“Read 100 Running Books A Year Challenge”

11 01 2015

The art and long tradition of reading books among the youth and among most of us is already lost and forgotten. We tend to be industrious in reading books during our academic and schooling days as they are requirement in our daily lessons as required by the Subjects being taught by our Professors/Teachers. We were also made to submit “Book Reports” as part of a literary exercise for us to be able to write and make some critical analysis on the message or concept or lessons learned taken from the book that we have read.

With the advent of the Internet; Social Media; and Laptops/Cellphones/Ipads, seldom that I would see persons in planes, buses, trains, cafes, and public parks reading a book or a magazine or a newspaper. What is worse than not seeing people around us not reading any book in such traditional places is that our public libraries are almost forgotten to have existed.

Let me ask these questions to those who have finished their college studies and now working as professionals?

1. When was the last time that you visited our Public Library or your Workplace Library, if there is any?

2. Can you mention to me the title of the latest book and the author that you have read and tell me how long did it take you to finish reading the said book?

When I was a Member of the Promotion Board of the Philippine Army and later, as the Chairman of the Promotion Board to the Rank of Colonel in the Philippine Army, I had only ONE question for each of the candidates during the Interview (Final Part of the Process)——“What is the latest book that you have read and tell the Promotion Board the Synopsis and Lessons Learned you gathered in it in 5 Minutes?” If the candidate can not answer the question, he is told to leave the room and has to wait for another Promotion Cycle which equivalent to One Year!

This is not to say that I am going to do this with the other runners that if you have not read any running-related book, you are not meant to be accepted as one of my “friends” on Facebook or would allow you to join in any of my ultra races. This is a Challenge where one has to be motivated to re-start the good habit of reading any book for that matter. I could not over emphasize the importance of reading a book as it has a lot of advantages and reasons for us to improve as a human being.

Last week, I started to create a Facebook Page Group which has the same name as the title of this post. Each member of the group has to post the picture of the book that they are presently reading with the tag as to what number of such book. Once they finished the book, the member can make a brief synopsis of the book and post it on the Page. Some members would post the picture of books which they highly recommend for the other members to read. To make the effort more challenging, the books that should be submitted or posted on the Page are running-related books or books that has some running in it or if the character or characters of the story are runners or had adopted running as one of their sports or hobbies. I also encourage hiking books and other inspirational stories that has running in it.

On my part, I have two books that I would finish within the week. I have just finished the book “Anatomy For Runners” and about to start the book, “The Running Revolution”.

Books #1 & #2: The Anatomy For Runner & The Running Revolution

Books #1 & #2: The Anatomy For Runner & The Running Revolution

If you have access to the Internet and be able to buy books through Amazon, you can buy them in Kindle format. If you have access to bookstores, you can also buy them on hardbound or paperback edition and you can establish your personal running library. In your visits to another country, try to visit their bookstores in their shopping malls as such books can be purchased with the same price printed on the cover jacket of such book. In the United States, most of the books offer some discounts.

My next post will be a brief book summary of the books that I have to finish reading within this week.

Happy reading!

General Aguinaldo Trail: Hike & Survey (Part #3)

16 09 2014

General Aguinaldo Trail: Hike & Survey (Part #3)

I decided not to stay long in my “Base of Operations” in Salcedo, Ilocos Sur and instead, went directly to Cervantes, Ilocos Sur via the Bitalag-Bessang Pass-Cervantes Road aboard my private vehicle. There will be some more days to be scheduled for me to hike the first segment of the of the route, which is the Candon-Galimuyod-Salcedo- Gregorio del Pilar-Mt Tirad Pass-Quirino-Cervantes Route. This leg has a distance of 73 Kilometers.

I am surprised that the Bitalag-Cervantes Road is fully paved. On the day that I took my road survey, I was surprised that the PNP were stationed and visible in the Poblacion of Towns and Barangay Centers along the route. I had to briefly stop to talk to the uniformed men when I was already in the mountainous part of the route. I asked them why there is a lot of route security elements along the road. They answered me that they were tasked to secure the road up to Cervantes because a VIP and his entourage is going to pass the road and they will be there for the whole day.

