Newsletter Archives: Volume20, March 2000
A Word on Motivation
After six to 12 months of regular exercise, most runners have made
the lifestyle adjustments which make exercise a scheduled and important
part of the day. Before we get to that point, it's necessary to
make an effort to reinforce the regularity of exercise and maintain
the daily run or walk as a top priority. Sometimes it's as simple
as learning to appreciate the rewards, such as relaxing endorphins.
You've been receiving them all along, but you didn't take time to
But everyone will have to find some extra insertions of fun from
time to time. Some runners look for different birds or flowers during
a run. Others test the winter ice and look forward to the challenge
of layering to meet the colder temperatures. A dip in the pool or
a mid-run shower can get you out the door and keep you out there
when the thermometer tops the 85-degree mark. Some of my college
track teammates broke roadside bottles for entertainment. So let's
talk about getting started, whether you're taking your first steps
or trying to get out the door on a low motivation day.
Most of those who say they just need a little motivation to get
into shape are only dreaming. Yes, they have a dream of being a
stronger, firmer, more active person, but the dream is not attached
to the behaviors which bring it into reality. Dreams are the illusive
things that go through your head at night. An image without a series
of weekly workouts will stay, merely, an image. If you really want
to change behaviors, believing that you can is only the first step.
It is the behavioral vision of moving the legs every other day which
can change body shape and improve mental outlook. An idea or image
is powerful only if it is practiced, refined and then changed into
a vision of permanent lifestyle fun-running.
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway, Phidippides Publication,
2000, p. 80
Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play.
It's a simple, natural form of speed training that can be worked
into any daily run. During a run of a given distance, you accelerate
- to the next telephone pole, to the end of the block, to any landmark.
When you have pushed as long and as fast as you want (or can), you
jog to recover. Then when you feel like it, you take off again.
Fartlek is speed training at your own pace. It
is intuitive, free-form, without prescribed distances or speeds.
You can run according to how you feel on that day, at that moment.
Fartlek is speedwork, but it can be playful and creative.
Fartlek variations. Two popular fartlek variations
are hill fartlek and timed segments. Hill fartlek begins with a
normal non-stressful pace (about one minute slower per mile than
10K race pace). When you come to a hill, accelerate up and over
the top - then jog to recover. When you recover, resume your original
pace until the next hill.
In timed segment fartlek, you run one minute, two minutes, three
minutes, etc., slightly faster than race pace. After a gentle warm-up
of 10-20 minutes of easy running, then 4-8 form accelerations (see
pp. 154-155 of Galloway's Book on Running), precede the first segment.
Rest enough in between segments for recovery. The total number of
segments is up to you.
Not for beginners. Fartlek does not give a beginner
enough structure or feedback to learn a sense of pace. Many veterans
who are already "pace-wise," however, can benefit from a fartlek
session. While interval training gives the beginner exact feedback,
it confines the veteran. Fartlek allows you to play with your limits
of speed, tiredness and endurance without stopping at the end of
the lap. In this way you learn to cope with race-like discomfort
and the anxiety of not knowing how long you can cope before slowing
down. Beginners run a high risk of injury in fartlek training while
veterans, more sensitive to stress, should know when to back off.
(from Galloway's Book on Running, Shelter Publications, 1984, pp.
This free-form method of speed development can accomplish all of
the objectives of interval training and add a mental strengthening
component to your training. Used as a substitute for interval training
or other speed play, fartlek is usually performed on non-long-run
weekends instead of mile repeats.
The "speed" part of fartlek should equal the total distance equal
to the number of mile repeats you would have done on the track,
according to the time goal schedule you are following.
Make sure that you're resting the legs by walking between the speed
By shifting back and forth between use of muscle groups, you'll
develop greater performance capacity. For example, instead of running
the same pace throughout a fartlek session, you can alternate between
pace running, accelerations, gliding and speed-effort.
The speed segments should be at least 3/4 mile long but give better
marathon conditioning if they are one mile or longer (1600 to 3000
meters). Let's say that you choose a segment that is 1.2 miles long
(about 2000 meters).
1. Start the segment at marathon pace.
2. Several times during the first .6 mile (1000 meters), put in
some acceleration-gliders which would vary between 100 and 200 meters,
each time going back to marathon pace. In other words, start at
marathon, accelerate for 50 meters and glide for 50 to 100 meters,
returning to marathon pace. Repeat this process two or three times.
