Alberto Salazar, the former American marathon record holder and a 10K stand out before that, once claimed that the basic difference between training for the 10K and training for the marathon was the addition of the long run.
Importance of the long run.
Long runs help a runner to build endurance. For best performace the long run should be run once per week, preferably on weekends when you don’t suffer time constraint. The more you run 16 mile – 20 mile the more your body get used to long distance running.
I share some stuff with President Barack Obama, our fathers were both born in Kenya, we both love running and lastly we both have skinny legs.
When Governor Anorld Shwasnigger was campaigning for Mccain in Pennyslavania he joked about Obama’s skinny calves. The Charismatic Carlifornia governor even had advice for Obama on what Obama needs to do, “he needs to do some squats!!”
When this former Mr. Universe tells you how to build muscles you better take him seriously. When he was starting out, Anorld was considered to have the skinniest calves in the business but he worked hard in the gym to get the desired muscles. So it’s possible to get the muscle you desire.
I want to build my calf muscles and I don’t have a system on how to do it but I guese I will start with the governor’s advice, “do some squats!!!”
The local dailies here in Kenya have an interesting story,
“A British woman has been awarded a near US $ 1 million by a Kenyan court in compensation following an attack by an elephant. Mrs Wendy Martin, 48, was attacked eight years ago while jogging with friends at Ngwesi Group Ranch, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy”
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy are the organizers of the World famous Lewa Marathon. A marathon held in a game park. I remember the start of the 2008 edition had to be delayed because a lion had strayed onto the route. Since the marathon begun no one has been injured during the marathon.
Eight years ago Mrs. Wendy was a guest at the lodge when she, her friends and a guide went for a morning run. The run turned tragic when an angry elephant confronted them, in the ensuing confusion the group scattered but Wendy was the unlucky one as she was cornered and pinned to the ground by the elephant. She was badly injured but survived for her day in court!!
In awarding the million bucks the High Court judge ruled “The plaintiff was a visitor at the lodge and was owed duty of care once inside the lodge. The defendants are liable, which liability is held 100%” The defendant intends to appeal the decision.
What a runner eats after a run is as important as what he/she eats before a run. Eating a meal before a run will give you energy to fuel your run while eating after a run will help you in replacing spent energy.
Jeff Galloway a Long distance Running coach stresses why runners need to bite something after a race.
Foods to eat after marathon running
“After you finish running, you should always try to eat something within 20 to 30 minutes. The latest research that Jeff has seen suggests eating about 200-300 calories immediately following your long run that is made up of 80% simple carbs and 20% protein. This will best aid you in recovering your spent muscle glycogen. You should also continue to eat throughout the day to restore most of the calories that you burned, but that 200-300 calories will do the most good within half an hour of your workout.”
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.
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.
“The development of endurance is very simple. You just increase the distance of your long run.” Jeff Galloway Author of Marathon: You Can Do It
For any length of run, you can hold your endurance for at least 2 weeks. If your long runs are usually over 17 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 3 weeks. If your long runs are over 26 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 4 weeks.See The Book: Marathon You Can Do It
I am yet to see scientific evidence that says those who run regularly suffer knee complications at a higher rate than those who don’t run. This means you can continue with your morning jog without worrying that you are wearing out your ligaments.
However, guard against overextertion. The trick is to begin your run slowly and give yourself rests in between. Driving yourself too hard may lead to injuries such as knee ligament tears.
As a precaution, get running shoes that adequatly absorb the impact of your feet hitting the ground. without proper foot support, you are only setting yourself up for knee problems.
Up to 10% of your running energy can be consumed by your brain. That is according to a report I have just read by Charles Pedlar, endurance physiologist with the English Institute of Sports.
During running every runner indulges in many thoughts. Sizing up the competition, your dreams and fears, your mile by mile strategy on a mental loop these can be energy sapping as running itself.
Its worth noting that most of this energy is used up at the pre start when runners are anxious.
“Your heart beats faster, and your brain, being a hugely inefficient and sizable organ, can use up to 10% of your stored glycogen energy reserves before you have even begun” adds the report.
The elite athletes try to cope with this pre race anxiety by taking time from the crowds to keep calm and maintain their pulse at no more than 10 beats over the resting heart rate.
So, save your energy by not thinking too much!
A research posted on time magazine website reported that runners report fewer disability than non runners.
Researchers followed a group of runners and non runners over 21 years. After 21 years the the running group experienced fewer disabilities in five basic daily functions.
- Grip strength
- Routine physical activities
The study suggests that regular aerobic exercise, even starting in middle age, could be a crucial factor. “It’s never too late to start an exercise program,” The researchers added.
See the rest of the story on time magazine website.