Tag Archives: muscles

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!

 

 

Knee Joint Strengthening Exercise Video

Knee injury is another common running injury. Knee injuries while running are usually caused by increasing the intensity or duration of running too quickly.

A knee injury could be a knee tendonitis or just a muscle train. Moderate knee injuries can heal by themselves but when the knee injury is serious, it is important to see a physician.

Treatment of knee injury involves exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. The following video demonstrates knee joint and muscle strengthening exercises.

 

Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

The hamstring is one of the core muscles used during running. The hamstring itself is a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee.

The stronger the hamstring the faster and longer you can run before you fatigue. And the stronger your hamstring the lesser the risk of suffering from a running hamstring injury.

In the following video you will see five easy hamstring strengthening exercises that you can do at home:

  1. Swiss ball curls
  2. Swiss ball reverse bridges
  3. Standing superman
  4. Straight leg dead lift
  5. Reverse lurge with med ball

 

Treating Running Hamstring Injury

A pulled hamstring is a common running injury. A running hamstring injury is more common among sprinters than long distance runners.

Long distance runners are likely to suffer hamstring injury when doing their speed work.

Cause of Running hamstring Injury

Hamstring injury is another over user injury, i.e a running injury caused by doing too much, too soon or pushing beyond your limits. That is why it is common in sprinting, where runners are constantly trying to push beyond limits.

A pulled hamstring injury happens when one or more muscles that run along the back of your thigh gets stretched too far.

Treating Running Hamstring Injury.

Minor to moderate hamstring strains usually heal on their own. The recommended method of treatment is similar to any other soft tissue injury a HI-RICE (Hydration, Ibuprofen, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) regimen lasting for at least 48 to 72 hours after the onset of pain. “Rest” includes such commonsense prescriptions as avoiding running or hiking. A complete break from running will give the hamstring time to heal.

In serious but rare cases where the hamstring muscle is torn, you may need surgery. The surgeon will repair the muscles and reattach them.

Quad Muscle Strengthening Exercises

The quads muscle is one of the key muscles used in running together with the calf. Doing targeted strength training exercise on the quad can help a runner to run faster and minimise injury.

Strength training exercise on the quad can help to make the quad stronger, increase endurance and minimise the incidence of injury.

The following livestrong video shows how to strengthen the quads.

Nike Free Barefoot Running Shoe

The first time I had that Nike have barefoot running shoe, I imagined it being something like a foot glove. In reality, Nike Free Barefoot running shoe looks just like any other Nike sneaker.

Image Courtesy of sneaker news

Nike Free, Barefoot running shoe was designed to mimic the feel of barefoot running. Nike free barefoot running shoe engages the muscles of the feet, encourage good posture, and help train the wearer to land correctly.

Benefit of Nike Free Barefoot running shoe

The Nike Free Barefoot running shoes are designed to give you the benefits of barefoot running without sacrificing your feet.

Price of Nike Free Barefoot Running shoe

I checked various online stores and the price is just under $100

Elliptical Trainer Machine : Brooklyn

Elliptical cross trainers are now common in homes & gyms across Brooklyn. Elliptical cross trainer gives you the same benefit as running or walking, it effectively works out your lower body as well as your upper body.

Where to Find & Buy Elliptical Trainers In Brooklyn.

The following major chains have stores in and around New York City where you can buy an Elliptical Cross trainer machine.

  1. Sears
  2. Kmart
  3. Walmart
  4. Hammercher schlemmer
  5. Best Buy
  6. Target
  7. Sports Authority
  8. Kohls
  9. Modell’s

Price of the elliptical depends on the brand of elliptical trainer. In this stores prices start from a low of $279 at Kohls to a high of $2,700 at Hammercher Schlemmer.

Benefits of Elliptical Trainer

There are more benefits. It has been proven that the elliptical trainer could efficiently give you a total workout without impacting your bones, joints, and muscles. That is why for most people who suffered from knee injuries, it is recommended to work out on these.

Elliptical Cross Trainer : New York City

Elliptical cross trainers are now common in homes & gyms across New York City. Elliptical cross trainer gives you the same benefit as running or walking, it effectively works out your lower body as well as your upper body.

Where to Find Elliptical Trainers In New York City

The following major chains have stores in and around new york city where you can buy an Elliptical Cross trainer machine.

  1. Sears
  2. Kmart
  3. Walmart
  4. Hammercher schlemmer
  5. Best Buy
  6. Target
  7. Sports Authority
  8. Walgreen
  9. Kohls
  10. Modell’s

Price of the elliptical depends on the brand of elliptical trainer. In this stores prices start from a low of $279 at Walgreens to a high of $2,700 at Hammercher Schlemmer.

Benefits of Elliptical Trainer

There are more benefits. It has been proven that the elliptical trainer could efficiently give you a total workout without impacting your bones, joints, and muscles. That is why for most people who suffered from knee injuries, it is recommended to work out on these.

Healthy Fats For Runners

Most articles I have read on fat intake claim that at least 20-35 percent of a runner’s diet should come from healthy fats.

During running, muscles rely on fats for energy after the all the carbs have been depleted. The difference between the elite runners and the casual runners is elite runners are good at utilising their fat stores as energy source.

When it comes to fats, their are good fats and bad fats.

Examples of Bad fats for runners

Saturated fats are bad fats, they are fats mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood, which have been shown to contribute to health problems.

Example of good fats for runners

Cold-water fatty fish, canola and soybean oil, walnuts, flaxseeds and tofu are good sources of omega-3 fats, which have been linked to disease prevention.

Amounts of fats to consume

Remember at least 20-35 percent of a runner’s diet should come from healthy fats.

Protein Requirement For Runners.

The importance of protein for runners is, protein helps in injury prevention. Protein is crucial to muscle recovery after a run.

During running a alot of body tissues experience small tears. A diet rich in protein helps in repairing muscle damage.

Research also has shown when protein is taken atleast one hour after work out it diminishes the effects of cortisol—the so-called “stress” hormone that breaks down muscle.

Amount of protein runners should eat

To gain the full benefits of protein’s power, most sports dieticians and nutritionists recommend eating protein within 30 minutes of finishing a run that’s when your muscles are the most receptive to a helping hand.

The amount of protein to eat should be based on your sex, weight and age. Running Times magazine has a formula on how to calculate your Protein requirement based on your weight.Read it at Running Times Nutrition