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Picture Of The Week #7

22 06 2012

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Maffetone’s Training

5 08 2011

If you ask any of the local triathletes if they know such “Maffetone’s Training” and if they tell you, NO, it’s either they are ignorant or they don’t want to share their training “secret” to you. If an average or competitive triathlete does not know about this kind of training, I guess, he/she is not training properly to develop what the training calls, “aerobic speed”! In the truer sense of the word, the “holistic approach in endurance training and racing”

I bought the Kindle version of the Dr. Phil Maffetone’s “The Big Book On Endurance Training and Racing” two months ago and started to follow his Training by adhering to the 180 Formula as my Maximum Aerobic Function by monitoring my Heart Rate. With a purchase of the simplest and most basic HR Monitor watch, I started to follow such training for the past weeks. 180 Formula would simply mean subtracting your age to 180 as your maximum aerobic heart rate during your aerobic phase workouts.

On my first week of the training, I could hardly bring down my HR to 121 beats per minute while on a slow jog. I started with 142 beats per minute on the first days of my 1st week and then gradually bringing it down to 138 bpm. Later, I could easily jog at an HR rate of 135 bpm. During the Takbo Runfest 16K and MILO Marathon Eliminations, I was able to bring my average HR to 130-132 beats per minute. This is the very reason why I am always on the tail end in the past road races. Actually, I was trying to “cheat” on the 180 Formula as my desired training HR could had been 121 beats per minute which translated to a brisk walking activity.

But on my 1st MAF Test on an oval track lately, I was able to constantly follow the desired Maximum Heart Rate of 121 beats per minute throughout the workout. And the results follow what the Maffetone Training intends to advocate. We will see what will be the result on my 2nd MAF Test after 3-4 weeks.

It is also surprising to most of the runners (in these past road races) that they observed me to be using some “wires”. Yes, I renewed my love to music during my workouts and road races by sporting an Ipod Shuffle which is light and easy to clip! Maffetone’s training includes music and some form of cadence and beats through selected kinds of music as part of one’s playlist.

What are the initial observations and benefits I got from this kind of training? First of all, I can have a workout that lasts for hours and hours without any pain or sorenes. After running for almost 5 hours at the MILO, I could walk straight and without any limp after the race, moreso, on the following day there were no pains on my legs. On the nutrition side, by following a “no carbo”diet one week before the MILO run, I did not feel hungry during the duration of the run and maintained my constant hydration through water and my Gatorade G2 mix. I did not mind getting and eating those ripe bananas in the Aid Stations. The best result? I did not have any kind of muscle cramps on any part of my legs and body! I was amazed and surprised about such result. No “bonking” and no “wall” to speak of even if my past training long runs would last for only 2 1/2 hours with an average HR of 130-132 beats per minute!

Last week, I discovered that Dr Phil Maffetone has a website which is very informative and updated as compared to the book I purchased. I am going to share his website to my readers with the hope that they will be able to follow the training and its philosophy with patience and positive attitude.

The following is the website: http://philmaffetone.com. For those who are joining the 1st BR Barefoot Run, it would be an interesting one for them to read his article “GAIT–Why Every Runner Is Different, and How You can Go Faster……, and other related running articles.

To my ultra running friends, I suggest you take a look at this training and try it. Patience and Positive attitude play a great role if you want to adhere to this kind of training philosophy.

Enjoy and have fun reading the articles and essays of Dr Phil Maffetone. Happy weekend!





Do We Love Pain?

23 05 2011

The following is an article that I copied from a trail running book which I want to share to my readers, whether you are a newbie runner or an accomplished/competitive ultra runner. You can share also your answer to the said question on the title.

Do We Love Pain? 

Not long ago, I posted the question on a blog site: “Are we endurance athletes driven by the solipsistic need for self-validation, as in, ‘we hurt, therefore we are’; or is it that we love the pain and exertion and, therefore, more is better?”

The answers were quite edifying so I thought I’d share them:

–Personally, I love it–the pain, I mean. But most importantly, I view the pain as the engine to drive me to reach my goals. In other words, I know I’m hurting because I’m on hour four of a six-hour effort and that I’m that much closer to seeing nature in full effect. Or, that the pain is getting me through a technical uphill section. The pain is an indication that I’m do-ing!

–I train so I don’t hurt any more.

–I tend to agree; when I was most prepared to race, pain wasn’t much of a factor. The validation came in competing against others.

