Top Ten Marathon Quotes

If you have ever ran a marathon you will appreciate these quotes.

1. Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic marathon gold medalist: “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”

2.  Rob de Castella, winner 1983 World Marathon Championships: “If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.”

3.  Emil Zatopek, Czech runner: winner of four Olympic Gold Medals: “We are different, in essence, from other men.  If you want to win something, run 100 meters.  If you want to experience something, run a marathon”

4.  Bill Rogers, winner of four Boston and four NYC Marathon: “The marathon can humble you”

5.  John Hane, running writer: “I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement.  It’s a state of mind: a state of mind that says anything is possible”

6.  Mike Fanelli, running club coach: “I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds.  Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart”

7.  John J. Kelly, winner of the 1952 Boston Marathon: “Marathoning is just another for of insanity”

8.  Barry Magee: “Anyone can run 20 miles.  It’s the next six that count”

9.  Frank Shorter: “You can actually suffer a little bit more going slowly than when you’re going fast.  A faster marathon might even be easier that a slow one, in terms of what if takes out of  you mentally”

10.  Hal Higdon, running writer and coach: “The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals”

Now that you have had a good laugh go out for a long run.


Minor Problems Every Runner Deals With

Runners have several minor problems that they may have to deal with while training.  The following problems effect the novice runner to the elite runners.  The problems are usually more irritating that painful.

Blisters are really minor burns caused by friction.  They can be prevented by wearing properly fitted shoes.  At the first sign of a blister, cover the skin with moleskin or a bandage.  The individual should release the fluid by slicing the side of the blister, treat it with antiseptic, and cover with a band-aid.

Muscle soreness usually develops 24 hours after running.  It occurs in the muscles involved and may be due to microscopic tears in the muscle, connective tissue, or muscle fibers.  Muscle soreness usually occurs at the beginning of the season,  after a harder than usual workout, or a longer than usual workout.  I have experienced muscle soreness after running with someone who is significantly slower than me.  You can minimize the soreness by gradually increasing runs and stretching before running.  If you develop muscle soreness lightly stretch the area.

Muscle cramps are powerful involuntary muscle contractions.  Normally we tell our muscles when to contract and relax.  Cramps are the result of a muscle not relaxing.  Relief comes when the cramped muscle is stretched and massaged.  However that doesn’t remove the cause of the contraction.  Salt and calcium are both involved in the chemistry of a cramp/ contraction.  Cold muscles cramp more often so it is important to warm up properly before running.  During hot weather it is important to keep replacing salt and potassium.

Bone bruises usually occur on the bottom of a runners foot.  These bruises can be prevented by careful foot placement and  buying quality shoes.  A bruise can delay you running for several weeks.  There is no instant cure for a bruise, so preventing one is  best.

Ankle problems such as ankle sprains should be iced immediately.  If you ice the ankle immediately you have a better chance of running the next day.  Ankle wraps, lace up supports of tape help runners return after an ankle sprain while giving the weaken ankle support.  First aid for a sprained ankle in ice, compression and elevation.

Marathon World Records

This weeks marathon Monday topic is marathon world records and fastest times.

The official marathon distance 26 miles 385 yards was established in 1921.World Records were not official recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) until January 1, 2004. Before 2004 the best times for marathons were referred to as the world best. The course must meet the IAAF standards for a record to be recognized. Marathons routes have a big impact on records no two marathons are exactly a like. Typically the fastest times are run on relatively flat course, near sea level, during good weather conditions and have a pacesetter to help the runners.
The world record for men is 2:03:59 set by Hailie Gebrselassie of Ethiopia on September 28, 2008 at the Berlin Marathon. This is an average of 4:44 per mile for 26 miles. The world record for women is 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain on April 13, 2003 at the London Marathon. This time was set with the aid of male pacesetters. The fastest time for a woman without using a pacesetter is 2:17:42 also set by Paula Radcliffe on April 17, 2005 at the London Marathon.

