November 14, 2018
42 AT 42.CHICAGO MARATHON 2018.FINISH TIME 2:48:29 7TH OCTOBER 2018.
The commentators voice cracked through the speakers announcing the names of the elite men runners who were lined up on the start line..Abel Kirui, MoFarah…
I was standing right behind these big names. The day 7th October 2018. This happened to be my birthday month falling in about 2 weeks time on 20th October aka Mashujaa day. A special one since I was turning 42 years-the equivalent numerical number to the complete kilometers in a full marathon.(Runners are used to running kilometers equivalent to their age or factor of their age on their birthdays so for me each kilometer in this race was dedicated to each year of my life).
My mind flashed back to the last marathon I had done which was on April 2018-Boston Marathon-about four and a half months from the day.Rainy and partially snowing.The worst marathon weather in recent times.
A hypothermia attack had made my body start feeling tired at 15 kms, my lips were all numb and heavy -the feeling you get when a dentist injects you with anesthesia to pull out teeth. With every kilometer I felt weaker and I wondered if it had something to so with my heavy lips. Eventually my body shut down at 30 kms weak and dizzy and I had to check into a huge medical tent. I spent almost half an hour around heaters taking soup to regain body heat together with many other runners who were shaking like a leaf, some even passing out. The dreams shifted from a better sub 3 to staying alive after barely making it in London (2:59:47) and New York marathons (2:59:38).When I got warm in the tent, I made a resolve to carry on and try finish the race,the guys in the tent thought I was mad..one even said he would never go out there to meet with the devil again..I managed to finish the race many medical tents and soups later and all wrapped up in plastic bags.
That finish line had ushered a journey to this start line. A start to a race I hoped would be different, to redeem the Boston experience.
The road map to this day had been very deliberate. I knew I needed to make a come back in a big way.Many friends had expressed how my photo finish sub 3s had kept them on the edge till the last second each time . I needed to change that. I was alive to the fact that to do this and overcome the psychological pressure from Boston was going to take something out of the ordinary. Some harder training, something special. With the goals in mind, I set out to achieve it. Right from the first week in May when I started training, I had this day in clear focus. This plus all measures I would need to put in place to avoid a hypothermia repeat. I had learnt that the head was one of the greatest sources of heat loss in adverse conditions. I bought head gear and started training in them. (Amazing how we can adapt when required to.I always got migraines if I tried to run with anything around my head..this time because it was a necessity, the migraines came and eventually after a few runs disappeared.
Figure 1 Warm up Kitengela training
Figure 2 Team speed Fit Rev run
My training build up in May went well , peaking in the months of July and August. In this months I consistently put in total weekly mileage of between 110 and 120 kms with a high of 135 in one week. The training ranged from tempos,speed training and weekly long runs of 30-40kms (15 of them) mostly in Ngong,Karen, and one in Kerio and Iten. We had pooled together all the people who were to run in Chicago and set out to train together.We were 25 of us which made it the largest group of Kenyan recreational runners in a world Marathon.The runs were organized by my running club RunFit club,Fit Revolution gym,K42 AT 42, Kitengela Mbuni runners ,Team Jasho,Enda and Urban Swaras among-st others in different areas including the ones in high altitude Iten and Kerio .
Together with my training partners Davis and Ndegwa we put in lots of hard training with some extremely fast runs.
Figure 3 training Partners with 6 Star General
Figure 4 Davis,Jack Davis
We had all done sub 3 hours with the fastest time having been posted by Davis at 2.52 in New York Marathon 2017.Sub 3 was no longer the bar.We knew that this was the time to work towards.
Every training run I did I knew would contribute to achieving that result and I took each more seriously than before. I monitored my speeds and set out to keep improving them, monitored my food and weight almost daily together with my recovery and physio sessions. Each long run was a rehearsal of the upcoming marathon. From the clothes, I wore, what I ate and drank day before, how I hydrated before and in the race, pacing, when I took the gels and even how hard I pushed. Everything that was in my control I took charge of. All these efforts bore fruits when I managed to do a sub 3 (2.57.53) full marathon in my last long run in Iten (high altitude) a month to the race. The fastest I had ever run.This was all the confidence I required. But there was one monster that stood in the way of that confidence. Something that was out of my control.. the weather..