Bitalag-Bessang Pass-Cervantes Road

Bitalag-Bessang Pass-Cervantes Road

As I reached the peak of the mountain range at the Battle of Bessang Pass Shrine, I could see a group of soldiers from the Philippine Army and took time to stop my vehicle, talk to them and to ask them about their unit’s headquarters and the reason why they are in the area for the task as route security. From the information I gathered, there is an on-going periodic Conference/Meeting among the Regional Directors of all the Government Offices in Region 1 and the meeting is happening in the Poblacion of Cervantes. I also found out that their Battalion Headquarters is located in one of the Barangays of Cervantes situated between the towns of Quirino and Cervantes.

The Battle Of Bessang Pass Shrine

The Battle Of Bessang Pass Shrine

The scenic view of the route from the peak of Bessang Pass and the view of the Cordillera mountains on the east are simply very beautiful and amazing as one would go down on a zigzag road towards the plains of Cervantes. One could see a lot of pine trees beside the road and the mountains seem to be undisturbed by illegal loggers and “charcoal making” industry. The same observation can be gleaned on the Ilocos Sur side of the mountain except for the additional residences/houses that I’ve seen to be added since the time I last passed the area almost 20 years ago. The distance from the Battle of Bessang Pass Shrine to Poblacion Cervantes is 18 Kilometers.

Church In The Poblacion Of Cervantes

Church In The Poblacion Of Cervantes

Once I reached the Poblacion of Cervantes, I could hardly see a Parking Space on the roads surrounding the Municipal Hall and Public Market. I was luckily to park my vehicle near a road that leads to the Church. I went for a walk towards the Municipal Hall and I could see that a Program and Public Meeting/Consultation was being held with all the Heads of the Government’s Regional Offices taking their turns to speak before the Crowd and answering the concerns of the different “leaders” and Barangay Representatives of the Locals. There was no point of trying to locate one of my friends on Facebook who happens to be the Municipal Secretary of Cervantes and for me to pay a courtesy cal to the Municipal Mayor. I was trying to drive through the Cordilleras and orient myself as fast as I could and there was no way for me to wait until the proceedings would end late in the afternoon.

The Only Incomplete Portion Of The Quirino-Cervantes Road

The Only Incomplete Portion Of The Quirino-Cervantes Road

Instead, I talked to two ladies who were selling fried bananas on the street and asked for directions in going to Quirino, Ilocos Sur and the the road that goes to Sagada-Bontoc, Mountain Province. On a crossroad/intersection being manned by 3 personnel of the PNP, I asked them about the directions to take in going to Mountain Province and they gave me a detailed description of the route and warned me on the “new” bridge that I need to cross towards the Cordilleras. Cervantes appears to be the Crossroad to travelers going to Ilocos Sur, Abra (via Qurino), Mountain Province and Benguet. It is the Gateway to the Cordilleras from the Ilocos Region/Northern Luzon Provinces.

Coming from one of the Ilocos Provinces, I would save at least 4 to 5 hours to reach Sagada, Bontoc, and the Banaue Rice Terraces, instead of passing the traditional Naguilian, La Union to Baguio and then to Halsema Highway to reach such places. I wonder on whose Presidential Administration that this road was finally paved and realized but it is concluded that such places in the mountains would be easily accessible to the lowlanders for progress and better economy.

Kilometer Post Towards Quirino (One Km From Poblacion Cervantes)

Kilometer Post Towards Quirino (One Km From Poblacion Cervantes)

Knowing that the General Aguinaldo Trail connects the towns of Quirino, formerly known as Angake/Angaki, and Cervantes, I went to the road that connects the two towns but after one kilometer from Cervantes, I stopped before a part of the road that needs to cross a stream of water on a river. After assessing the depth of the flowing water, which is too deep for my vehicle to cross, I decided to just take pictures of the place with the skyline of Mt Tirad as the background. I would see more of this route when I will actually hike the other side of the town of Gregorio del Pilar.

I went back to Cervantes and took the road that goes to Tadian, Mountain Province. The Poblacion of Cervantes is located on top of a hill and for one to leave the place, the road leaving the center of the town is a descending one until it flattens. After a few turns, I could see a long and newly-constructed bridge that connects the lower mountains to the higher ones over a wide banks of a river. I need to stop at the approach of the new bridge for a photo-ops.

The New Aluling Bridge

The New Aluling Bridge

After crossing the bridge, the road starts the ascending route towards the Cordilleras. I observed that few vehicles are plying the route and I only see delivery trucks for groceries and was not able to see any other private vehicle along the route until I reached an intersection where the other road leads to the barangays of the Municipality of Tadian, Mt Province and further up to the Halsema Highway that leads towards the province of Benguet and the City of Baguio.

