Monday, October 30, 2006

Sorry It's been so long...

Hey everyone... Sorry it's been so long, I was sick for a while, and then We just moved into a new place. It has been crazy. But things are getting back to normal, and I plan to get back to running soon...and posting great articles and tips too!!!! Keep up the training, and good luck to everyone who will be running in their marathon this week! Let me know how it goes!

Talk Soon,

The Marathon Professor

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why Run???

To feel better -- physically, mentally, emotionally. Running is among the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. Studies have shown the health benefits to be enormous, reducing the likelihood of everything from the common cold to cancer. Your stamina will increase. You'll lose weight; most beginners lose nearly a pound a week.

Just as important, running -- like many forms of exercise -- is a great cure for stress, emotional strain, even mild depression. You'll likely find yourself with fewer headaches and more energy, patience, humor and creativity. Studies have found that healthy adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don't.

And running, quite simply, is convenient. You don't need any elaborate gear. No special playing field or apparatus. No need to juggle the schedules of others. Just a pair of shoes and the inclination to get out the door.

You've probably started running for the physical benefits, but you will quickly discover other, more metaphysical rewards. Yep, no kidding: Metaphysical. Health reasons may be why most start running, but it's the less tangible benefits that finally motivate us to persist, to become "runners."

While running can be a social activity, it is more frequently an opportunity to spend a little time with yourself and your thoughts, a chance to develop an increased self-awareness. As you become more aware of the nuances and condition of your own body, you also discover things about your inner self.

Many say they are at their most creative and lucid, even meditative, during their runs, as the worries of the day slip away. Confidence increases as you push your own limits, meeting goals and often surprising yourself by exceeding your own expectations. Running is a sport of discipline, sometimes of sacrifice, and always of self-reliance. You may surprise yourself with your capacity for all three. The personal rewards can be quite powerful. from

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hot Weather Running

There’s good and bad news about running in the heat. First, the bad news: When the temperature rises about 55 degrees F (10 degrees C), you’re going to run more slowly and feel worse than you will at lower temperatures. But by gradually preparing yourself for increased temperatures and taking action from the beginning of hot weather runs, you’ll get a welcome dose of the good news. You’ll learn how to hydrate yourself, what to wear, and when and how much your body can take in hot weather, all of which will help you recover faster and run better than others of your ability on hot days. While even the most heat-adapted runners won’t run as fast on hot days as they can on cold ones, they won’t slow down as much nor will they feel as much discomfort.

Until the temperature rises to about 65 degrees F, most runners don’t notice much heat buildup, even though it is already putting extra burdens on the system. It takes most folks about 30 to 45 minutes of running (with or without walk breaks) to feel warm. But soon after that, if the temperature is above about 62 degrees F, you’re suddenly hot and sweating. On runs and especially races under those conditions, most runners have to force themselves to slow down. It’s just too easy to start faster than you should when the temperature is between 60 and 69 degrees F because it feels cool at first.

As the mercury rises about 65 degrees F, your body can’t get rid of the heat building up. This causes a rise in core body temperature and an early depletion of fluids through sweating. The internal temperature rise also triggers the rapid dispersion of blood into the capillaries of the skin, reducing the amount of that vital fluid that is available to the exercising muscles. Just when those workhorses are being pushed to capacity, they are receiving less oxygen and nutrients. What used to be a river becomes a creek and can’t remove the waste products of exercise (such as lactic acid). As these accumulate, your muscles slow down.


The best time for hot weather running is before sunrise. The more you can run before sunrise, the cooler you will feel, compared with how you’ll feel later in the day. The second best time to run, by the way, is right after sunrise, unless the temperature cools off dramatically at sunset, which would make that time more favorable. In humid areas, however, it usually doesn’t cool down much after sunset.

Some tips on how to say cool at 55 degrees F or above:

Slow down early – The later you wait to slow down, the more dramatically you’ll slow down at the end and the longer it will take to recover from the run. Walk breaks, early and often, help you lower the exertion level, which conserves resources for the end and reduces heat buildup.

Wear lighter garments – Loose-fitting clothes allow heat to escape. Don’t wear cotton clothing. Sweat soaks into cotton, causing it to cling to your skin, increasing heat buildup. Several materials will wick the perspiration away from your skin: Coolmax, polypro, etc. As moisture leaves your skin, you receive a cooling effect, and these types of materials are designed for this.

Pour water over yourself – Up to 70 percent of the heat you can lose goes out through the top of your head so regularly pour water over your hair (even if, like me, you are hair challenged). Regularly pouring water on a light, polypro (or a similar material) singlet or tank top will keep you cooler.

