purchased from your local running shoe store or you may order them over the internet.