3. From about .8 mile to 1.1 mile, shift into "speed effort" and
pick up the pace to about 25 to 30 seconds per mile faster than
marathon goal pace, and then glide during the last .1 mile.
4. Walk for three to five minutes between each fartlek session.
5. Four of these fartlek segments may be done in place of a 6 x
1 mile marathon speed session.
6. The three other segments may vary between 1.3 and 1.8 miles
Fartlek Running Modes:
marathon pace - running smooth and natural so that you feel comfortable
at that pace
accelerations - picking up the turnover for a short distance, not
spending much effort
gliders - relaxed and quick turnover motion which follows an acceleration
with practically no effort expended
speed effort - picking up the turnover for a longer distance, running
faster than goal pace. You'll spend some effort doing this, but
try to stay smooth and comfortable for the duration of the pick-up.
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway, Phidippides Publication,
2000, pp. 143-144
Another Difference Between Men and Women
Men tend to store fat on the surface of the body, often on the
outside of the stomach area. Most females store fat internally at
first. Thousands of areas between muscle cells are filled up first.
Many young women feel that some dramatic change has occurred around
the age of 30 when they suddenly start showing fat accumulation
on the outside of their bodies, while maintaining the same diet
and level of exercise. They've actually been storing fat inside
for many years. Once the inner areas are filled, women notice a
dramatic change on the outside of their thighs or stomachs, often
in less than a year.
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway, Phidippides Publication,
2000, p. 48
Question: My wife has decided to enter her first
marathon at San Diego on 4 Jun 00. We ran off copies of your "Beginner"
and "Finish" programs, and I was very surprised that neither schedule
called for her to do more than 40 minutes of walk/run during the
week while doing ever-increasing long walk/runs (up to 20+ miles).
Are we interpreting the schedules correctly? It seems like an awfully
big jump to me to go from a max of 40 minutes each week 4-5 miles)
to eventual long runs of20+ miles. I realize you know much more
about this than I do as this will only be my fifth marathon, and
I crashed from dehydration after the Houston Marathon in Jan 00.
The schedules I have followed have included hills, speedwork, tempo
runs, and long runs. I just want to ensure that I get my wife on
the correct schedule so that her first marathon is successful and
as much fun as possible.
She is 43, is currently up to eight miles on her walk/runs, and
has completed one half-marathon in the past (about two years ago).
I believe her average walk/run pace is about 10-11 minutes per mile.
Please direct us to the proper schedule for her to use so that San
Diego is a positive experience for her. Thanks for your time.
Answer: Yes, you don't need to run much during
the week to finish a marathon. In fact, those who have problems
with our program almost always add to the program and stay tired,
crashing during the marathon due to lingering fatigue throughout
The long run prepares you for the marathon. As long as she does
this slowly enough, with walk breaks, your wife will be as prepared
to finish as any of the leaders of the race.
A prime reason that you struggled at Houston was the heat. The
marathon seems endless on hot days.
Question: For a three-hour marathon goal (previous
PR of 3:11), should I do 30 second or 60 second walk breaks? Thanks.
Answer: The formula that's worked best for2:45-3:05
marathons is a 10-15 second walk break every mile.
Question: I've been reading (and training by)
Jeff Galloway's Marathon! book. Would appreciate if you could please
advise what degree - or range - of inclination you prefer when doing
Answer: Make the hill very easy at first. You
want to feel strong and resilient all the way past the top of the
hill. If the hill is too easy, go to a slightly steeper one, until
you reach the degree of difficulty that works best for you.
The Athlete's Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark, MS, RD, March, 2000
Food Variety: The Spice of Life
"My diet is so boring...I eat the same foods every day."
"The waitress at the cafe no longer asks me what I want
for breakfast. She knows I’ll have black coffee, orange juice, and
a toasted bagel without cream cheese."
"Is it bad to eat the same foods day after day...?"
Many athletes eat the same foods every day, day after day, week
after week, year after year. Their typical menu is based upon bagels,
turkey breast, pasta, chicken breast, frozen yogurt, and pretzels.
This repetition keeps life simple, eliminates decisions, and feels
safe--safe from "getting fat" by eating foods with unknown calories,
as well as safe from eating the "wrong food" which might contribute
to digestive upset while exercising.
Some athletes are content with their self described "boring diet."
But if you eat a repetitive diet and wonder about the healthfulness
of this pattern, you might want to think about the benefits of eating
more of a variety of foods.
