2014 Event: Running Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

In 2014, www.OneMileRunner.com will be taking part in a very different event. Instead of racing one mile at a time for speed, explosion, and recovery, we are going to attempt 23+ miles in a row across the Grand Canyon from the south rim to the north rim in mid-September testing our stamina. In the summer of 2015, we will be racing the mile again throughout the Greek Islands as we attempt to race on 10 islands in 5 weeks, all under 5 minutes entitled – The Greek Islands Adventure.

I remember running at the Grand Canyon in 2011 as part of our “5 Wonders of the World Under 25 Minutes” event on the south rim. It was at 6700 feet windy and cool. Running rim to rim will have vast altitude changes along with temperature changes as the heat can rise in the bottom of the canyon in September. This year’s event came from my good friend Kim Sheffield, a former masters national champion miler. Kim has helped and supported me in every one of my events over the years. On one of our training runs on her birthday, she revealed that running rim to rim was one of the items on her bucket list. And I agreed to run it with her and bring her dream to reality. So the training this spring and summer will be a bit different. In early August, we will be doing a 20 mile dress rehearsal run through the Vermont mountains testing equipment and strategies. That will leave us a month to make any last necessary alterations to our plans.

Wishing you all the best in your training and your upcoming 2014 events!

Get Into The Zone… with Natural Energy Boosters!

The world of vitamins, supplements and ‘super foods’ can be a bit of a maze for those who aren’t used to supplementing their nutritional intake. For most runners, a healthy blend of proteins, carbs and essential fats can provide us with the energy we need to tackle everything from an Ironman race to a mini-marathon. It never hurts to obtain the best we can from Nature, however, and this doesn’t mean overspending on expensive items from health shops. In this post, we offer just four items to add you can easily add to your diet, which will boost energy levels, keep stress at bay and even help you achieve an optimal state of mind before a big race. Best of all, they are all affordable and easily accessed.

Natural Stress Busters: One of the most oft-ignored conditions in serious runners is stress – tension, anxiety and even depression can hit before an important run or even during the lead-up to an important event, especially when an athlete feels stuck in a plateau, frustrated because they are not able to improve their times or make progress in areas like strength and stamina. These emotions often cause athletes resort to artificial artificial performance enhancers, in a self-destructive effort to artificially enhance their performance. Steroids carry a host of side-effect which, in the long run, are detrimental to a long, fruitful career in running. There are a host of natural stress busters which can do wonders for a runner’s moods during tense periods. One of these is Sam-E (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine), an amino acid which occurs naturally in the body and which can become depleted in moments of physical and mental stress. A groundbreaking study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2010 found that Sam-E has powerful anti-depressant effects, producing double the response rate in patients with depression, as compared to those in a placebo group. What makes Sam-E so special is that it is all-natural, and boasts a strong safety record. It has additional perks for runners too, since it confers great benefits to the joints, stopping and even reversing degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids, taken in supplement form and found in foods like walnuts and wild salmon, has also been found to stave off depression, improve the mood and aid with everything from anxiety to sleep disorders and sexual dysfunction.

Amazing AdaptogensAdaptogens are agents which combat stress in a non-specific way, intensifying the body’s ability to resist an array of stressors. Adaptogens are non-toxic and have the unique ability to normalize functions in the body – i.e. they tend to lower blood pressure in those suffering from high blood pressure, and vice-versa, making them such a powerful ally, particularly for those who subject the body to tough physical workouts. Some of the most powerful adaptogens include Panax Ginseng (which boosts the immunity), Echinacea (which boasts powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties, keeping athletes in tip-top condition by enabling them to resist cold and flu bugs) and Eleuthero (which combats joint pain, muscle spasms and fatigue). Panak Ginseng and Eleuthero are most potent when taken in root form. Echinacea can be found in pill or liquid form.

Raw foods: If you’re already sourcing your fruits and vegetables from organic famers, then you’re on to a good thing. To obtain the maximum benefits from these natural bounties, try to consume them raw a few times a week. Raw fruits and vegetables contain around a third more vitamins and minerals than when they are cooked, but you do need to conduct your research beforehand, because this general rule does not apply across the board. According to an important study published in the Journal of Food Science, while some of the most popular veggies (like zucchini, peas, Swiss chard, peppers and cauliflower) lose significant nutritional value when cooked, others, like green beans and garlic, retain their antioxidant powers even after being subjected to most cooking methods. Still other vegetables (including celery, carrot and broccoli) are actually more nutritious when cooked.

Sprouts: When we allow seed, pulses or grains to sprout, they convert into potent energy factories, manufacturing a host of useful nutrients. Additionally, their vitamin content soars. Take wheat grains – sprouting them increases their Vitamin E content threefold! Vitamin B and C content is also increased.