According to IAAF the top ten men and women times in the marathon are:
Time                  Athlete                     Country                Date                         Place
2:03:5         Haile Gebrselassie        Ethiopia         9/28/2008            Berlin
2:04:27         Duncan Kibet               Kenya             4/5/2009            Rotterdam
2:04:27      James Kwambai            Kenya              4/5/2009            Rotterdam
2:04:48      Patrick Makau                Kenya             4/11/2010            Rotterdam
2:04:55         Paul Tergat                   Kenya             9/28/2003             Berlin
2:04:55         Geoffrey Mutai            Kenya              4/11/2010           Rotterdam
2:04:56           Sammy Korir              Kenya              9/28/2003             Berlin
2:05:04        Abel Kirui                      Kenya               4/5/2009             Rotterdam
2:05:10        Samuel Wanjiru           Kenya              4/26/2009             London
2:05:13         Vincent Kipruto         Kenya              4/11/2010           Rotterdam

Time              Athlete                           Country                  Date                          Place
2:15:25       Paula Radcliffe             Great Britain         4/13/2003           London
2:18:47        Catherine Ndereba     Kenya                 10/4/2001           Chicago
2:19:12         Mizuki Noguchi            Japan                  9/25/2005             Berlin
2:19:19         Irina Mikitenko          Germany              9/28/2008            Berlin
2:19:36         Deena Kastor              United States       4/23/2006          London
2:19:39          Sun Yingjie                 China                      10/19/2003          Beijing
2:19:41          Yoko Shibui               Japan                      9/24/2004            Berlin
2:19:46          Naoko Takahashi      Japan                    9/30/2001            Berlin
2:19:51          Zhou Chunxiu           China                      3/12/2006             Seoul
2:20:42        Berhane Adere          Ethiopia                10/222006             Chicago

Next weeks Marathon Monday will be about multiple marathons.  Some runners have attempted running a series of marathons for example the 50 states marathon circuit.

It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish

Yesterday I posted a list of funny running slogan.  The last one was It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish.  This one is particularly funny to me.  Last season we where at a local High School Cross Country Invitation.  It was a cool October morning perfect for running.  The  race started and  several of the varsity boys looked like they where sprinting as soon as the gun went off.  My 7-year-old  daughter (6 years old at the time) made a comment about the start that made other adults look at her.  She said “Mommy the boys in blue are running to fast”.  She mad the comment loud enough that several adults heard her.  We walked across the field to the next area to cheer for the boys.    Sure enough by the 1 -1/2  mile marker they where way behind the leaders.  She then commented “see Mommy the blue guys are going really slow now they started to fast”.  I can only wonder what the other adults where thinking when this little girl made her comments.

Both my daughters started running 1 mile fun runs at the age of 3.  They are now 9 and 7 years old and running 5k races.   They would tell other runners to start slow and not run fast until you see the clock.  They have been to lots of races and see this happening over and over especially in high school cross-country.  Most coaches want there runners to get out fast.  My high school coach used to tell me “it is better if you go out in the top five and fall back then to go out in 20th and fall back”.  The problem with that statement is he assumed that if you go out slower you will fall back.

What he don’t know was  if you go out fast lactic acid builds up in the muscles faster.  Once the lactic acid levels get to high the muscles will feel fatigued and you will be forced to slow down.  The 5k race is short enough  that you will still finish with a much slower time.  However running a marathon is another story.  Your muscle fatigue will force you to walk.  Once the fatigue hits no matter how much you tell yourself to run you wont.   Imagine driving your car and it runs out of gas.  What happens?  The car stops and will not move.  This is basically what your legs are going to do.  The mind says go but the legs say no.

My daughters don’t know about lactic acid and fatigue but they do know “if you sprint at the beginning you will be far back at the end”.

Funny Running Slogans #2!