 –I was getting massage last night, and the therapist asked, “You do work your body hard, don’t you? What is your motivation?” I didn’t know what to say, mainly because my face was being shoved into the hole as he stretched my calf and it was hard to talk anyway…but he made me think. I don’t know that I have a good answer, but I agree that training is to avoid future pain, I also know that I absolutely love being out in the wilderness, and the harder I train, the more time I am able to spend in that environment.

–It’s all about the balance. You feel so good afterwards because you suffered through the pain during it. The sweetness of completing something wouldn’t be the same if it was easy to do. Being in pain, working through it, and finishing bring the accomplishment more meaning.

–I say it’s like most things in life: combo platter.

–I don’t love pain…but it makes me stronger, and in that way it helps me achieve my goals. I think the key to the answer lies within our personal goals.

–Balance. For me it’s all about the three-part teeter totter: sport, family, work. Each causes (good) pain the harder you try at it, and all must be in balance to make each truly meaningful.

–Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we’re wired that way. Because without it, I don’t know, maybe we just wouldn’t feel real. What’s that saying? “Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop.” I can’t take credit for the qoute, but it seems somewhat appropriate.

–I love it and think that more is fun but moderation is the key to longevity and health. I’m enjoying my Boston Marathon hangover. Pain is relative. I just wish I could recover quicker!

–If pain feels good, if pain = pleasure, then is it really pain? But I am proud to be one of the finish-line crossers so maybe pain = proud.

–It’s not the pain that’s enjoyable, it’s the feeling of accomplishment and daily reinforcement that your body is adapting—getting stronger and/or faster. Pain is a reminder that you pushed hard. We need to be more aware about the weakest point in our body, as that seems to break first. Strengthen the weakest part to keep the rest in balance.

–So many times I’ve been asked if I love pain. Or, why do I put myself through all this “insane training and criminal early (very early) morning runs?” And I have questioned myself, too: why? I love pain, I do, it make me feel alive! It makes me feel I trained, I paid my dues, I have a right to be where I am. Too crazy? Maybe.

(Source: The Ultimate Guide To Trail Running: 2nd Edition by Adam Chase & Nancy Hobbs. Guilford, Connecticut: 2010; pages 71-73)





Paul Tergat’s Book: Running To The Limit

13 03 2011

“Paul Tergat: Running To The Limit” by Jurg Wirz

This book was published in 2005 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd. Obviously, the book is about the life, training “secrets” of Paul Tergat and his tips for runners for them to excel and adhere to running as a way of life.

Cover Page of Paul Tergat's Book (Photo Courtesy of Google)

He was not yet a runner when he entered the military service in 1990. With his assignment in Nairobi’s Air Force Base, he started to run with a big group around the Air Force Base with a distance of 15 kilometers in the morning and sometimes running also in the evening on a daily basis. In one of their inter-unit running events, although he finished far behind the leaders, a coach was impressed on his running form. The coach invited him to the training camp where the “top guns” are preparing for three months for the Armed Forces Cross Country Championships. He managed to finish third in the said event. After two months, he won the National Cross Country Championships and he was on the top of the Kenyan running scene at the age of 22 years old. And the rest is history.

He set the World Record in 10,000 meters in 1997 with a time of 26:27.85 minutes; World Record in Half-Marathon in 1998 with a time of 59:17 minutes; and a World record in Marathon in 2003 with a time of 2:04:55 hours. Epic rivalry in the 10,000-meter run between Haile Gabrselassie and Paul Tergat had been displayed during the 1996 & 2000 Summer Olympics and in the 1995, 1997, & 1999 World Championship where he won the Silver Medals on these events.

Tergat's WR Time in Marathon (Photo From Google)

Epic Rivalry Between Haile & Paul in the 10,000-Meter of the 1996 & 2000 Summer Olympic Games (Photo From Google)

It is unfortunate that he was not able to win any Gold Medal in the Olympic Games within the span of his running career. He tried his best to train for the 2004 Athens Olympics’ Marathon but things did not turn out within his expectations as he finished #10.

Paul Tergat mentioned his roots and the poverty prevailing in his country which he considers as the number one “motivator” for them to excel in long distance running. There are other reasons why the Kenyans excel in long distance running but on how he refined his competitiveness and being on top among the elites in the world were mentioned in detail in his book through his training and tips.

What is most significant in this book is how the international corporate shoe brands helped to finance and support the establishment of “training camps” for runners in Kenya aside from the traditional Armed Forces “training camps” for the military elite runners. With the support and guidance of their Italian Coach Gabriele Rosa, the Kenyan runners were able to train for the best in long distance running.

