Newsletter: Volume 39, May 2002
Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. It's a free-form
method of speed development that 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 those weekends when
you are not making a long run and instead of mile repeats.
During a run of a given distance, you accelerate - to the next
telephone pole, to a tree, 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, without prescribed distances
or speeds. You can run according to how you feel on that day, at
that moment. It is speedwork, but it can be playful and creative.
Lasse Viren, the four-time Olympic gold medalist in 5K and 10K
from Finland, did none of his speed training on the track during
his eight years of Olympic training. Fartlek can give you
all the speed training you need, plus psychological strength benefits.
Fartlek is not for beginners. It 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.
The mental tenacity you receive from fartlek training is enhanced
because you are not setting specific limits on where you'll end
each segment, each acceleration, each glider. By going beyond artificial
barriers, you'll learn to coordinate intuitively the performance
demands of the running body with available resources. Fartlek
desensitizes you to the discomfort and uncertainty of pushing, gliding,
and pacing beyond your current limits. Like other training components,
fartlek must be done regularly to force the systems to work together,
to coax out adaptations from the exercising muscle cells, and to
develop the intuitive capacity to become more efficient in every
way. By pushing through mental and physical barriers at the same
time, you'll find yourself continuing to run when you are tired
or unmotivated. Fartlek develops a sense of focus and resource
coordination not found in other forms of training.
From Galloway's Book on Running,
2nd edition (Shelter Publications, 2002), p. 126-128, and Marathon
You Can Do It (Shelter Publications, 2002), p. 71-72
More than a running camp...
Jeff's running retreats in Squaw Valley will be July 5-12 and July
12-14 this year. For more info, go to our Retreats
page. His guests this year will include Joe Henderson, Bob Anderson,
Dr. Gary Moran, Sister Marion Irvine and Dr. David Hannaford. Come
and see why so many people come back year after year.
Need a little motivation boost?
It could be low blood sugar. You may be just half an energy bar
away from motivation. If your exercise time is mid-day or later,
and you feel tired and unmotivated, low blood sugar is often the
case of your "exercise blues." Waiting for more than two
hours to eat a balanced snack or meal (high-sugar foods don't count)
will only lower your concentration and motivation. Low blood sugar
is a significant stress on your system, causing the left side of
your brain to unleash a stream of messages, such as "You'll
feel better tomorrow, take the day off," "You have too
much to do," or "The couch is waiting for you." An
energy snack, with water, coffee, etc., about one hour before exercise,
will often reverse the negative thoughts and get you off the couch.
Marathon June 8
Jeff's clinics will be in Park City, UT, June 7, 6:00 & 8:00 p.m.,
St. Mary's Catholic Church
This should be on your list for a summer marathon. While you earn
your marathon T-shirt, there are lots of things for friends and
family members to see and do in this recent Olympic City. The Galloways
will be there to enjoy the clinics, the great dry climate and the
excitement of the marathon. http://www.pcmarathon.com
Distance Run August 31
Chicago Half Marathon
October 13 - I just visited this beautiful city of trails
to kick off the training season for the Durango Marathon. This is
the first marathon in this area and it will be memorable. Put it
on your calendar! JG
Corps Marathon October 27
Tips for Running in the Heat
Beat the sun, and you'll beat the heat. 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.
How to Stay Cool: Slow down early. Walk breaks, early and
often, help you lower the exertion level, which conserves resources
for the end and reduces heat build-up. 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
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 build-up. Several
materials will wick the perspiration away from your skin: Coolmax,
polypro, etc. As moisture leaves your skin, you receive the cooling
effect that these types of materials are designed for.
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. But don't drink too much either. Most
of us do well with between six and 10 ounces an hour during warm
weather. Drink until you hear sloshing in your stomach, then stop.
When the sloshing sound goes away, resume drinking.
From Galloway's Book on Running,
2nd edition (Shelter Publications, 2002), p. 61-62
Run the original . . . 2002 Athens Marathon
The course of the Athens Marathon covers what may be the very ground
that Phidippides followed 2500 years ago. When you run the Athens
marathon you travel in the very footsteps of the ancient gods and
heroes that gave birth to western civilization. You can almost feel
Phidippides running beside you. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience
you'll never forget.