Figure 5 Iten last long run
Figure 6 Minnesota training
Figure 7 Iten training
Figure 8 Ngong Berra long run
Figure 9 Ngong Kahara route
Figure 11 The beauty of some runs hope non of them bites
Figure 12 Kerio Tamac to Tamac
When we arrived in Chicago the 4th of October,the weather was good.The drive to downtown brought to life the beauty of the city that we had been seeing in many of the marathon site pictures.
Figure 13 The beautiful City
The architecture was amazing.This is home to some of the tallest buildings in the world amongst many other amazing structures.We had an easy run on the same day and settled.Our Runfit club members had secured an apartment and carried lots of home cooking ingredients, ugali,choice pasta etc and lots of chapatis to fuel the days before the race.The camaraderie of the team was excellent. We took turns to shop,cook, and wash dishes.
Figure 14 Ugali time..The master Chefs
Figure 15 Team Run-Fit
The day before the marathon,we took part in a 5 km charity run.We doned traditional Kenyan community attires and took on Avanis challenge to take it easy in a run.We carried our phones, were the last ones on the start line,took selfies along the way, and stopped to dance with the bands on the route. Because of Kenya’s fame in marathons,all the runners wanted photos with us.This was the case everywhere we went,the Expos,malls,restaurants etc.(Something that brand Kenya needs to take up.)
Figure 16 Ero Maasai..Cultural run pre Chicago marathon
As I prepared to head for the race start line early Sunday morning, It was raining which created a bit of anxiety for me.Luckily by the time I set out to the start area it had subsided though there was still possibilities of more.We warmed up from 7 am then got into our coral at about 7:15 am.15 minutes to the start and the commentator continued going through the list of the elite runners. Galen Rupp,Dickson Chumba, he carried on. At exactly 7.30 am we set out. The GPS signal was erratic due to the tall buildings. We had been warned about this so most of the time I ran by feel but monitored each and every lap. I had mismanaged my pace in previous runs over pacing in some kilometers and ended up with disastrous results at some points walking some parts of the race. I was determined to ensure that race management was not going to be on my list of the items that could go wrong in the race. That was in my control. I had set out to maintain a pace of about 4 minutes per kilometer and not to get overly ambitious.
By the 3rd km I was already feeling hot. I was apprehensive about removing the jacket in case the weather changed but by the 5th km,the body was too hot and I decided to dispose it hoping that all would be well. Everything went well until there were some light showers and the temperatures dropped at around 10 kms. The breeze blowing from Lake Michigan was very strong making the cold even worse. My heart rate right from the first km was high and my alert kept beeping. This was unusual, the norm being that the beeping if any would come late in the run when the body was tired and the heart was doing too much work to maintain pace. At one point due to the cold, I thought I was starting to slide into Boston issues but kept going. Somewhere past the halfway mark the heart rate settled. The run progressed well and I was able to maintain my set target pace of slightly under 4 minutes per km.
At around 35 kms my right hamstring began cramping and I had to slow down to get out of the cramp.Fortunately the slowing down helped and by the 37th km I was able to resume to near my target pace.The cheering crowds helped to keep the legs moving. Finally there was an 800 meters to go mark and a final turn that led to the finish line at Grant park.There was a very gentle incline which felt like Mt Everest because of the point it came at in the race.
When I got to the stretch that had the finish line,I saw a 2.48 on the clock from a distance and increased pace to ensure that it didn’t get to 2.49. crossed the line at an official time of 2.48.29..
Figure 17 Finish line Sweet Finish line
Figure 18 Another Major done and dusted
A new PB 11 minutes faster than my last one of 2:59:38 in New York 2018.It was a joyous moment for me..The persistence,hard work,discipline,focus on goals,belief in self,ambition,learning from failures and mistakes had help overcome the Boston experience in a big way.A confirmation that we can dream,work and achieve great things.
