Archive for September, 2007

Blisters make your feet feel uncomfortable. Yesterday I got a blister on my small toe. As I was running I didt realise anything amiss, its when I finished and removed my shoes then socks that I noticed the blister. My experience before has been not to burst it but to let it heal by itself. It worked, when I woke up today morning the swelling had gone.

What causes Foot Blisters?

  • Heat: is the number one reason for getting Blisters. The heat responsible for causing Blisters is mostly caused by the friction between your skin and the inner of your running shoe. Sand and gravel in your running shoe can increase friction which is why they also cause Blisters.
  • Moisture: moist or wet feet from sweat or water are more susceptible to Blisters as moisture softens your skin.

What you can do about blisters

Some basic preventive measure can go along way to avoid the two causes of heat and moisture. To minimise heat is not easy for a straineous activity like marathon running. Your feet are pounding the tarmarc and in the process your shoes get hot. In addition to the pounding your shoes are closed this means heat is trapped inside the shoe. The only option you have is to avoid wearing a tight fitting shoe. A tight fitting shoe squeezes your toes increasing friction. No shoe company has yet invented an open shoe for marathon running but there are running shoe made with covering material that allows circulation of air giving your feet a cooling effect. You dont feel it during running but it works.

Simple thing to do

You can reduce moisture by wearing a water absorbing sock consult your running shop for the best type of marathon running sock. Also when marathon running, avoid stepping into water. Lastly do what I aways do, apply petroleum jelly on your feet. Its a simple thing but very effective.

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My feet were aching so my plan today morning was to run on untarmarced road.Yestarday it rained and when I woke up it was still drizzling. The Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon is getting closer and time is running out fast. Rain or no rain I had to do my marathon running.

Dont quit early

If you have been running marathon by now you must be aware the most difficult part is the first 2k, your body is just warming up and your heart rate is struggling to get high. The first Kilometres you experience heavy panting but as your running heart rate peaks and muscles warm up the going gets easier. So if you are just getting started in marathon running and you tend to give up after experiencing the heavy pants, dont! as you keep running the pants will go away and marathon running becomes easy (not exactly easy but less difficult).

Running on a rough road

For a seasoned marathon runner like me getting past the warm up stage is relatively easy. Running on untarmaced road was harder  than I  anticipated. The road surface was rough and uneven which made it uncomfortable. This only increased the chance of getting an unwanted injury.  I tried my best to trend careful and avoid an injury.

Mud Challenge 

Add  the fact that it had previously rained and the road was muddy, my pace was too low to be able to run at a marathon pace. The mud stuck on my shoe and they were getting heavy, this further slowed my pace. It was not all bad because the heaviness on my leg meant my leg muscles were using more power and effort and this can only give my feet much needed stamina. The road was also slippery and I had to be carefull here. Any slip up and I could get a nasty fall.

If you want a way to develop stamina on your legs I would recommend you try marathon running on mud. Remember its not safe but if you take it easy you can master how to wade through the mud without a marathon injury. You can try this world famous mud race at camp pendleton.

 

For those of you who are marathon training for New York Marathon you will be joined by a Celebrity formula one driver, Heikki Kovalainen from finland.

Offcourse he wont bring his fast Renault racing car with him. On his weekly BBC Column  he confessed he is training for the New York Marathon on 5th November 2007. Read his finishing time at 2007 New York marathon.

He has the advantage of having a personal trainer who follows him around the glamour world of formula one.  I bet his personal trainer will see that he will be in great shape for the New York marathon . If you think F1 is just about get into a car and drive away, you are wrong. As part of physical fitness he does special weight-training schedules and neck-muscle building exercises. As part of his preparation for the New York Marathon he is doing road running just like you and me.

Jorna Trulli another formula one driver has ran the New York Marathon in a time of 4 hours  and Heikki is plotting to beat Trullis time. I wish him best of Luck.

Yesterday I wrote about how to do hill runs safely. I have just read an article by Amanda Mccracken on www.active.com its titled speedwork in disguise. She writes how hill drills contribute to your speed.

She writes that a marathon runner effort increases as you run up a hill, even if you reduce your pace. She advices all runners that, the best way to run a hill is to maintain effort and forget about pace while on the hill. 

She warns, “Trying to increase pace on a hill is like surging and varying the body’s perceived effort, which will only tire you prematurely in the long run.”

The Power Base

The muscles that are responsible for the power strokes are the Hip flexors. One of the best ways to strengthen your hip flexors and improve the power of your strides is with hill repeats. As you gain strength, your chances of getting injured are diminished, and this can only increase your confidence. If you can do difficult hill drills during your marathon training, a simple incline in a race (as a matter of fact most marathon routes dont have steep hills) will be a piece of cake.

Nairobi Marathon route

Posted: September 14, 2007 in Nairobi Marathon

The route for Standard chartered marathon has been published. The route and the format is the same as last year. This will dissapoint many including me who expected a change of format. Those who are doing the full marathon will be expected to run a circuit twice.

 I would have prefered a single journey.I remember many runners giving up last year. The distance from the start to the turning point that returns a marathon runner to the start is 13 mile long. Expecting the marathon runners to do the most difficult part twice is asking too much of them.

I was left sore on my feet and ankle after doing my long half marathon run on sunday. It was due to the fact my marathon training route is hilly. If you have tried marathon running on hills you must be familiar with the pain it gives the legs.

Up or down the pain is there

You feel the strain on your knees while going downhill and when you are going uphill the pressure is on you ankles and back thigh.  Going down hill is tricky because the temptation is to speed up. When you speed up you increase the likelihood of injuring your knees. To minimise the soreness on the knees while going down hill I try to slow down.

Going uphill is never easy because it requires effort. The only way you can make it easier is to do strength training on you legs.

If you have a gym membership you can ask your gym instructor for specific training exercises to build stamina on your legs. You can also try my personal sytle which is doing frog jumps around a track.

Have a drink!

Low performance on hills could also be caused by dehydration. If there is no enough fluid getting into your joints the joints will get lots of friction. So remember to take sufficient amount of water. Lastly the only guaranteed way to run uphill comfortably is to get used. As part of your marathon training do plenty of hill runs.

How Powell Beat himself

Posted: September 13, 2007 in Tips from champions

Jamaica's Asafa Powell bettered his own 100-meter world record by 0.03 seconds. Asafa Powell the world fastest man outdid himself by breaking his own world record. He set a new world record time of 9.74 to break his previous record of 9.77. The old time is jointly shared with the American Justin Gatlin, whose name will be removed from the record books if he fails to overturn an eight-year doping ban.

On winning the Jamaican remained as hungry as ever “This means that I can do even 9.68,” Powell said. “I’m worth that time, I know it.” Do you think this is too ambitious? Personally I think this is a winners mentality. To win great things you have to think the unthinkable.

Burying the ghost of Osaka

The record comes only two weeks after the Jamaican finished a disappointing third at the track and field world championships in Osaka, Japan.Even though he had looked dominant throughout the rounds in Osaka, Powell all but gave up in the final, despite leading with 30m left. The American Tyson Gay came up on his shoulder and Powell admitted he panicked and slipped into third place. After this incident his critics commented “he is a fine a athlete but not a competitor. This is due to the fact he hasnt won any major title. If he maintains the composure he showed at Rieti, Italy Grandprix I dont see why he wont win a Gold at next years Beijing Olympics. The only thing Powell has to fear is fear.