Paul Samaras of Apostolos Greek Tours is taking another group to
Athens for the Marathon this year. He is a Greek native now living
in Denver. He will be your personal guide as you explore the Parthenon,
Delphi, Epidavros, Athens' fabled Plaka and other historic sites.
For more info, contact Paul at email@example.com.
The Athlete's Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark April, 2002
Ever since Dr. Atkins came out with his carbohydrate-bashing high
protein diet, active people (who had been happily enjoying bagels,
pasta and pretzels as the foundation of their meals) have suddenly
started shunning these excellent sources of muscle fuel. Instead,
they are eating more egg whites, cottage cheese, soy shakes and
protein-based foods. But questions abound about the role of carbohydrates
in the sports diet--as well as concerns about insulin and the glycemic
effect of foods. The purpose of this article is to address the current
state of carbohydrate confusion and provide some clarity for active
people who want to eat wisely for good health, high energy, weight
control and top performance.
Q: Are carbs fattening? ... Should I eat less of them?
A. Carbohydrates are not inherently fattening. Excess calories are
fattening. Excess calories of carbohydrates (bread, bagels, pasta)
are actually less fattening than are excess calories of fat (butter,
mayonnaise, frying oils) because the body has to spend calories
to convert excess carbohydrates into body fat. In comparison, the
body easily converts excess calories of dietary fat into body fat.
This means, if you are destined to be gluttonous but want to suffer
the least weight gain, you might want to indulge in (high carb)
frozen yogurt instead of (high fat) gourmet ice cream.
Q. Is there a difference between the carbs from starchy foods (like
breads) vs the carbs in fruits and vegetables or in candy? A. As
far as your muscles are concerned, there is no difference. You can
carbo-load on jelly beans, bananas or brown rice; they are biochemically
similar. Sugars and starches both offer the same amount of energy
(16 calories per teaspoon) and both get stored as glycogen in muscles
or used for fuel by the muscles and brain (via the blood sugar).
The sugar in jelly beans is a simple compound, one or two molecules
linked together. The starch in brown rice is a complex compound,
hundreds to thousands of sugar molecules linked together. Sugars
can convert into starches and starches can convert into sugars.
For example- -
- When a banana is green (not ripe), it is starchy. As it gets
older, it becomes sweeter; in fruits, the starch converts into
- When peas are young, they are sweet. As they get older, they
get starchier; in vegetables, the sugar converts into starch.
Grain foods (wheat, rice, corn, oats) also store their energy
as complex strands of sugar molecules, a starch. The starch breaks
down into individual sugar molecules (glucose) during digestion.
Hence, your muscles don't care if you eat sugars or starches for
fuel because they both digest into the same simple sugar: glucose.
The difference between sugars and starches comes in their nutritional
value and impact on your health. Some sugars and starches are healthier
than others. For example, the sugar is orange juice is accompanied
by vitamin C, folate and potassium. The sugar in orange soda pop
is void of vitamins and minerals; that's why it's described as "empty
calories." The starch in whole wheat bread is accompanied by fiber
and B-vitamins. The starch in white breads has lost many health
protective nutrients during the refining process. White bread provides
muscle fuel, but fewer vitamins.
Q. If carbs aren't fattening, why do high protein diets "work"?
A. High protein diets seemingly "work" because -
1. The dieter loses water weight. Carbs hold water in the muscles.
For each ounce of carbohydrate you stored as glycogen, your body
simultaneously stores three ounces of water. When you deplete carbs
during exercise, your body releases the water and you experience
a significant loss of weight that's mostly water, not fat.
2. People eliminate a lot of calories when they eliminate carbohydrates.
For example, you might eliminate not only the baked potato (200
calories) but also two pats of butter (100 calories) on top of the
potato--and this creates a calorie deficit.
3. Protein tends to be more satiating than is carbohydrate. That
is, protein (and fat) lingers longer in the stomach than does carbohydrate.