Within a few minutes,my training mate Davis crossed the line and we later on linked up with our other training mate Jack had set a serious record of 2.42.28 adding to the excitement of future races as he completed his 6th and final World Marathon majors.
Eventually all our runners crossed the finish line..A success rate of 100 percent. This was the greatest highlight and joy of the day..The joy of achieving with a team that we shared so much together to get to this point.A dinner in the evening with some Kenyans living in Chicago crowned the day.Congratulations Davis Munene Jack Ndegwa Douglas Njiraini Aine Nick Muteti Rachael Gitonga Sarah Mwala Avani Patel John Terer Cheruiyot AK Tony,Hellen,Wangendo, Daisy, Jon Lenchner Nyokabi Kamotho Barbara Napoli Sehmi Ridhwan Hussein Wangendo,Kiogora,Rebecca,Wambui,Alex,mercy,Mwai, Kaimenyi Humphrey and all other runners.
Grateful as always to God for the good health that allows us to go out there and run and his protection especially on the roads in the wee hours of the morning plus,My wife Ann Thuo and our 3 Children for support in countless areas, family,team mates including my awesome students who encourage me as much as I encourage them,friends,colleagues at work and all people that in one way or the other contribute to my being.
The next challenge is beckoning as always ..That’s the beauty of life.We always have something to work towards.Lets take on the next challenge.
Figure 19 Iten Run
June 11, 2018
A little bit of history about the comrades marathon.The first run was on 24 May 1921. It is an ultramarathon of approximately 90 km, annually run in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race. The run is attended by over 20,000 runners from more than 60 countries. In all but three runnings since 1988, over 10,000 runners have reached the finish within the allowed 11 or 12 hours. Runners over the age of 20 qualify when they are able to complete an officially recognised marathon (42.2 km) in under five hours. During the event an athlete must also reach five cut-off points in specified times to complete the race. The spirit of the Comrades Marathon is said to be embodied by attributes of camaraderie, selflessness, dedication and perseverance.
CUT OFF POINTS
The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has six official cut-offs along the 90.184km route.The first cut-off was implemented at Lion Park with subsequent cut-offs positioned at Cato Ridge, the halfway mark in Drummond, Winston Park, Pinetown and with the final one at Sherwood.
|CUT-OFF||DISTANCE DONE||DISTANCE TO GO||TIME|
|Lion Park||15,574km||74,610km||02:30:00 (08h00)|
|Cato Ridge||30,276km||59,908km||04:20:00 (09h50)|
|Winston Park||57,610km||32,574km||08:00:00 (13h30)|
The 2018 Comrades Down Run was held on 10th June, it was slightly longer than the previous Down Run route, this year’s Down Run was 90,184km. The Marathon started at 05h30 outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. NO spectators were allowed at the start of the event due to limitations of crowd control and safety. Should the Winners (Man and Woman) of the 2018 Comrades Marathon break the Best Time previously recorded for the “Down Run”, he or she will receive a cash payment of R440, 000.00 (Approximately ksh 3 million)
MALE BEST TIME: 05:18:19 by David Gatebe in 2016
FEMALE BEST TIME: 05:54:43 by Frith Van der Merwe in 1989
Did you know?
Wally Hayward is the oldest finisher at 80 years old in 1989.
The finish of the 2018 Comrades Marathon was at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium. ST JOHN’S provided first aid. Bongumusa Mthembu won the men’s race in a time of 05:35:14.
Mthembu says it was an emotional race.
“Comrades Marathon is a tricky race, you have to be strong in your mind. I went through a lot this season but with the grace of God I was able to run today, so I’m quite happy and excited. But this is a very emotional era.”
South African Ann Ashworth was the first lady to cross the line in a time of 6:10:04 in front of Gerda Steyn. Congratulations to everyone who participated.
May 23, 2018
Hi, it has just hit me that I did not tell you guys how the Boston marathon went. Blame it on Facebook, follow me here I post a lot of these stories there. Here is a recap;
After months of training, I eventually got to Boston on the 13th of April. We were three training mates from Kenya-Felicita, Jack and myself. We went to the expo on the 14th and did the route tour on the same day, had lunch of Ugali, sukuma and meat on the 15th prepared by Felicita and went to relax in our rooms early in the afternoon.