- Eating a variety of foods helps you consume a wider variety
of nutrients. For example, if your only fruit is apples, you’ll
fail to get the folic acid that’s found in oranges. If your primary
protein source is chicken breast, you’ll miss out on the iron
and zinc that’s better found in beef.
- Eating a variety of foods reduces the chances of getting excessive
amounts of a food that might be harmful. For example, if the grapes
you eat every day happen to have a bad pesticide on them, you’ll
consume a higher dose than if you were to alternate grapes with
bananas, oranges, and kiwi. Or, if you eat several nutrient fortified
energy bars every day, you might get too much of one mineral,
which could create an imbalance with other another mineral eaten
in smaller amounts.
- Eating a variety of foods reduces the needs for supplements.
By eating many types of foods, you can better consume more of
the over 600 known compounds that food offers including not only
the 13 known vitamins and 22 essential minerals, but also numerous
other minerals, phytochemicals, fibers, and health protectors
found in whole foods.
Whole foods offer more nutrients, and better absorbed nutrients,
than do pills. For example, the iron in meat is absorbed better
than that in pills. The fiber in bran cereal is preferable to taking
a fiber supplement or laxatives. Getting calcium from milk replaces
the need for calcium supplements.
Calcium aside, milk drinkers have a diet that is overall more nutrient
dense compared to milk abstainers. Forget the story: "I don’t drink
milk...I take a calcium supplement instead." You fool only yourself
by thinking a pill (or 2 or 20) can replace a variety of whole foods!
- Eating a variety of foods enhances your overall health. Studies
suggest that people who eat from a wide variety of food groups
tend to be healthier and have a reduced risk of disease, including
heart disease and diabetes. At each meal, you should plan to eat
from at least three of the five foods groups: 1. grain, 2. fruit,
3. vegetable, 4. meat, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, and other protein-rich
foods, and 5. low fat milk, yogurt, dairy and other calcium-rich
foods. You should also eat different types of foods within each
group. For example, by eating a variety of differently colored
fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, spinach, oranges, watermelon,
blueberries), you will consume a variety of the anti-oxidants
that protect against the formation of cataracts in your eyes.
Because eating a variety of foods is so important, the nutrition
professionals in Australia have launched a food campaign to encourage
Australians to eat 20 to 30 different foods a week. Currently, most
Australians eat only 15 to 18 different foods. I’d dare say the
same holds true in this country (if not fewer)!
Let’s count the number of foods typically eaten by two types of
Example #1. The weight-conscious exerciser:
1. bagel, 2. turkey breast, 3. sandwich bread, 4. lettuce, 5. tomato,
6. pretzels, 7. apple, 8. energy bar, 9. yogurt, 10. spaghetti,
11. spaghetti sauce, 12. broccoli, 13. fatfree frozen yogurt. Oops...only
Example #2. Junk food Junkie:
1. coffee, 2. Big Mac, 3. Coke, 4. chocolate chip cookies, 5. M&Ms,
6. pizza, 7. Chinese fried rice, 8. ice cream, 9. potato chips,
10. beer. (How many of these items even count towards "real" food...???)
What's your number?
Now, it’s your turn to do your math! For the fun of it (and for
your education, as well), write down what you eat for a week and
count the number of different foods you consume. How did you do?
If the number looks grim, here are some tips for enhancing food
Bagels: select from a variety--pumpernickel, rye,
whole wheat, poppy, sunflower seed. Top with jam, peanut butter,
almond butter, low fat cottage cheese, lite cream cheese, lox.
Sandwich fillings: there’s life beyond turkey
breast! Lean roast beef (the kind you can get in a deli) is a fine
alternative and offers far more vitamins and minerals. Peanut butter
provides positive fats that lower the risk of heart disease. Tuna
with lite mayo is OK, as is hummus.
Snacks: Be creative and bypass yet another rice
cake, pretzel, or energy bar. How about almonds and dried fruit,
yogurt with granola, apple with low fat cheese, vegetable soup with
rye crackers, graham crackers with peanut butter? Target two foods
per snack (and three+ foods per meal). Consider cutting back on
energy bars for routine snacks. Most are little more than sugar
coated vitamin pills with a little added protein. They commonly
lack fiber and phytochemicals--the important components of the fruits
they tend to displace from the athlete’s snack menu.