Obviously, Paul Tergat is already rich and famous even without winning a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games. He is now an athletics promoter for running events in the eastern part of Kenya which is considered as the driest and poorest part of the country. With the support of a corporate food brand, he is bringing the awareness of running to the “grassroot” level to develop more competitive runners. He is a philanthropist and a member of the IAAF Athlete’s Commission.

There are two things that we could learn from this book. In order for the country to excel in long distance running, there is a need for a dedicated corporate support for the athletes and the establishment of “training camps” to continously develop athletes to elite status and at the same time, discover potentials from the grassroot level. It happened already in the past and it had been proven to be successful. It easy to say it. We know the supposedly “secrets” of the Kenyans and the Ethiopians but nobody is doing about it in an organized manner. When will our sports officials ever learn and put the sports “money” where it is supposed to be? I am still wondering what is happening to our elite sports program and sustainable “grassroots” program. 

This book is a nice reference if you want to train like the Kenyans in long distance running.

(Note: This is a part of this blog’s program/project to feature at least one book about running every week which started with the book, “Once A Runner”. Due to the “back-to-back” BDM Races for the past weeks, I was not able to publish this post as scheduled.)





Once A Runner: A Novel

18 02 2011

“Once A Runner” by John L. Parker, Jr.

The author has written for Outside, Runner’s World, and numerous other publications. He was the Southeastern Conference Mile Champion three times, and the United States Track and Field Federation National Champion in the Steeplechase, and was teammate of Olympians Frank Shorter, Jack Bacheler, and Jeff Galloway on several championship cross-country teams. He is a journalist, practicing lawyer, and had been the Editorial Director of Running Times Magazine. (Note: The author should be as old as Jeff Galloway!)

This book was first published in 1978, at least one year after the “Complete Book On Running” by Jim Fixx was published, and it was written as a novel about a mile-runner, Quenton Cassidy while he was studying to earn a College Degree with a time setting in the mid-70s. It was mentioned that the author had sold copies of this book on the back compartment of his car every time he attended road races during weekends and copies of this novel had been circulating from one runner’s hand to another.

Looking at the profile and background of the author, this novel could be easily analyzed as the author’s personal account of his life as a college student and a passionate runner who would like to cross the barrier of sub-4-minute mile during those times.

Elite runners, ultra trail runners, and runner-authors/writers have considered this book as the best book ever written about running. I’ve read this book’s title being mentioned by most of the runner-authors who considered this novel as the best story being written about a runner. They say it’s a “classic”. Others would say that you are not a full-blooded runner if you don’t have a copy or have read this book. It is also being mentioned as part of the Runner’s Etiquette/Rules for a runner to have read this book if he is really a true runner. It is for this reason why I had to buy this book when I had a chance to see one at the Zombie Runner Store in Stanford, California.

I was not frustrated when I found out that the book speaks for itself. It is really the best book for a runner and every runner should be able to read it.

I’ve repeatedly read this novel for three times already. This is always my companion whenever I travel from Manila to other parts of the country when I board the local flights.

Cover Page of Older Publication of the Book (Photo From Wikipedia)





Jeff Galloway’s Lecture @ Oakwood

15 02 2011

Weeks before the arrival of Jeff Galloway to the country, I was invited by Lit Onrubia after he crossed the Finish line at the Rizal Day 32K Run to attend in one of the scheduled lectures. On the other hand, a few days after,  Jerome Cartailler, BDM 102 veteran/PAU runner and resident chef of Oakwood Premier also extended his invitation for me to attend a “shorter” version of Jeff Galloway’s Lecture at the said hotel. I learned later that Jeff Galloway stayed at the said hotel during the duration of his stay in Manila.

I opted to join the lecture at the Oakwood Premier as it suited to my schedule for the said weekend. Twenty minutes before the scheduled start of the activity, I was already at the venue with another runner. Jonel Mendoza of FrontRunner Magazine joined later and Lit Onrubia of Chi Running was also there as he acted as the host and moderator of the event.

As soon as Jeff Galloway entered the lecture area, Jonel and I approached him and we started a conversation with him. As usual, Jonel was the more articulate and talkative one for the introductions and Jonel “trapped” Jeff Galloway with copies of his FrontRunner Magazine as he gave Jeff lots of them. The “blitzkrieg” approach led to a special pose for picture with the guest lecturer!