I took a cab to the bus pick up point all wrapped up in plastic bags to keep the rain away,boarded the school buses that were ferrying us to the start line.We met up at the start village tent with Jack and sat there together with the thousands of other runners to keep warm as we started for the start time.The rains were already pounding.The weather on race day was expected to be harsh, but nothing could have prepared us for the actual experience. I have talked about hypothermia before in my posts, today I experienced it firsthand…serious hypothermia and it’s by God’s Grace that I finished that race.
Back to the race,we eventually headed out to the start pens and at 10 Ocklock set out Jack and I ran behind each other to clear the congestion at the first 3 kilometres.My drama started as, early as 15 kms when I had trouble taking my concoction in the running bottle. That water for me is a life line due to my severe sweating causing extreme loss of salts. Today however it was so cold and I had a huge challenge squeezing out the water with frozen numb fingers not to mention that I could hardly carry it because I couldn’t feel my fingers. Whatever I could squeeze out would also freeze my throat, which is good friends with tonsils.
At 15 k I told Jack that I would get rid of it and threw it to the side. We progressed but my head was getting migraines when the rains were heavy and at some point my vision was getting hazy. I kept asking Jack if he could see well and of coz owing to the cold rain he said a number of times that he could only see so well(This folks is not the rain we joke about in Nairobi. This is like continuously pouring ice cold water on your forehead).
At some point, I thought I was staggering and dismissed that but eventually I confirmed to myself that I was indeed staggering. I asked Jack to proceed and pulled to the side. I felt extremely dizzy and decided to take it easy. When I set off again a calf that was feeling tight in the run became very stiff so I slowed some more. The other side also froze. My lips were feeling heavy, big and numb. That feeling you get after a dentist injects you to numb your gum so that he can pull out your teeth. I struggled to 30 kms but was shivering so much and I checked into a medical text. In there were like 60 other guys some in stretchers and covered in blankets and in one room that they called Sauna there was a huge group sited next to a big heater and taking hot fluids. I joined them to warm up and made a resolve to terminate the run. After 15 minutes however, I felt better and after a huge thought process, thinking of family, friends and wondering if it was fair to expose myself again, I took a calculated risk and decided to run till the next medical tent and see whether I would manage. I got wrapped in more plastic bags and was signed out of the tent..(they would sign in all runners coming in).
I broke down the remaining distance into 5 and 7 kms and out I went.5kms for me was a point on Oloitoktok rd in our daily runs from Heron and I used that to count down the kms. I stopped taking the cold Gatorade and water in the water points and would walk into an alternate medical tent and take the hot water there. I knew that the people tracking were anxious. Every time I crossed a timing mat I knew that they would all get a relieve and that was my communication of hope to them.
The goals had shifted from finish time to just any form of finish but a finish in one piece. I have never in any race before hoped that I could get to the finish line like I did on this run. I also prayed that the decision to proceed was the right decision. I’m grateful it went well not because I was monitoring my body but because of Gods Grace. I remembered when I decided to go on with the run, a mzungu (white man) who was shivering uncontrollably and had to be assisted to sip the hot water said to me “Are you crazy? I ain’t going out again. I met the devil out there.” I still took a step of faith.
I always like to take the lesson from any occurrence good or bad. I know as runners just like any other people we do put certain expectations on ourselves and those around us also have expectations on us, which is an okay thing to do. However, at the end of the day, there are occurrences that require us to rise above these expectations and while sober be able to make the best possible informed decision despite the tides. Today I had to take that call to stop chasing time and focus on my health and well-being. The decision to carry on is on the borderline and could have gone haywire but I’m grateful to God that it went well.
It is also important for us to expect the unexpected. We saw it in the case of one runner last year that couldn’t run last minute due to injury even after travelling all the way to New York. Thank God he’s back. Some of these issues if we never imagine they can happen can depress someone severely. My comment is to prepare for the best but expect that the worst can happen. To be able to also manage expectations. Like they say there are many races but we only have this one body. Learn your body and be alert to distress signs from it.