Pasta: Pasta is not a vitamin packed food; the
tomato sauce on top and the veggies on the side add the nutritional
power to the pasta meal, as does the protein in the lean beef, turkey,
tofu or beans added to the sauce. Round out the meal with low fat
milk, salad (lettuce, carrot, pepper, tomato), crusty whole grain
bread, and berries for dessert.
You'll enjoy a 10-food sports meal that invests in both performance
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, is nutrition counselor at Boston-area's SportsMedicine
Brookline and author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook,
2nd Edition, available by sending $20 to Sports Nutrition Services,
830 Boylston St. #205, Brookline MA 02467 or via www.nancyclarkrd.com.
Injury of the Month: Hamstring
In Marathon!, Jeff says that if your hamstrings are tired or sore,
"You're lifting the foot behind you too far and/or extending stride
too long. The longer stride is particularly a problem at the end
of the long run as it overextends muscles like the hamstring, which
are already tight and tired. Try to keep stride short, especially
at the end of the run. Your back leg motion should have the lower
part of the leg parallel to the horizontal - at its highest elevation."
(from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway, Phidippides Publication,
2000, pp. 171-172)
Recently, Jeff received an email from a runner with hamstring problems.
Here are the runner's questions and Jeff's answers:
I am an aging baby boomer who used to run long distance (10-15
miles) in high school. I stopped running after college and am now
getting back into it, with an eye on doing a marathon. I have been
running regularly again (3-4 times a week) for 7 months. I have
a question for you. Recently I started to have a pain in my right
hamstring, the side of my leg not in back. After running I would
find myself walking with a limp the day of my run, especially up
and down stairs. I backed off running for a week. When I returned
to running the pain returned. I backed off running for two weeks
and then began again. I am doing 3 miles currently and although
my hamstring still feels funny on my right side after runs, it doesn’t
“hurt” and I don’t limp, even going up and down stairs. Of course
I don’t want to re injure myself, so here are my questions:
1.) I tend to run fast during practice runs. Ffrom your writings
I get the impression that perhaps I should train at slower speeds?
Do you think that could help?
Jeff: When your hamstring hurts, don't stretch
it and don't run anything that could stretch it out--such as fast
running or racing. I'd take 5 days off from running, talk to a doctor
about using anti-inflammatories, and look into deep tissue massage
2.) I run 4-5 miles three times a week at the local YMCA. They
have a 1/15th mile indoor track. Five miles means 75 laps. The track
direction switches during the week, but there is a lot of cornering.
Could the constant leaning while running through corners be contributing
to my problem?
Jeff: The lean will only aggravate a hamstring
when your stride is too long.
3.) I use general over the counter tennis shoes, could changing
to a running shoe help? And if so do you recommend a shoe type for
Jeff: The primary lesson I've learned from owning
a running store for almost 30 years is that you need to get good
advice from skilled running store experts to get the best shoe for
you. The running shoes are prescriptive. While running shoes won't
help your injury situation, they will make running more fun and
4.) Could certain hamstring stretching exercises or weights help
build my hamstring up and help prevent injury?
Jeff: Just the opposite. Stretching will keep
the hamstring injured. Weight exercises for the legs are almost
always counterproductive to distance running.
Thanks for any suggestions you can give me. I currently have you
book Galloway’s Book on running and found it to be very informative
and helpful. I see that you have a new book about preparing for
a Marathon and running with “walk breaks”. I think I might try your
“walk break” program out and see if I like it.
Training for your brain: Staying fit as you age helps you learn
tasks faster and process new information better, according to research
published in the Journal of Aging & Physical Activity. (from Motivation
edited by Eileen Portz-Shovlin, Runner's World, April, 2000, p.
What is hyponatremia? In the March 2000 issue
of Runner Triathlete News, (p. 14) Mark Jenkins, M.D. explains it
as "a low concentration of sodium in the blood. When it occurs in
runners and triathletes, it usually happens during long or ultra-distance
races in the heat - but may occur anytime. It is estimated that
approximately 30% of the finishers of the Hawaii Ironman are both
hyponatremic and dehydrated. The longer the race, the greater the
risk of hyponatremia." (For more information, go to www.runnertriathletenews.com
or to Dr. Jenkins' website at www.rice.edu/~jenky
High tech race entry: As most people know, the
Marine Corps Marathon filled its 22,500 spots in just 96 hours!
The on-line number was more than 13,000! It was expected to take
five or six months to fill up or four months at the very least!
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