When fall arrives it means that the Cross Country season is in full swing.    My family goes to several cross-country Invitations during the season to cheer for the boy’s team that my husband coaches.  My daughters ages 9 and 7  both have run a few 5k road races themselves, enjoy going and reading the teams shirts.  While at the Invitations we see lots of cool running slogans.  Here are a few we saw lately:

  • All Out Or Get Out
  • Any One Can Run The First 100 It Is The Last 4900 Meters That Counts
  • Second Is the First Looser
  • God Created The World In Six Days On the Seventh He Ran An Easy Three
  • Your Sport Punishment Is My Sport
  • Rain Sleet Snow and 20 Below A Perfect Day to Run
  • Slower Traffic Keep Right
  • You Can Hide But You Can’t Run
  • Pass Them Don’t Pace Them
  • Run Like You Stole It
  • It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish

Record Your Progress- It Will Help Your Future Training And Racing

How do you know if you’re improving if you can’t remember what you did?   By accurately recording what you run you can see patterns develop in your training and racing. This will enable you to train smarter.

When I first started running in the summer of 1985 I recorded all my running in a spiral notebook.  I would make a calendar grid  for the month and make each day writing area about 2 inches.  I usually wrote how many minutes I ran and the loop.  I would total the weekly mileage up as well as the monthly  and the yearly mileage.     As the years went on the  I wrote things like how I felt during the workout, suggestions for future workouts and my goals.  Be specific when you write in your log because you will want to know details if you look back to see how different workouts went several months later.  I often would write down the names of the runners who finished  in front of me and behind me.  The names of the runners ahead of me would help motivate me to train harder to beat them.  The names of the runners who finished behind  me where also important after all you don’t want them to catch you.

Now that you are writing down your daily training it is also a good idea to write down your race results.  How do you know if you’re improving if you can’t remember what time you ran in a race?  Again try to write lots of details.  You should at least include you time and place you finished.  I tried to also write what the weather was like.  After all your time is often affected by the weather.  I have run a 1/2 marathon in the pouring rain one year resulting in a slow time and the next year it was perfect resulting in a personal best time.  If you don’t write down that it was pouring your will forget why you ran slow.

Today there are training logs for everything  running, walking, triathlon, and ultra marathons.  A variety of training logs can be found at Web Warez The logs have all kinds of other information in them as well.  Some logs have pace charts to help you figure out what pace you should be doing you track workouts, resources, and tips from elite runners.

Marathon Races Around the World

Marathon Monday feature this week is about  marathon races around the world.

Every year more than 500 Marathons are organized worldwide.  According to the USA had 397 marathons take place, which is up from an estimated 372 in 2008.  The 2009 marathon report also recorded a record number of marathon finishers in 2009.   In total, nearly 468,000 marathon finishing times were recorded in the USA in 2009 – almost 43,000 more than the number of finishers from 2008.  The number of male finishers increased by 9.8%, while the number of female finishers grew by nearly 10.0%.  As has been the trend in most recent years.

The five largest and most prestigious races are Boston, New York City, Chicago, London and Berlin.  These marathons make up the biennial World Marathon Majors Series, awarding $500,000 to the best overall male and female performers in the series.

In 2006 Runners World selected a “World’s Top 10 Marathons”.  They had Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin in the top positions.  They also had Amsterdam, Honolulu, Paris, Rotterdam and Stockholm Marathons.  Three other marathons were also mentioned as being top marathons including Marine Corps, Los Angeles and Rome.  The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon.  Boston was inspired by the 1896 Olympic marathon has been held since 1897.  The oldest annual marathon in Europe is the Kosice Peace Marathon held since 1924 in Slovakia.

Using unofficial and temporary courses that are measured by GPS races of marathon distances are held at the North Pole, Antarctic and over desert terrain.  Among other unusual marathons are The Great Wall Marathon held on The  Great Wall of China, The Big Five Marathon held among the safari wildlife of South Africa, and the Great Tibetan Marathon held at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. The Polar Circle Marathon is held on the ice cap of Greenland in temperatures of  5 degrees farenheit or -15 degrees celsius.  Norway has the Midnight Sun Marathon is 70 degrees north.

The most scenic marathons routes include Steamboat Springs in Colorado, Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage Alaska, Kona Marathon held in Keauhou/Kona Hawaii, and San Francisco Marathon held in California.

The International Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is the only marathon where runners run over two continents, Europe and Asia.

Next Marathon Monday feature will be about marathon statistics and the world top ten time lists for men and women.