April 13, 2018
The first Boston Marathon had only 15 participants.The event now attracts an average of about 30,000 registered participants each year. Women were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon officially until 1972. Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb is recognized by the race organizers as the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon (in 1966). In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run and finish with a race number. She finished despite an infamous incident in which race official Jock Semple tried to rip off her numbers and eject her from the race. In 1996 the B.A.A. retroactively recognized as champions the unofficial women’s leaders of 1966 through 1971. In 2015, about 46 percent of the entrants were female.
Boston marathon is one of the most difficult of the World marathon majors to get an entry into due to its requirement for runners to complete a standard marathon course certified by a national governing body affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations within a certain period of time before the date of the desired Boston Marathon (usually within approximately 18 months prior).Runners must be 18 years or older from any nation.The qualifying times are based on age as follows:
|18–34||3 h 05 min||3 h 35 min|
|35–39||3 h 10 min||3 h 40 min|
|40–44||3 h 15 min||3 h 45 min|
|45–49||3 h 25 min||3 h 55 min|
|50–54||3 h 30 min||4 h 00 min|
|55–59||3 h 40 min||4 h 10 min|
|60–64||3 h 55 min||4 h 25 min|
|65–69||4 h 10 min||4 h 40 min|
|70–74||4 h 25 min||4 h 55 min|
|75–79||4 h 40 min||5 h 10 min|
|≥80||4 h 55 min||5 h 25 min|
During the 2018 registration period, the breakdown of accepted Qualifiers was as follows:
- 4,691 Qualifiers met their qualifying time by 20 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
- 7,673 Qualifiers met their qualifying time by 10 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
- 7,505 Qualifiers met their qualifying time by 05 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
- 2,905 Qualifiers met their qualifying time by 3 minutes, 23 seconds or faster.
- 424 Qualifiers were accepted based on finishing 10 or more consecutive Boston Marathons.
256 Qualified Athletes with Disabilities are expected to be accepted beginning October 16th.
Around 30,000 Boston Marathon racers will take off from Hopkinton on Monday, April 16—but not all at once. Different athletes start at different times based on their qualification times to ease congestion.The first batch departs at 8:40 a.m., and the final wave starts running at 11:15 a.m.
The 2018 Boston Marathon start times are as follows
- Mobility Impaired: 8:40 a.m.
- Men’s Push-Rim Wheelchair: 9:02 a.m.
- Women’s Push-Rim Wheelchair: 9:04 a.m.
- Handcycles and Duos: 9:25 a.m.
- Elite Women: 9:32 a.m.
- Elite Men and Wave One: 10 a.m.
- Wave Two: 10:25 a.m.
- Wave Three: 10:50 a.m.
- Wave Four: 11:15 a.m.
Of the 6 races that make up the world marathon majors,Boston has the highest elevation drop.A difference of 450 feet above sea level from start to finish.The course has a series of hills and descend but the most devastating hill is the 350-foot elevation drop runners encounter in the first 4 miles.Going out too fast here hammers the quads and by the time you start hitting the hills,the legs have no stamina.Then there is a series of four hills between Miles 16-21.Together with the cumulative effect of sustained downhill running over the first 16 miles, this part of the course becomes so difficult.Then comes heartbreak hill at mile 21.This is a beast, rising 88 feet in about a half mile.After this there is a series of downhill with little rise for the rest of the stretch.
April 10, 2018
Tapering refers to the reduction of exercise before a competition or race.This is essential for best performance.It helps to reach the starting line at peak fitness and with maximal energy reserves.For full marathons, a taper period of 3 weeks is recommended. During this period, levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones, return to optimal ranges.Muscle damage that occurs during sustained training is also repaired. In addition immune function and muscle strength improve. The general rule is to reduce the weekly mileage to 80% or 75% with three weeks to go,60% with two weeks to go and 40% on race week.