Number 1!!! BR, JG, JM

I could sense that Jeff Galloway knew things about me and Jonel (He could have visited my blog or had been well-informed by his Hosts about the running community and the running magazine of Jonel). He started a topic where he informed us about his son, Brennan Galloway, a running film producer who made lots of running films about the famous “minimalist” ultra trail runner, Anton Krupicka. There you go, Jeff knows that we are ultra marathon runners!

After a few conversations with the guests and Jeff, the lecture started at least 10 minutes late from the schedule which was okey with us as more interested guests were entering the venue. At least, 40 guests were present during the lecture.

Jeff Galloway had been in the country when he was still in the active military service as he was with the US Navy in his younger years. He knows about Subic and Olongapo, of course! He did not mention the particular year when he was here in the country. I could only guess that he was here during the Martial Law years under the administration of former President Marcos. (Note: Dr George Sheehan, a runner, writer and lecturer was also with the US Navy rising to the rank of Navy Captain).

One Hour Lecture Full of Information About Run-Walk Strategy

Jeff Galloway Lecture was geared towards his “The NO PAIN Marathon Program”. Let me quote the brochure which was available for all of us that explains the Jeff Galloway Method of Training:

  • Minimum workouts needed: 20-30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday plus a weekend run.
  • Weekend Run gradually increases to goal distance in gentle increases, followed by short runs.
  • Walk breaks are inserted into every run, from the beginning, to erase pain and fatigue
  • Avoid running too fast by using a “magic mile” prediction exercise (MM).
  • Many surveys have shown that taking walk breaks early and often result in faster finish times.

The “Magic Mile” can predict current potential and set long run pace. You should be able to time yourself for one mile (4 laps around the oval track) about every 3 weeks and the following Run-Walk-Run Strategies should be followed depending on your pace (per km or per mile).

Pace Per Km Pace Per Mile Run/Walk Amount
4:58 8:00 4 min/30 sec
5:16 8:30 4 min/45 sec
5:35 9:00 4 min/1 min
6:12 10:00 3 min/1 min
6:50 11:00 2.5 min/1 min
7:27 12:00 2 min/ 1 min
8:04 13:00 1 min/ 1min
8:41 14:00 30 sec/ 30 sec
9:19 15:00 30 sec/ 45 sec
9:56 16:00 20 sec/ 40 sec
10:33 17:00 15 sec/ 45 sec
11:11 18:00 10 sec/ 50 sec

 More interesting insights and information were gathered during the “Open Forum” where Jeff Galloway was able to answer questions from the guests. Some of the pointers were the following:

  • He does not recommend stretching exercises  for long distance runners
  • Extensive Long Slow Distance Run (LSD) every 3 weeks in the Marathon Program
  • More Long Runs For Endurance rather than Speed runs
  • “Speed Training” is NOT recommended for the 1st time Marathon runners. They should simply enjoy the experience and have fun
  • On Core Strengthening, he recommends two (2) workouts: “Arms Swinging with Light Weights” (natural form when running) and Abdominal “Crunches”
  • Running is controlled by the Brain Function
  • On running compression tights, no benefits on the performance of a long distance runner. However, there are studies that compression calf sleeves are the most beneficial to runners. He highly recommends such apparel to long distance runners.
  • Water hydration during the race is the only thing that is needed during a marathon race.
  • It takes 24-48 hours for the body to absorb the replacement electrolytes from Sports Drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, Propel, Pocari Sweat, and others.
  • Carboloading from foods rich in carbohydrate taken a day before the race is beneficial.

On a personal note, I don’t agree with his answers about his view on the unnecessary need of sports drinks and food being ingested during the marathon race. In a country like ours, the heat and humidity make our body metabolism faster and there is a need for sports drinks and food to be taken in somewhere along the marathon distance. He thought that Philippines is like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan or the United States where the temperature is too low that a runner could hardly perspire during a marathon race.

I could follow the Run-Walk-Run Galloway Method in an ultra running event to last and finish the distance but I will never walk in a Marathon Race where my goal is to finish a better PR best time.

Ironically, in my collection of running books, I found out that I don’t have any of the books written by Jeff Galloway.





One Hour With Jeff Galloway

5 02 2011

Jeff Galloway is in town! He is lucky to meet the Bald Runner and FrontRUNNER Magazine’s Publisher!

BR, JG, & FR

Details of his One-Hour lecture and meeting will be posted soon!








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