I stopped by an intersection, took some pictures and talked to the locals who happens to be waiting for a ride and the owner of the store near the intersection. The old women who own the store was not aware and ignorant about the history that unfolded in their place but the middle-aged man who was sitting as if he was waiting for a ride, would start talking to me by answering my questions about General Aguinaldo’s presence in the area at the turn of the century. He would recall the stories from his old grandparents and parents about the presence of Katipuneros who passed their area. He confirmed that the road that goes to Tadian, Mountain Province is the same route that goes to Bontoc in the early days, popularly known then as the “Spanish Trail”.

The First Critical Intersection From Cervantes To Bontoc, Mt Province

The First Critical Intersection From Cervantes To Bontoc, Mt Province

To Be Continued.

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

1 08 2014

The Pacific Crest Trail is commonly known by its abbreviation, PCT and it is often designated as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The trail system is located on the Western Portion of the contiguous USA Mainland and it passes through the States of California, Oregon, and Washington. The trail covers a distance of 2,663 miles or 4,286 kilometers from South to North or vice-versa. It is one of the three most popular trail systems in the United States, the other two of which are the Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail.

History on the creation of the trail states that the first proposal for the trail system connecting the States of California, Oregon, and Washington was made in 1926 which could be an exchange of mails and correspondence among early explorers in the area. The actual exploration started sometime in 1930 but there are no available evidence or journal to support this fact. However, in 1932, an oil magnate and explorer, Clinton C Clarke, started promoting the creation of the trail system as evidenced from his correspondence with John Muir and other explorer-environmentalist-outdoorsmen during those time.

Pacific Crest Trail Route

Pacific Crest Trail Route

In 1935, Clinton C Clarke organized and spearheaded the conduct of the first meeting among his friends and associates who believe in his vision and objectives. Thus, The Pacific Crest Trail System Conference was formed with the objective to formally establish the route/connect “all the dots”/establish a route map and to lobby or create awareness for the federal government of its existence and to protect the trail system. The Conference consisted of Clarke, the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, John Muir, Ansel Adams (famous photographer-environmentalist), and other environmentalists. From 1935-1938, YMCA and the Boy Scouts of America did a splendid job of organizing a yearly “Boy Scout Relay” along the trail route where each of the team carried a Log/Journal. The objectives of the “Boy Scout Relays” were to provide an actual ground/activity to practice the skills of scouting; create awareness on the activities of the Boy Scouts; and as a proof that the trail concept of Clinton Clarke is doable. The dedication, passion and commitment of Clinton C Clarke to the Conference and its accomplishments earned him the title of “The Father Of The Pacific Crest Trail”.

In 1939, a year after, the Pacific Crest Trail system appeared on a federal government map for the first time. With the signing of the National Trails System Act by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1968, PCT was designated as one of the National Scenic Trails and protected by the federal government. The Pacific Crest Trail Conference became incorporated in 1977 and later merged with the Pacific Crest Trail Club in 1987.

The Pacific Crest Trail Conference changed its name as the Pacific Crest Trail Association which is the establishment that supervises, manages, and administers the Pacific Crest Trail. So, if you have plans of conducting a “thru-hiking” or “section hiking” along the PCT, it is best to visit their website for you to be guided in terms of permit, maps, schedules, and other details/announcements on the PCT. You can go to: www.pcta.org.

One Of The Trail Markings @ PCT

One Of The Trail Markings @ PCT

I became aware of the existence of the Pacific Crest Trail for the first time when I recon the route of the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run two years ago as some  portions of the first half of the ultra trail would course pass through the actual PCT. As I conquer and “peak bagged” some mountains in the San Gabriel Mountains and mountainous parts of Los Angeles area for the past 2 years, I’ve been seeing the PCT trail markings. However, I came through a published article about the exploits of Scott Williamson who was considered as the first “thru hiker” who did a “yo-yo” hike (South-North-South) on the PCT in a year and it gave me the resolve to read more about the people who were successful in their “thru-hikes” along the PCT!