Maintain intensity. The taper workout should be similar to what you’ve been doing the rest of your training plan but with reduced mileage. Stay as close to your typical schedule as possible (same pace on your runs, same types of workouts), just with less volume. It’s the rest more than the work that makes you strong. There is a tendency by runners to imagine that their fitness will be compromised. Studies show that fitness is not lost in the in 3 weeks of tapering. In fact, studies show that your aerobic capacity, the best gauge of fitness, doesn’t change at all. Runners targeting a time goal should do three to five miles at goal pace during a long midweek run—key workouts like this will keep the body and mind tuned into race pace.
Nutritional needs during taper. Take in a lot of protein this week to aid in the repair and recovery of muscle tissue damaged during the high-mileage phase of marathon training-(Take about 75 to 100 grams of protein per day).If you don’t eat meat, fill up on protein from eggs, beans, dairy, and soy products. The proteins should be low in fat, such as chicken, fish, lean meats, beans, and legumes. Modify the carbohydrate-based diet you’ve maintained throughout your marathon training since you will not be needing the same amounts of carbohydrates as you did during the high mileage weeks.To decrease calories but keep up carbohydrate intake, you will have to trade some of the calories coming from fat for more carbohydrates. To rebuild your literally “run-down” immune defenses and possibly prevent a cold or flu, load up on Vitamin C. Kiwis, orange juice, red bell peppers, broccoli, and strawberries are the very good for this
Tapering your other training. It’s important to approach your core, resistance, flexibility and cross training in the same way as running. Keep these to a minimum in the last 10 days and eliminate them before the race. If you are used to a few (say 10 min) minutes of stretching before taper, don’t suddenly devote half an hour to it. Do not introduce any new exercises at this point
Other factors to consider during taper
Customizing your taper
Some runners need to train more than others during their taper. If you need to do more training to stop yourself feeling sluggish that’s fine, just do not to overdo things and risk sore legs or depleted energy stores before the race.
Many runners get a sports massage in the week before the race .If you don’t regularly get massages and you’re not used to them, just get a very light massage or avoid it all together.
Remember to keep stretching. Maintain the same stretching regime as was the case before taper.
March 23, 2018
TIP 1– Why hydration is important?
Staying well hydrated is vital to A successful marathoner during training, and racing. Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop, which lowers your body’s ability to transfer heat and forces your heart to beat faster, negatively impacting performance. Blood and other fluids help remove waste products and bring nutrients to tissue for repair.Dehydration in athletes may lead to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping.
TIP 2- What to drink
One can drink water, juice, sports/isotonic drinks, tea or even coffee and tea. Some studies have however shown that caffeine may cause dehydration and cancel out its performance enhancing benefits. Sports/isotonic drinks are a mixture of water, electrolytes (sodium and potassium-which starve off cramps, nausea, and hyponatremia) and easily digestible simple sugars, which provide you with the energy needed to run for long lengths of time and also help the body to absorb fluids faster. There is no need for drinks that contain electrolytes or additional calories if doing short runs under an hour.
TIP 3- How much to drink
This is dependent on a number of factors like sweat rate, which varies from person to person, weather conditions (more hydration on hot days), distance one is running amongst others. One can determine their sweat rate by checking weight before and after say an hour’s run-http://www.runnersworld.com/hydration-dehydration/how-to-determine-how-much-to-drink. On the other hand, over hydration can lead to a serious condition called hyponatremia where the body salts are overly diluted setting off an electrolyte imbalance especially in cases of excessive salt loss in a run. Sweat test rate can be done under different weather conditions to determine how the conditions affect ones sweat rate.
Tip 4- How to hydrate
Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during and after exercise.
Ensure you are well hydrated during the few days leading up to the run. You know you’re well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day
Before race –Drink 0.25-0.5 liters one to two hours before a run another 0.125-0.25 liters an hour before race. Practice this intake during training to come up with the best intake that doesn’t give you too many bathroom stops
During the runs
Take in at least 100ml of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during the run. Plain water is sufficient for runs of less than an hour. Practice hydration strategy well before race day
After a run-Determine amount of fluid loss by weighing before and after race. For each kilogram lost during activity, drink about 1.5 litres. of fluid. If your body weight increased, you have over hydrated and you should drink less fluid in future exercise sessions.
TIP 5-Ways To Stay Hydrated While Running
- The hydration backpack-Also called camel pack. This is a bag carried on the back and it contains a water bag with a tube to drink from.
