Tag Archives: Nairobi marathon

2008 My Year In Review

By any measures, 2008 was a very good year for daily running tips dot Com and myself. I accomplished many of the goals I set for myself and saw some amazing growth from the blog and most important I was able to run my first sub three hours marathon.

At the start of the year the blog was hosted on wordpress dot com, it is now self hosted with it’s own domain.

Start training many months in advance

My running goal at the start of 2008 was to run a sub three hours marathon at the 2008 Nairobi Marathon, which is run in October. Am happy to say I achieved this goal by clocking a New P.B of 2 hours 54 minutes.

Speed works and hill runs

I started marathon training in February. For five months I did a 25K run once a week on Sunday mornings. In July I started serious preparations for the marathon that consisted of speed work and and hill running.

Years Of Training Equals Marathon Experience

After three years of marathon running I arrived at the start of 2008 Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon feeling strong and confident.  I was able to maintain a constant pace of 4 minutes per kilometre from the start to the finish. I did not suffer any leg cramps in the final stages thanks my continued training. After I crossed the finish line I was surprised to find myself walking comfortably that is when I realised I could have run a faster time if only I had pushed harder.

The question is will I continue improving in 2009 or have I peaked?

Thank You for an Awesome 2008


I want to thank everyone who help make this blog what it is. Without you, daily running tips  dot Com would just be like any other of the 120+ million blogs in the sphere. Thanks to you, this blog has become something special.

Happy New Year and let’s make 2009 the best ever!

10 Things To Consider When Buying Running Shoes by Asics

I found the following guide on important things to consider when buying running shoes at Asics shoe website.

1. Shop by activity. Sport specific shoes help prevent injuries by
delivering function and support for the intended use. Running and
walking shoes are made for straight-forward activities. Whereas
Netball, Tennis and other court-shoes provide additional support for
lateral motion. If you walk, buy a walking shoe!

2. Understand your foot. Seek advice from a podiatrist or retailer; ask
them to assess your foot type and recommend a shoe to suit. Many people
aren’t aware that ASICS has developed different shoes for the various
foot types – high arch, normal arch, and flat feet.

3. If the shoe fits; wear it. As a general guide leave one finger’s
width (1cm) between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, however
this is open to personal preference. Ensure your heel does not move
excessively. Only you will know if the shoe feels comfortable. If in doubt – get out!

4. Be aware of width and fit options on certain models. If you have a
narrow foot opt for a standard fit in men’s and AA fit for women. For
average width, keep an eye out for shoes in a 2E fit for men and
standard fit for women. And if you have wide feet check out 4E shoes
for men and D fit in women’s. Shoes such as the ASICS GT2110 come in
various widths so ask the retailer about the available options ASICS

5. Wear the socks and or orthotics you normally wear for the activity.
Never place orthotic devices directly on top of the standard innersole
– unless advised by a qualified medical practitioner.

6. Our feet tend to swell in the afternoon – so be aware of this. Try
and shop for shoes around the same time of day you would normally
participate in your activities.

7. Ask questions. The retailers are educated on shoe technology, so use
their knowledge to find a comfortable shoe. Asking questions on shoe
features and functions will help you make an informed decision.

8. Try on both left and right shoes as one foot is usually slightly bigger than the other.
Within reason, walk or run in the store if possible. Ensure they are comfortable.

9. When to update? Running shoes should generally last for approx
800 – 1,000km.
However this depends on the individual’s technique and activity. You
can usually feel or see the midsole of the shoe compressing after some
time. This is a good indication that the shoe may be starting to lose
its full support and function.

10. Ultimately – the shoe should be flexible, comfortable and breathable.


Nike : Super Thin: Zoom Victory Track Spike

In Times magazine 50 best inventions of 2008, at number 43 they have Nike shoe, Zoom Victory track spike.

The shoe/spike has paper thin sole that feels like you are running barefoot. The spike  weighs in at under 100 grams, which makes it one of the lightest performance shoes on record.

Lighter shoes may cause injury.

Last year I read an article in world Soccer magazine (January 2007 issue) that focused on the rising injuries suffered by soccer players in Spanish soccer league.

There were many theories on why this injuries were happening. Sports medicine expert Ignacio Romo blamed modern boots. “These days boot manufacturers worry about only one thing – making the boot light,” he said. “But in doing so they forget some of the vital qualities needed when it comes to protecting the foot: firmness, support and stability”

Can the Nike Zoom boost performance?

The only way we can know whether this shoe makes a difference in performance is if an average sprinter breaks a world record while wearing Nike  Zoom Victory spike.

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.

My Running Mantra at 2008 StanChart Nairobi Marathon

For 2008 marathon I have chosen “Pain is only temporary, Keep  going”. I chose it because I will be attempting to run my first sub three hours marathon and I will need lots of perseverance to stick on my pace of 4 minutes per Km.

Elite Runners Mantra

Having a mantra during a marathon can help you get to the finish line. Even the pro have their’s, Kara Goucher 2008 NYC Marathon rookie, will rely on “Mind Over Mileage” to cross her first finish line, 26.2 miles away. While Paula Radcliffe will be chanting  “Concrete, Meet Courage,” as she returns to NYC to defend, to conquer.