This interest on the PCT led me to read more stories and journal about the hikers at the PCTA Website, most specially on the blogs of those “thru-hikers” who are on the route and at the same time blogging about their activities/experiences and pictorials on the trail. At this time, I have three (3) published books which I’ve been reading for the past weeks. I am not saying that I am already an expert on the details of the Pacific Crest Trail but it is worth knowing the experiences of those who successfully finished their “thru-hikes”.

In One Of My Trail Running @ PCT

In One Of My Trail Running @ PCT

It brings me back to a surprise conversation encounter with the Former President Ferdinand E Marcos during one of his annual Holy Week stay in soon-to-be Malacanang of the North at Paoay Lake, Ilocos Norte in 1979 with the then Commander of the Presidential Security Command (PSC) and Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Authority (NISA), General Fabian C. Ver. In my recollection, the brief conversation went this way:

General Ver: Sir, this is Lt Narcise, our NISA Station Commander in Ilocos Norte.

President Marcos: Lieutenant, from where are you?

Me: I am a native of Laoag City, Sir!

President Marcos: How is the CPP/NPA situation here?

Me: There is not much of activity except for sightings along the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan boundary, Sir. They don’ t have any mass base or reported training camps in the province, Sir.

President Marcos: Try to locate the “Guerrilla Trail Route” that goes from North to South in the province all the way from Pagudpud to Pangasinan. I am sure the insurgents are using that route in their movements.

Me: Yes, Sir!

End of Conversation

In the late-80s when the CPP/NPA established their mass base and training camps/s in the eastern mountainous parts in the province, they used this trail system in their movements from Cagayan and Kalinga-Apayao to the province of Ilocos Norte and back. The information about the presence of this “Guerrilla Trail Route” in Ilocos Norte was shared to the Scout Rangers of the Philippine Army in their Test Mission Operations which eventually led to the crushing and destruction of the CPP/NPA Provincial Committee and its armed personnel/component. With this debacle on the part of the insurgents, Ilocos Norte was never been attempted as a “refuge” or training base for them.

In 1995 when I was a Battalion Commander of the 60th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army where my area of operations would cover the province of Ilocos Norte, I deployed a platoon of soldiers to monitor the movements at the said trail system. In a few weeks, it resulted to a bloody armed encounter with the insurgents that cause to the death of three (4) insurgents and capture of numerous firearms and subversive documents. This armed encounter with the insurgents was recorded as the last armed fighting in the province up to the present. In a few months, the province was cleared and I was ordered to transfer my Battalion to the Province of Abra.

At present, it is my plan to revisit the Guerrilla Trail System in Ilocos Norte and formally establish a route map to be shared to everybody. I envision a trail system that would start at the northernmost part of Luzon in the province of Ilocos Norte to the its southernmost tip of the province of Sorsogon. It will be a daunting task and a grand undertaking for me to accomplish with the support of my ultra running friends and my former/active comrades in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Initially, I will call this trail system as the “Luzon Ridge Trail” (LRT). The history and establishment of the famous and popular Pacific Crest Trail Association will be the template of this undertaking. The activities on the exploration of this “Luzon Ridge Trail” will be one of the topics of this blog in the days, weeks and months to come. The exploration will start this month in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

However, there is also a plan to start another trail system in Sta. Ana, Cagayan where the route will pass along the Sierra Madre Mountain Range all the way to the southern tip of the province Sorsogon. I might temporarily call this route as the “Pacific Coast Trail”.

This a dream, a plan, and an undertaking that is worth dying for. I can only envision that this undertaking will benefit the whole country.

Wish me luck!

Map Of Luzon, Philippines

Map Of Luzon, Philippines

Balke Test

13 01 2014

After some researching on my running books and on the Internet, I found out that the evaluation run that my coach did to me prior to my speed training 4-5 years ago was the so-called “Balke Test”.

The Balke Test is a way to measure one’s VO2 Max. VO2 Max is the maximal rate at which oxygen can be brought in and used by the exercising muscle. It stands for ” Volume Of Oxygen Uptake” which is simply described as the body’s maximum capacity to transport and utilize oxygen while running. It is expressed in “milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute” If you have a higher number of VO2 Max, the better for you to run faster and more efficiently.

In order for a runner to undergo the Balke Test, he needs an oval track, a stopwatch and a calculator. The following are the steps in undergoing the test:

1. Go to an oval track. After a thorough warm-up, run as fast as you can for 15 minutes, covering a distance as much as possible. Be sure to run on the most inner lane of the oval track as it is measured as 400 meters.