- Hydration belt – has a provision to insert one big bottle.
- Fuel belt-Has options to slot in a few small water bottles, which distributes weight around the belt.
- Handheld bottle-This bottle has a handgrip friendly shape creating a natural grip.
- Hiding bottles in strategic positions
- Ask a Friend or friends -to meet you at various spots.
- During a race–use the water and sports drink provide by the race organizers.
March 16, 2018
Tip 1- Diet –This is important for a runner not only to help maintain good health but also promote optimal performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Balanced meals for runners should comprise roughly 20 percent fats, 60 percent complex carbohydrates and 20 percent proteins. Ensure that you consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tip 2 Carbohydrates-This is the major source of fuel for endurance exercises. It is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen and used up as one runs. Whole grain pasta, steamed or boiled rice, potatoes, fruits, starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes, bagels and whole grain bread are good carbs sources. About 55 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates 25 percent should come from protein, and another 15 to 20 percent should come from unsaturated fats. Running out of glycogen in a run causes a condition that is now known hitting the wall
Tip 3 Proteins-As a runner, the body needs proteins to repair muscles, make red blood cells to deliver oxygen to your muscles, to make mitochondria in the muscles to produce energy aerobically, to maintain a strong immune system and make hormones and enzymes that maintain body functions. They should form 15-20% of a runners diet.Eat proteins that are low in fat and cholesterol such as lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, poultry, whole grains, and beans.
Tip 4 Fats Fats are an integral part of a diet. Along with carbohydrates and protein, they provide energy for the body. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, flax seed oil, canola oil, and avocados are the healthiest fats to consume. They have been linked to a decrease in heart disease. No more than 20 – 25% of your total diet should come from fats to prevent weight gain.
Tip 5 Vitamins-Exercise may produce compounds called free radicals, which can damage cells. Vitamins C, E, and A are antioxidants and can neutralize free radicals.
Minerals-Iron helps power aerobic activity because it’s necessary for the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the working muscles. Without it, aerobic capacity is hampered and fatigue sets in. Sources are lean red meat, dark poultry fortified cereals; green peas, broccoli, kidney, black, and garbanzo beans
Calcium-Calcium is important for the growth and maintenance of strong bones and has a role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission. It can be found in Low-fat or fat-free yogurt and milk.
March 9, 2018
HOW THE MARATHON DAMAGES YOUR BODY
Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and almost every physiological system is challenged when running a marathon. The body endures tremendous physical duress, even if you don’t feel sore immediately afterward.
Here are some of the scientifically measured physiological systems that are impacted after running a race.
- Skeletal Muscle
Both the intensive training for, and the marathon itself, induce inflammation and muscle fiber necrosis that significantly impaired muscle power and durability. Muscles are weakened and need extensive recovery before returning to full training.
- Cellular Damage
Cellular damage post-marathon is best measured by the presence and production of creatinine kinase (CK) — a marker that indicates damage to skeletal and myocardial tissue — and increased myoglobin levels in the blood stream. One study concluded that CK damage persisted more than seven days post-marathon while another study discovered the presence of myoglobin in the bloodstream for 3-4 days post-race. Both of these studies clearly indicate that the body needs rest after a marathon to fully recover from the cellular damage caused during the race.
Phase 1-Within the first 24 hours after racing, your highest priorities in terms of recovery are initiating muscle repair, restocking muscle glycogen stores, and rehydrating. Call it phase one of post-race recovery.
Phase 2-Rest and recovery-How quickly you return to normal training depends on the length of the race you’ve just completed, your fitness level, and when you plan to race next. If the race you’ve just completed is the last one in your current training cycle, you should feel no rush to return to normal training. In fact, you’ll be better served in the long run if you allow your body and mind to rejuvenate through a brief period of inactivity followed by a period of informal workouts, preferably featuring alternative modes of exercise/cross training e.g. swimming, gym work, yoga etc.
General guidelines to consider when planning your return to training:
- After shorter races (up to 10K): You can do your next hard run within as few as three days, if you’re a high-mileage runner. Otherwise, wait about five days.