Never underestimate the power of words. Just look at the rise of Barrack Obama, by mastering the perfect words he has charmed his way on a path to the white house.


Running Shoes: Nike Vs Asics

The most important running gear is the running shoe. You get it wrong and you are doomed! Wrong running shoe equals, bad performance and risk of running injury.

For this year’s Nairobi marathon I decided to try out two types of shoes, Nike and Asics. I bought both and  tested each on a 15K training run.

The Colour of the Running shoes

The Nike running shoe blue colour looked beautiful, the kind of shoe that turns eyes at the starting line.  As for the Asics, the colour is ordinary white, nothing spectacular.

Performance of the Running Shoes

The Nike fitted nicely but when running it didn’t feel as good as the Asics.  The Asics might look boring but I felt more comfortable running in it.

I have decided to wear Asics running shoe during  2008 Nairobi marathon.

End of 11th Week of Marathon Training: Where Has My Speed Gone

After four months of intensive marathon training I expect to be running faster than when I started but I was shocked on Monday to find that I couldn’t run fast. This was a big worry because one week from now I will run at 2008 Nairobi Marathon.

My calves and thighs felt heavy, it was like sacks of sand were tied on my legs, I decided to jog for one hour. The next day my right thigh felt tight and I jogged for half an hour.

I thought hard what could be the problem and I concluded the lack of speed was because I had not been stretching for a while and my leg muscles  were not contracting and relaxing fast enough. Muscle tightness was the problem!

The next two days I focused on stretching exercise and drinking plenty of water.

After two days of rest and stretching I went to run and the feeling was remarkable. My legs felt light!!

If you feel you are not running as fast as you desire try stretching exercises.

End of the 10th Week of Marathon Training

Last week I had hoped to get back to marathon training, although the desire was there my legs felt heavy, the fatigue from my last run was still there, I decided not to start serious running. I have now rested for two weeks.

2008 Stanchart Nairobi marathon is only two weeks away, I have not trained for the last two weeks but am feeling confident about my ability to do well because I had been training for the last four months.

Am assuming the two weeks rest will make me stronger for the marathon. The heaviness that was in my calves and feet is now gone and I will now focus on regaining my fitness.

Before the day of the marathon I intend to do a 15K run to boost my confidence.

Nairobi Marathon Route: How To Run Uphill

I was having a look at the new marathon route for 2008 StanChart Nairobi marathon and I noticed that, around the 3K mark there is a steep hill. It is the point along haile selassie avenue. Runners in the half and full marathon will run up and down the steep hill near NHIF building.

Difficulty of Running uphill.

Running up hill means runners will be forced to switch into anaerobic respiration very early in the marathon. If you pant heavily at a flat course, imagine how difficult it will be running uphill.

Because of the extra effort required to run uphill many runners might run out of glycogen stores early in the race.

Difficulty of running down hill. 

The biggest myth of running is, running down hill is easy. Running down hill knocks the hell out of your knees and heels.  I have also noticed, when am running down hill that is when a stomach cramp is triggered.

The Best way to prepare to run up the hill.

Do plenty of speed work. Speed works are done in anaerobic respiration. The more you get used to run with little oxygen getting into your muscles, the easier it will be to run uphill. Alternatively do hill repeats during your marathon training.

Carbon load. The week before the marathon eat plenty of complex carbohydrates. carbohydrates are stored in our bodies in the form of glycogen. During running the gycogen is burned to produce energy.

For the unfit, that is, any runner with less than two months of training, the wise thing to do is to walk up the hill.

End of 7th Week of Marathon Training: Rest, Rest and more Rest

The last week I have ran only twice, the first run was a Jog on Wednesday followed by another Jog on Thursday. By my standards this was very low but it was necessary because I suffered an ankle strain on my right leg during my last 35K long run and the last thing I need now (35 days to go  before 2008 Nairobi marathon) is to suffer a serious running injury due to over training.

Over training  causes serious running injury

A good example of how running injuries are caused by over training was the large number of injured marathon runners at Beijing Summer Olympics. In the women’s marathon Paula Radcliffe ran with a strained thigh, American Deena Kostar dropped out the race after 3 miles suffering from a foot injury. Japanese Mizuki Noguchi who was favourite to win the women’s marathon did not make it to the start line after she withdrew citing fatigue. In the mens event Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya was my favourite to win the gold, but he withdrew on the eve of the race citing a thigh injury that had refused to go away.

Having these facts in my mind, I decided to focus on injury prevention. This is what I did during the week

1. Cut down on my weekly runs.

2. Iced my ankles

3. Used an anti-inflammation spray to speed recovery

4. Massaged the ankles

Marathon runners are prone to suffer running injuries due to over training because the nature of the sport is  that you need to accumulate lots of distance to be ready for an event. It is a volume business.

An interesting book I have seen on Amazon on this issue is

Running Injury Free, How to Prevent and Treat