Drink cold water – Not only does cold water leave the stomach of a runner quicker than any type of fluid, it produces a slight physiological cooling effect – and an even greater psychological cooling effect. But don’t drink too much either. by Jeff Galloway (Shelter Publications, 2001) pp. 171-172

Monday, October 16, 2006

It Takes More Than Just Shoes For Proper Marathon Training

Hey everyone. .. This is a basic article, but it has some very good points that I very much agree with about training for a marathon (Eating right during marathon training. I.E. cutting out the caffine, smoking, etc.)

By Morgan Hamilton

If you are planning to start marathon training you should know that it is quite a bit harder than the actual marathon. In a real marathon, you run and after you finish you can enjoy a half year or even a year off. During that time the memories of the agony you've felt are fading away and one day when you've forgotten it you decide to go for it again. On the other hand, marathon training is much worse as you cannot take such long breaks. Actually you should run the allotted miles every single day and you should try to increase them every week, completely exhausting your body.

If you are serious about preparing yourself for a marathon, you will have to get up early in the morning and start running before you've even had the chance to drink your morning coffee. Actually, you should forget about drinking coffee if you are marathon training. For breakfast you are allowed to have orange juice, milk or plain water. In case you are seriously considering a marathon, then you should start jogging around the track for two hours early in the morning. Thus, you will need to change your diet if you want to succeed.

If preparing for the big race you should forget about sugar as well. You will not be allowed to have soda, candies and everything worth eating, either. If you are in marathon training you will need proteins and will start counting the grams of fat you consume. You will have to do many sacrifices, for example ordering a wheat grass shake at Starbucks than having your favourite latte. Let me be honest with you, marathon training completely changes your outlook on the world.

However, there are also some great things about marathon training. If you are serious with it, you will get into excellent shape. Of course, this won't happen if you are cheating with a box of chocolates under your bed. Everyone wants to have more energy. You can get that by marathon training. Apart from that, running around increases your lung capacity unless you are a smoker. Did I forget to mention you should give up smoking if you are serious with marathon?

If you have never trained marathon before, you might consider hiring a pro to give you a hand. However, you can also do it yourself. Hiring a trainer is quite an expensive thing but it is worth the money if you want to achieve something more than just crossing the finish line of the marathon race. Generally speaking professional marathon training will properly prepare you for the big day and to have someone to push you and hold you accountable is very useful in certain situations. For example, it would be easier for you to get up early in the morning if you know your trainer will be at the track waiting for you to show up.

As far as money matters are concerned, it is best to do it yourself in order to cut the costs. Maybe you can find a good friend of yours who will hold you accountable. This might be a valuable idea unless you are both too lazy. Just imagine you both don't show up at the track and miss training, would that do you any good? I suppose not. Of course, in case you both need motivation you can try to push each other but this doesn't work all the time.

Article Source:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bathroom Issues

Hey everyone. I have had quite a few people tell me they are having some issues with having to go to the bathroom during long runs. Some men may suffer from this, but the condition generally happens to women. A high percentage of female runners will experience this problem at some point in their lives. Since I personally don't suffer from this problem, I can only tell you what I have learned from my own studies and from talking to other runners with the problem. Having said that, I still believe I can help if this is a problem for you.

***NOTE*** If you do have personal experience with this issue please feel free to post a comment to help everyone. I think you can post anonymously if you want.

***NOTE #2*** I am not a doctor. What I say below is just what I have learned over the years, not medical advice. I can't be responsible for anything you might try from reading this article. Please remember that.

Here we go...

First off let's start with the basics. If you haven’t tried varying my diet, cutting out ibuprophen, not eating anything for HOURS before, etc. That should be the first place to begin. Apply only one at a time so you can pinpoint what might be the cause.

If none of those changes seem to help, try taking Immodium AD an hour or so before your long run. You can also take along some Immodium AD chew tablets to take during the run. This seems to work for many people. Here is a quote from someone about this remedy:

"I read a few months ago in a forum about the Immodium helping some people with similar problems so I started taking one every morning (the chewable kind, not that it makes a difference). My situation DRAMATICALLY improved. From what I've read so far there's no ill side effects with this therapy. Now before a race, long run or dinner out I take two that day and it's done the trick. I realize this might not work for everyone, but it was a Godsend to me. I feel like I got my life back! To all of you who suffer with this, I'm right there with you and sympathize immensely. "

The next tip may be a little extreme for people, and should only be used occasionally (I.E) right before a race). If it is a problem with muscle control some people use an enema before running anything "important", they flush you out pretty well and there are no medicinal effects. But, you wouldn't want to use one too regularly. Many women have problems after childbirth, and this could be an option for them... although a little extreme.

Your next option is to visit a Gastroenterologist. They have the medical knowledge to handle specific situation when given the full details. They specialize in gastrointestinal diseases and disorders and should be able to give you stronger medications or treatments if the tips above don't help. Don't be even the slightest bit embarrassed; believe me, they hear stuff like this 20 times a day. It's how they make a living. Make sure you visit one who has treated runners before. I have heard about people who go to the doctor and just get the Immodium bit and pushed out the door.

