Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Passionate Runner: PodCamp Halloween

another in a series of podcasts on running this one recounting the weekend at PodCamp Boston 2 and running on Halloween.

Time: 5 minutes, 36 seconds

MP3 File

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Project Hope

Women's Running ResourcesWhen Vogel, who has degrees in human biology and international public health, met Williams, who studied history and cultural anthropology, in college, neither was much of a runner.

That changed postgraduation, when the two friends decided to travel the world and stopped in Spain for April's Madrid Marathon. By the time they arrived in Kenya last November, they were committed runners with plans to use their newfound athleticism to summit Mt. Kenya. They stayed at Tumaini overnight and never left--not even to climb the mountain. It was hardly a failed mission: Hope Runs emerged from the visit.

"The young are dying and the old like me are left to care for the children," says Anna Kariuki, one of Tumaini's founders. "But these two girls have done us proud. They have energy. It's something new, and it's exciting."
Beginner Running ResourcesHigh School Runner Resources

Four days a week, Vogel and Williams lead the kids on after-school runs. Twenty-one of them plan to compete in Kenya's Safaricom Marathon and Half-Marathon with Vogel and Williams in June. Most are preparing for the Hope Runs 10-K in Nyeri July 8, a fund-raiser for the orphanage.

Out on their run, the Tumaini children seem like happy kids anywhere. They race, cheer to keep each other going, complain of foot "injuries" that manifest on the uphills and suddenly vanish on flatter ground. As they stretch, the kids jabber about their training.
Read more about this remarkable program in Runner's World.

Read the kid's blog here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Passionate Runner: Runner Response - Mental Exercises

Another in a series of podcasts on running, this one a response to a runner who around mile 19-20 found it justifiable to walk but then found it easier to walk there after. The question is: Are there some mental exercises to help this situation? Short Answer: Yes.

Time: 8 minutes, 43 seconds

MP3 File


To the foot exercises referenced in the podcast

To my other writing and podcasts on the FIRST Plan

To all the podcasts

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why do we run?

Found this good quote from Joe Weissbard writing at (Not) Your Average Joe

... the glory we seek is not external. We do not need the pats on the back or the big super star attention. It is an internal glory we seek, we have to prove to ourselves that we are tough and can overcome anything.

Even when I go out and run alone, I have a goal in mind before I even start. It may be a certain time or a certain terrain I want to conquer, but only I know what that is. When I achieve this goal, I am internally victorious and glorious.

I think you distance runners know exactly what I am talking about. Most people would not understand what I speak of. It is a self assurance that one can only get from not giving into the pain, from overcoming severe muscle aches, cramps and the feeling of your stomach and lungs collapsing.

Just know for the rest of your lives, you will take this work ethic with you. Every part of your life will be like a run. Sometimes you will feel like you are going to die and you cannot get over the hump. Other days you will be in the zone.

No matter what though, you will always have the mind and heart of a distance runner. You must treat every obstacle as a race and keep fighting.

Read the full story here

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why cross country is a team sport!

From Joan Nesbitt Mabe writing at the Carrboro Athletics Club blog (where she coaches) on how much cross country is a team sport:

I used this to segue into my little lesson that some people are simply more talented than others. There was only one math genius in the room (who was a COM/communications major, by the way) and, let’s face it, some folks are just born fast … howEVER, what I love about distance running is that hard work closes the gap between clever and genius. A former athlete of mine used to say, “When talent doesn’t work, hard work beats talent.”

Next, I held up a single grape and said, “Here is your talented runner, your genius, in cross-country.” I placed this one grape under the weight of a brick and said, “In a cross country race, one runner cannot win the team race.” The weight of the brick literally crushed the grape (nice visual there!), but when I placed five grapes - five to signify the 5 scoring runners on an XC team - under the brick, none of the grapes were smashed. That’s what makes cross-country such an amazing TEAM sport. One lone grape isn’t enough. You need the whole bunch.

Read the full post here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ask the Coach

I have mentioned during several of the podcasts that I am open to hear from you, how you are running and answer your questions on running strategy, workouts, etc.

You can leave a comment on the particular post that prompts your question or send me an email (shersteve at gmail dot com).

I am certified Level 1 by USATF.
I do have almost 40 years of running experience to share.

I can help you. No question is too simple.

Passionate Runner: Tale of Two Runners

Another in a series of podcasts on running, this one focusing on an observation of two runners passing on the road while my wife and I were out for our walk. This gets into good miles versus bad miles, patience and gradual progressions.

Time: 7 minutes, 11 seconds

MP3 File

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Passionate Runner: What is Speed?

Another in a series of podcasts on running, this one continuing a conversation with another runner from the Tupleo, Mississippi area. He has been running for three years and wants to know if he can get faster.

Time: 6 minutes, 26 seconds

MP3 File

Speed is a reflection of strength and your genes. You can improve your speed by increasing your strength so you can maintain that pace for longer and longer distances. So for conversation sake, you can run a 5K at your 8:30 pace, then increase your strength to maintain that pace for a 10K and a half marathon.

Your genes play to the other factor. Maybe 8:30 is your best. Probably not, given the length of time you have run but at some point you will hit the plateau at which you simply cannot go faster. This is due to your genes, really, what you were born with is what you will live with. These genes drive the muscle actions for your body movements. There are fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers in your muscles . The amount of each you were born with is your limiting factor.

Now, given that you have only run three years, you probably have not hit your max speed. There is likely some potential improvement. It will take work but it is possible. You are doing four days a week. That is good. You probably have heard me talk of the FIRST program which calls for three days of running and two days of cross training. The speed/pace workout along with the tempo run and the long distance run make for a good combination.

I have posted previously about each of the runs




A gradual progression on the speed/pace workout should help you to run faster.
Let me know what you are currently running for your speed/pace workouts and I'll provide a plan for that gradual progression to get faster.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marathon Growth No Good

Phillip Hersh has a compelling argument for a smaller marathon field in Chicago. Granted they had unique weather this year but should 45,000 folks really be running a marathon?

I am all for personal choice but there are so many other options folks!

You do not need to run a marathon to prove yourself! You can run anything from a 5K, 10K to half marathon and recover far quicker to do it again with perhaps even more enjoyment than the punishment it gives your body over the course of a marathon.

I expect to gain some arguments here but I welcome them.

Why must you run a marathon?

If you do, are you really ready to run?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tufts 10K - Top 50 runners at 6 miles

In a light rain, I managed to get a spot near the 6 mile marker, to view the runners as they came by.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Tufts 10K: The Middle of the pack at the start

The announcer gets annoying but this captures the spirit of about 5,000 women beginning to run the 31st Tufts 10K today in Boston, MA.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Passionate Runner: Reader Response, Tupelo

another in a series of podcasts on running this one responding to a high school runner from Tupelo, Mississippi who just found they have a stress fracture and is looking for help to make it through the injury period

Time: 8 minutes, 6 seconds

MP3 File

Note: I think I mis-spoke during the podcast calling it Tupelo, Missouri... oops, major mistake. Tupelo, Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Pressley

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Southeast Medical Center 5K

Join us for the Southeast Medical Center 5K road race and walk to benefit scholarship funds at East Bridgewater High School. Post-race festivities include refreshments, music, and awards ceremony.

This officially timed 3.1 mile course begins at East Bridgewater High School and travels through flat, suburban roads.

There will be one water stop and volunteers at each mile marker calling your time.
USATF sanctioned.

For a printable race application or to register online

Southeast Medical Center 5K
Sunday, October 28, 2007

8:30 am

East Bridgewater High School
11 Plymouth Street
East Bridgewater, MA