2. Record the number of laps that you have covered plus the extra meters. Multiply the number of laps by 400 meters and then add the extra meters you covered after the last lap.

3. After having the number in meters, convert the number to meters per minutes by dividing it by 15. For example, if you covered 6 laps & one-half, multiply 6 laps by 400, then add 200. The distance covered in meters is 2,600 meters. Divide 2,600 meters by 15 minutes and the result is 173.3 meters per minutes.

4. From that 173.3 meters per minute, the first 150 meters/minute is equivalent to 33.3 ml/kg/min.

5. The remaining 23.3 is then multiplied by 0.178 and added to the base of 33.3. So, going back to our example, 23.3 X 0.178 = 4.14. If the base 33.3 is added to 4.14, the result is 37.44 ml/kg/min or VO2Max.

This means that your current aerobic fitness is 37.44 and it serves as your baseline VO2Max.

In the books “Hansons Marathon Method” & “Jack Daniel’s Speed Training”, you can find chart that would recommend ones target pace in Interval Training, Tempo/Threshold Runs, and Easy Run.

You can apply the Balke Test again on the middle of your training in order to check your progress in terms of your pace and speed to cover a certain distance.

You can also refer additional information on the Balke Test and the recommended paces on your speed training by browsing on Google.

So, lace up, go out of the door and run!

Balke Test On The Oval Track

Balke Test On The Oval Track

(Source: Hansons Marathon Method by Like Humprey With Keith & Kevin Hanson)

Master The Basics & Do It Every Day

8 01 2014

“Master the Basics and Do it Every Day” By Dr. Jason Ross

Note: While browsing on the Internet, I came to reach and read this article. I decided to have it posted in this blog and share it to my readers as a reference or reminder to those who are fond of writing or coming up with their respective New Year’s Resolutions for better healthy lifestyle and outlook in life. I hope my readers will like this article as a guide for their goals in life. Good luck!
I’m a huge fan of Dan John.  He’s a strength coach that has the ability to boil down the fluff and periphery to get to the important, central stuff.  Own the principles, not the methods.  Dan has many books, articles, videos, a lot for free,  all over the Internet.  I would suggest anyone interested in health and strength to take an hour or two and read his stuff and watch his videos.One of the things that has always stuck with me is Dan’s approach to the basics.  Don’t get crazy reaching for the top of the pyramid if your base is not there.
The other point comes from legendary coach Dan Gable who Dan often quotes.  “If it’s important, do it every day.” With that template, master the basics and if it’s important, do it every day, here is my list in no particular order.
1.  Drink water.  Half your body weight in ounces.  Sport drinks don’t count, tea doesn’t count.  Water.  If you drink coffee or pop add another 8 ounces of water.
2.  Don’t drink pop.
3.  Walk.  Try to get 15 minutes a day. Minimum.
4.  Get sunshine.  Have the actual suns rays touch your skin.
5. Get your Vitamin D levels checked twice a year.  Keep your level above 50.  1000 IU for every 25lb of body weight when supplementing.
6.  Lift weights.  Find something you like and do it 2x a week.  I don’t care if it kettle bells, cross fit, powerlifting, bodybuilding or what ever is next around the corner.  The more muscle mass you carry as you age, the more healthy you will be.  Guaranteed.  Carry something, push something, pick something off the floor, pull yourself up.  (colored dumbbells do not count though.)
7.  Floss.  There is a lot of evidence for the health of your gums and the health of your heart.
8.  Wear your seat belt.  ( I stole 7,8,9 from Dan John himself)
9.  Take fish oil.  3-5 grams a day.
10.  Get rid of polyunsaturated oils.  I think this is why most people that adapt a paleo or primal or low carb diet see such improvements.  Unhealthy oils destroy your body.
11.  Be grateful.  Make a mental list or a physical one.
12.  Breath well.  Inhale with the diaphragm.  Exhale.  The ribs should move, not your shoulders.
13.  Stretch the hip flexor and then pair it with a glute activation exercise.  Your lumbar spine will thank you.
14.  Get down on the floor on your back and get back up.  Several times a day.  No particular technique needed.  I’ve lost track of how many patients tell me they fear getting down on the floor for how hard it will be for them to get back up.  Don’t let that happen in the first place.  If you don’t make it a priority, it can be weeks before you have to actually do it.  Think about that for a second.
15.  Eat some vegetables.  Think Rainbow.
16.  Master the hip hinge.  Use it.  When you bend at the hips not the back, you save your back abuse.
17.  Read.  The person that doesn’t read and the person that doesn’t know how, not much difference.
18.  Roll the bottoms of your feet with golf balls.  A lot of fascial lines evolve or cross the bottoms of the feet.  Next time your tired at work or after work, take a few minutes to do this and feel your energy return.19.  Focus on getting some good fat in your diet.  MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, olive oil, fish oil, avocado, red palm oil, to name a few.20.  Drink Green Tea.  On top of the water you are going to drink.  It’s like amazing for you.