Hence, having high protein (and fat) eggs & bacon for breakfast
stays with you longer than does a high carb bagel with jam. By curbing
hunger, you have fewer urges to eat and can more easily cut calories--until
you start to crave carbs and binge eat.
The overwhelming reason why high protein diets do NOT work is dieters
fail to stay on them for a long time. They may lose weight, but
only to regain it. The trick to losing weight is to learn how to
manage the American food supply so you won't regain the weight.
Remember: You should never start a food program you do not want
to maintain for the rest of your life. Do you really want to never
eat breads, potato or crackers ever again????
Q. I've heard white bread is "poison." Do you agree?
A. White bread offers lackluster nutrition, but it is not "poison"
nor a "bad" food. White bread can be balanced into an overall wholesome
diet. That is, if you have bran cereal for breakfast and brown rice
for dinner, your diet can healthfully accommodate a sandwich made
on white pita for lunch.
White bread's reputation for being "poison" is partially because
of its high glycemic effect. That is, 200 calories of white bread
quickly digests and causes the blood glucose (blood sugar) to elevate
higher than would the same amount of a whole grain, fiber-rich bread.
High blood glucose triggers the body to secrete insulin to carry
the sugar out of the blood. Insulin can stimulate the appetite,
as well as fat deposition. If you are physically fit, however, your
muscles readily store the sugar as glycogen with the need of much
less insulin. Hence, active people can handle high carb foods and
have less need to worry about a food's glycemic effect.
Q. Should I choose foods based on their glycemic effect?
A. As a general trend, yes. Foods with a low glycemic effect tend
to be wholesome, fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains
that are health protective and satiating. They can curb the appetite
and help with weight management. Yet, the glycemic response to a
food varies from person to person, as well as from meal to meal
(depending on the combinations of foods eaten). Experiment to learn
what food combinations satisfy you and offer lasting energy.
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, nutrition counselor at SportsMedicine Associates
in Brookline MA, is author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook
($23) and her newest title Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners:
Tips for Everyday Champions ($20). Both are available by sending
a check to Sports Nutrition Services, 830 Boylston St #205, Brookline
MA 02467 or via www.nancyclarkrd.com.
World, June 2002:
- Outrun cancer: Following a running plan can help men
reduce the risk of cancer, say British researchers. Their study
of 7588 men found that those who exercised vigorously two or more
times a week had a 25-percent lower risk of all types of cancers
than sedentary men and a 62-percent lower risk of cancers of the
upper digestive tract. P. 20
- Just a pinch will do: New research shows that herbs are packed
with health-enhancing antioxidants. Parsley, sage, rosemary and
thyme. No, we're not humming the Simon and Garfunkel tune. We're
listing some of the herbs that are packed with health-enhancing
antioxidants, according to a new USDA study. When researcher Shiow
Y. Wang, Ph.D. analyzed 30 common herbs, she found that many contained
more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Oregano topped her
list with an activity level 3 to 20 times higher than most herbs.
Other winners: dill, thyme, rosemary, and peppermint.
- See Jeff's article, łGoldilocks Theory of Goal Setting˛, p.
From American Running & Fitness
(American Running Association), April 2002, p. 1:
Peppermint peps up Running Performance
In the category of "believe it or not," researchers linked
improved performance of physical activities to the odor of peppermint.
Forty athletes performed a series of physical tasks under two conditions
without smelling peppermint odor and while smelling peppermint.
The peppermint condition resulted in increases in running speed,
handgrip strength and number of push-ups, as compared to the odorless
condition, but had no effect on performance of skill-based tasks
such as basketball free throws. The performance effect may be linked
to the psychological lift the smell of peppermint may provide. Perhaps
the invigorating smell lowers ratings of perceived exertion.
It may take some creativity to figure out how to capitalize on
the ergogenic effect of peppermint odor. Wear a potpourri around
your neck? Pocket a bottle of peppermint oil and uncap and sniff
when your energy is flagging? The results of the study may be significant
enough to make it worth a try. Certainly this is one ergogenic aid
in which there is no possibility of ill effects or doping scandal.
It should pass the test of even the most stringent purists. (Journal
of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2001, Vol, 23, No. 2, pp.
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