- After a 10-miler or half-marathon: Fitter runners can go long or fast again after four or five days. More casual runners should wait at least a full week.
- After a marathon: All runners wishing to maintain a high level of fitness should do little or no running for seven days to a month based on fitness, next race etc. followed by a week of only low-intensity running. Then you can return to your normal regimen.
March 6, 2018
Aside from not running alone, staying inside the gym to use the treadmill and taking constant self-defense classes, it’s important to continue to find ways to keep yourself safe while running. Here are some precautions to take to be safe when running:
- Inform someone when going out for a run and possibly the route you will take.
- Stay on well-lit roads, avoid deserted routes. Don’t take shortcuts through woods, poorly lit area.
- If possible run with a partner. Two people are harder to control than one, so attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you’ve just doubled your chance of survival. If you don’t have someone to run with, get a dog. Dogs can sometimes sense danger before we can.
- Run against traffic so you can see what’s coming at you and because drivers will more likely see you. This also helps prevent traffic related accidents, especially if you like to run in the early morning or at dusk.
- Wear reflective, bright clothing on both the front and back to make you visible.
- Carry some kind of identification with emergency contacts for when you may need help.
- Switch It Up. Change your running route and the time you run every so often. When we run the same route, or the same two routes, day after day, it not only makes us easy targets for stalkers, we also have a tendency to zone out. Altering your route makes you harder to track and keeps you more alert during your run because you are navigating unfamiliar terrain. The more alert you are, the more likely you are to escape an attack.
Injuries and sport safety frequently seem to go hand-in-hand. However, you should adhere to correct training protocols and take some simple precautions to avoid Injuries at all costs.
- Take five to ten minutes to warm up.
A warm up should prepare your body (and mind) for your main exercise session by:
- Gradually raising the heart rate.
- Warming the muscles and connective tissues.
- Improving mobility and the functionality of all the body’s movements.
The end result is that you will be far less likely to suffer a muscle or tendon strain because your muscles will be warm, loose and ready for your workout.
- Moderate workouts with sufficient periods of rest. Rest is essential to allow your body to recover from the demands of your activity and repair microscopic damage to the muscles and associated tissues that occur during exercise. If you neglect rest, damage will become cumulative, resulting in a weakened body that is more susceptible to injury or illness. Include at least one total rest day in your training schedule each week.
- Listen to your body. Hold off on exercise when you’re sick or feeling very fatigued. Whether you are in the gym or out on a run, it is human instinct to push our bodies to the limit. No pain, no gain! Yes, you need to push yourself hard, but have in the back of your mind the rest of the week’s training. Before, during and after your runs listen to your body and do not ignore what it is telling you. If you worked extra hard in a run and pushed your body hard, reward it by recovering the best way possible. This includes eating good food and getting enough sleep.
- Choose the right gear and shoes for your kind of workout. Modern technology has made significant advances in injury prevention, particularly for footwear. You can now get exercise footwear that is designed specifically for the demands of your chosen sport, so the likelihood of injury is significantly reduced.
Take time out to visit a retailer that specializes in footwear for your sport/exercise Discuss your requirements with them so that they can give you advice on the right shoes for you.
- A good nutrition plan is at the foundation of an effective exercise program, because you have to put back into your body what you take out. If nutrition is neglected, your body will be unable to recover properly from training, which will lead to illness or injury.
Putting focus into your food intake is as valuable as your training, so:
- Eat regular, small meals to fuel your sport and replace energy fast.
- Don’t neglect protein because it is essential for growth and repair.
- Prevent energy ‘lows’ by avoiding long gaps between meals or snacks.
- Focus on ‘clean eating’ by following an unprocessed diet as much as possible.
January 12, 2018
Coming out of a season of festivities with minimal or no training over the period can be challenging. The same may be the case for those wishing to start running in the New Year. Here are tips that may help kick start your running.
1. Set a start date and find a route
2. Set goals that are within sight
3. Get a training plan
4. Don’t think. Do!
5. Enter a race
6. Keep a log.
7. Try something new
8. Join a running club
9. Listen to your body