Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
For those who aren't quite caught up on the Friday 50/50 (or those who'd like to go back to browse the previous tips), here are the previous five installments.
Without further ado, here is a bit more of the brain of Dean Karnazes.
20. Girls on the Run
Sports in general have long been considered a "boy's activity." Thankfully my generation never lived through those times and girls are just as much encouraged to join sports as we (boys) are. On top of this, there are plenty of groups that are for women and girls ONLY. One such group is Girls on the Run, a national organization aimed at developing self-esteem and camaraderie in girls. Dean himself sits on the board of the California group.
There are also races that exclude men. A couple of my friends are considering running the Divas Half Marathon in Long Island, NY. And not only is this race solely for women, but at the final mile, they hand out tiaras and pink feather boas. Then when you cross the line, you are handed a finishers medal by a New York firefighter. Did I mention that there are additional Divas races in Honolulu, HI, San Juan, PR, and Vail, CO?
A state of total absorption in a challenging activity - an enjoyable but serious state of absolute immersion in some goal-directed task.
For athletes, this is similar to the description of being "in the zone." Flow is not 'having fun' during an activity, but having everything click in place perfectly; your stride seems effortless, your breathing relaxed, hills feel like they're flat, and you could run forever. I never feel flow on my speedy workouts, but when I'm out for an long, exploratory run, I know I have flow when I feel like I could keep running forever.
22. Marathon Guide
Are you looking for a marathon to race, but aren't quite sure which one is worthwhile? Check out the site marathonguide.com. They have a list of every marathon along with website links, previous results, race director's notes, and reviews by people who have actually run the race. It's the best marathon website out there!
23. The Ideal Sports Drink
I'm sure plenty of you have at least tried the various sports drinks on the market - Gatorade, Accelerade, Powerade, etc. The tough question is, which is the best? Dean suggests these criteria when choosing a sports drink.
- 6-8% carbohydrate (14-19g / 8 oz.)
- At least two types of carbohydrates (increases absorption)
- 120+mg sodium per 8 oz.
- Avoid excess fructose (can cause GI issues)
Does your drink of choice fit this guideline? Unfortunately, from my research, the only sports drink to pass each of these criteria is Gatorade Endurance. Furthermore, I have read a few studies which tested Gatorade Endurance or similar sports drinks against higher sodium content and found that the best results come from 2-3x as much sodium (roughly 4-600mg / 8 oz).
Jeff Galloway is a legendary running coach and has coached more people to their first marathon than anyone. His unique training - separate from most anyone else - includes not only distances exceeding 26.2 miles, but walking breaks. Jeff's athletes admit that the walking breaks make strenuous, long distances quite manageable. Dean makes use a similar workout he calls "Runabouts."
After you've built up a good amount of endurance and fitness, pick a Saturday (or any day when you have plenty of free time) to head out the door with a backpack, credit card, cell phone, water, some snacks, and maybe a GPS if you want to be tech-savvy. Pick a direction (say, North) and just start running. When you want to take a break, take one and jog, walk, or hike; just try to stay on your feet. When you feel like running again, do so. If you run by your favorite store, stop in and buy a cupcake and eat it on the run. Make a day of it by trying to stay on your feet.
Dean does Runabouts by leaving before sunrise and coming home after sunset. You may want to start with a couple hours or maybe 6-8 hours first, but have fun no matter where you end up. The idea is not to count the miles, but to have fun and stay on your feet.
1. Have you ever done a Women-Only race? If so, which one and how was it?
2. Have you ever felt "flow"? If so, how do you know you have it?
Usually a mile or so into my long runs my breathing is relaxed, I've started exploring or examining the area I'm running through just as if I was hiking and I get this feeling of being able to run forever, that my legs will never tire.
3. Do you have a sports drink of choice?
I always go for Gatorade Endurance when they have it offered at my races, but for training I've never used any sports drink. Maybe I should start testing them out.
4. Are you tempted to do a Runabout this weekend? Don't they sound amazing?!
I can't wait until I get enough base built up to do one. The moment I read about them, I wanted to strap on a backpack and start running. I guarantee you it will happen this summer!
Stay fit. Stay healthy.