Next, I have heard that it is somewhat common for runners who have Crohn's disease to experience a need to go to the bathroom while running. I know it sounds scary, but this might be an avenue to check out if nothing is working.

Here is a tip you might not have thought of: acupuncture. Some people claim it can do wonders for all sorts of IBS syndromes and other GI symptoms. I am just passing this along...I have never done it, so take this tip for what it's worth. Here are some websites to help you find a qualified acupuncturist in you area.

Basically in conclusion, you just have to try a bunch of different things and see what works. My personal advice is to try the basic stuff first. If that doesn't work go for the Immodium AD. If that still doesn't do it, consider seeing a doctor. I hope this helps, and remember you are not alone in this problem. Many people run into this issue, and for the most part it can be taken care of.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Treatment of Stitches

I have had quite a few people tell me they have been having problems with stitches. So for those of you out there that suffer from this, here we go...

A "side stitch" is a sharp, intense pain under the lower edge of the ribcage caused by a muscle spasm of the diaphragm. Such pain can occur during vigorous exercise, such as running, and seems to occur more commonly in novice exercisers who have not yet established proper pacing and who tend to breathe more quickly and shallow. However, about 30% of all runners will experience stitches at some point. What exactly causes them? On inhalation, we take air into the lungs, pressing the diaphragm downward. When we exhale, the diaphragm moves up. If the body has some trapped air/gas below the diaphragm, if we've eaten too close to exercise, or if we start exercising too vigorously, the diaphragm may cramp, causing pain under the rib cage on the right side.

As with any muscle cramp, the best immediate treatment is to try to stretch the cramping muscle as much as possible. How do you get to the diaphragm on the inside of your body?, Try altering your breathing pattern. Take a deep breath in as quickly as you can, to force the diaphragm down. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds and then forcibly exhale through pursed lips to restrict the outward air flow. You may also find that bending forward can help you expel as much air as possible. I have actually found that stretching up as tall as I could, even to the point of extending arms up over head, then alternating crouch-tall and tightening/flexing the abs, helped as well.

You may even have to stop and walk briskly for a few seconds while concentrating on deep breathing. Continue running after the stitch goes away. If you get a cramp in the middle of a race, you might want to try mixing up your rhythmic breathing/ striding pattern. If you always exhale when your right foot strikes the ground, try exhaling with the left foot strike. The organs attached to the diaphragm on the left side of the body aren't quite as big as those on the right side, hence there is less strain on the diaphragm. Another technique that may work for some is peaceful visualization--if you are feeling stressed from the day or race, try imagining you are elsewhere, and take deep calming breaths as you run. from runners rescue

I hope that helps.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hello Everyone

I'm glad to hear everyone is doing great in their training! I got some good ideas from your emails and will be posting some great articles over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Talk Soon,

The Marathon Professor

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ankle Pain

Tips for diagnosing and treating ankle twists, sprains and breaks.

There's no missing it when this happens. You're running along, you step in a hole, and -- bam! -- your foot turns sideways, and pain flames through your ankle and lower leg. The pain may not be too extreme at first, but if the twist is serious enough, swelling follows and probably a few bruises, too.


Stop running immediately after the twist. You should take this seriously, even if the pain seems mild. Too many runners do a little obligatory limping then start running again only a minute or two after twisting an ankle. It's a big mistake, and it will make the pain and swelling a lot worse if you have sprained or broken the ankle. What might have been a mild sprain can become a chronic one if you try to run through it.

When you get home, elevate your foot by putting it up on a chair and then ice your ankle. This is the prescription for the next 24 hours: keep the foot up and ice constantly, ten minutes on, ten minutes off. When you go to bed, prop your foot up with a pillow or two.

The next day, if there is little or no swelling, it was probably only a mild twist. No worries. But if the ankle is swollen and painful, you have either a fracture or some torn ligaments (a sprain). See a doctor right away. If it's a break the doctor will put your ankle in a walking boot or a hard cast, but if it's a sprain you may get away with only a taped ankle or a soft cast. The idea here is to limit your ankle's range of motion to help healing. Do not run until all pain and swelling have disappeared. by Josh Clark from coolrunning

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Learn Everything You Can About Marathon Training

Read and learn as much as you can about marathon training. In addition to the large number of books on the topic, monthly magazines such as Runner's World frequently feature articles about marathon training and racing. Search the web for credible sites addressing the marathon.

Additionally, ask others who have previously run marathons for their advice. Join a running club or an organization that promotes marathon training and racing. With so much information and training philosophies available for you to consider, assimilate all the data and find a reputable program that you feel both comfortable with and that meets your needs/goals.

Finally, it is very important to consult with your coach on a regular basis so that your training program can be modified when necessary due to injury and/or fatigue.