21.  Laugh.

22.  Sleep.  7-8 hours a night.  There is a lot out there these days about how to get by on less, but science doesn’t seem to support that.

23.  Your own personal physical/personal goal.  Find a way to work at it every day.  If you want to write, write at least one sentence.  If you want more mobile hips, do 5 min a day of hip mobility work.  Striving towards something you want every day, builds strength and character.  Lay some ground work every day, it’s the consistency that counts and makes real changes.

This is my list, I think it’s hard to argue with any of them.  What do you want to add?

Ultra Training Plan #1

30 06 2012

Training Plan For Races Of 40 Miles To 100K On 50 Miles Per Week

Thurs Speed
Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total Work Duration
1 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 12 5 34 No speed work
2 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 14 5 36 No speed work
3 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 16 5 38 No speed work
4 Rest 5 3 5 Rest 14 5 32 No speed work
5 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 16 5 40 12-15 mins
6 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 5 42 12-15 mins
7 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 5 42 15-18 mins
8 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 5 35 12-15 mins
9 Rest 10 5 7 Rest 20 5 47 15-18 mins
10 Rest 10 5 7 Rest 12 10 44 15-18 mins
11 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 22 5 46 No speed work
12 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 5 35 18-20 mins
13 Rest 9 5 7 Rest 24 5 50 20-25 mins
14 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 10 47 20-25 mins
15 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 10 40 20-25 mins
16 Rest 10 5 7 Rest 24 5 51 15-18 mins
17 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 10 47 20-25 mins
18 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 10 40 20-25 mins
19 Rest 7 5 3 Rest 31 Rest 46 No speed work
20 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 5 35 10-15 mins
21 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 25 5 49 20-25 mins
22 Rest 5 5 7 Rest 18 Rest 35 18-20 mins
23 Rest 5 Rest 7 Rest 10 5 27 12-15 mins
24 4 Rest 3 Rest 2 50 Rest 59 No speed work

***Bold indicates a Recovery or Taper Week

Everything is in MILES.

The above training plan was taken from the book, Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide To Running Ultramarathons by Bryon Powell. Chapter 5, page 94.

(Source: Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide To Running Ultramarathons by Bryon Powell)

Next: Training Plan For Races of 40 Miles to 100K on 70 Miles Per Week.

Quote For The Week

27 06 2012

This is an excerpt taken from the newly published book by Scott Jurek entitled, “Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey To Ultramarathon Greatness”.


Regular running is satisfying in itself. If you’re the competitive type, even greater satisfaction lies in running faster and longer, in challenging yourself. Progress can be a great motivator and a great incentive to keep exercising.

If you want to improve as a runner, you can (and should) do supplemental training, which involves strengthening, flexibility, and technique work. But the simplest way to improve is to run faster. And the way to do that is to train yourself to run harder, the way I did during my long climbs to Mount Si.

Here’s how: After you’ve been running for 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week for six to eight weeks, you’re ready to start running occasionally at 85 to 90 percent of your physical capacity, or the point where lactate is building up in your muscles but your body is still able to clear and process it. Build to where you can maintain that lactate threshold level for 5 minutes. Then take 1 minute of easy running to give the body time to recover, then repeat. As you progress, increase the number of the intervals and their length while maintaining a 5:1 ratio between work and rest. So you would do 10-minute intervals of hard running followed by 2-minute breaks; or 15 minutes of hard running followed by 3 minutes of rest, and so on.

After four to six weeks, you’ll be able to maintain this effort level for 45 to 50 minutes. And you’ll be faster.”

(Note: Taken from Chapter 10: Dangerous Tune, pages 88-89)

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