Sprouting additionally neutralizes the abundant ‘enzyme inhibitors’ in foods like chickpeas, mung beans and lentils. Enzyme inhibitors make foods difficult to digest, often causing bloating and discomfort. When it comes to running, it is important to be nutritionally fortified yet light on your feet, so sprouts are a great ally to include in your diet as often as you can. Best of all, you don’t need to spend inordinate amounts on ‘designer sprouts’ at health food stores and supermarkets; rather, you can simply make your own sprouts at home. This helpful post by Biologist, author and popular blogger, Leslie Kenton, will take you a long way towards building your own little garden of sprouts.

By Lily Hardcastle

When An Injury Becomes a Godsend

To start 2014, www.OneMileRunner.com wanted to share an inspiring story of recovery and performance…here is an article by Jim Burnett, resident of New Hampshire and member of the Upper Valley Running Club:

October 20, 2013: “Turn and burn,” Joe, shouted as I carved my way around the final turn, hugging the curb and peeking back to see who was creeping up on me – 200 meters to go. This race, the Granite State 10-Miler, was to be a tune-up for the Manchester City Marathon two weeks hence, which in turn was to be my final race for the New England Grand Prix Series on which I had pinned my hopes for a top five age-group final standing. I sprinted down the home stretch, my pursuer licking at my heel and then, with 20 meters to go, my hamstring suddenly “popped.”

December 8, 2013: Seven weeks after the hamstring injury I floated along the coastline of Cape Ann wearing a smile that wouldn’t go away. I had done my rehabilitation homework, passed strength and agility tests week after week and 49 days post-injury, I raced the Half MerryThon in 1:37:07, twenty-two seconds faster than at the New Bedford Half Marathon nine months earlier. I was not only “back”, my hamstring was stronger than ever.

Honestly, the hamstring injury scared me. Could I fully recover? I was also embarrassed for desperately flailing and over-striding down the home stretch and I paid the price. I was unable to run the Manchester City Marathon and, as a result, slipped from 5th to 7th in the series age-group standings. It was a stupid mistake, but with the help of some running friends, I learned a valuable lesson. If you put your mind to it and you are patient and careful, an injury can become a godsend. You can recover and come back with a vengeance and become stronger than before.

As fate would have it, a few days after the injury I was to meet with Laura and Greg Hagley to discuss coordination of the Upper Valley Running Club Tuesday Night Track (UVRC TNT) workouts for the upcoming winter months. I mentioned my injury and within five minutes Laura and Greg (both practicing physical therapists) diagnosed the severity of the damage and recommended an article for rehabilitation from the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (Vol. 40, Number 2, February 2010 entitled, Hamstring Strain Injuries: Recommendations for Diagnosis, Rehabilitation, and Injury Prevention). Greg asked if I felt pain in the middle of the hamstring or at either end where the tendons attach to the bone. The good news for me was that I had partially torn fibers in the middle of the muscle and I had not ruptured the muscle or its tendon. Laura liked the journal article and recommended it because it lists 3 phases for rehabilitation in which the injured runner performs a series of exercises and movements, such as side-stepping, pedaling a stationary bike and doing body bridges, until he/she meets the criteria for progression to the next phase. In order to progress from phase one to phase two, for example, you first have to be able to perform a normal walking stride without pain and be able to jog at very slow speed (10-12 mpm). I liked the program because I could start right away, even in my injured condition – walking and pedaling and doing slow speed agility drills. I also followed the typical rehab routine of icing and elevating the injury. Within a day I was seeing progress, and I was convinced I was on the road to recovery. I also knew that I needed to be patient because it would take 4 to 12 weeks to get back to competition. I was told that many come back too soon and reinjure the muscle and make things much worse.

Earlier, during the summer and before my injury, I became interested in Dave O’Meara’s Body Protection Program – Injury Prevention Training for Competitive Athletes (www.BodyProtection.com). I met Dave when, at the invitation of Kim Sheffield, the UVRC Summer TNT coach, he came to observe one of our afternoon track workouts and to give a presentation about his Body Protection Program that evening. After my injury, I started to gradually incorporate Dave’s methods into my rehabilitation program. I bought his instructional CD, communicated through email and followed his advice. He suggested that I start with Foundation Training then move into the strength, endurance and flexibility exercises. Systematically, I began to introduce my body to the Body Protection movements and as a result I gradually got stronger (legs, arms, core), improved my balance and became more flexible. Combining the advice of Laura, Greg and Dave I have successfully worked my way through, rehabilitation and recovery – I believe that I am now “back” and better than ever. But, for me, this is just the beginning. Like building a pyramid, I have established the first tier, the foundation, and the work continues. I now plan to add more layers of Body Protection – strength, endurance, balance and flexibility – in order to improve my performance and remain injury free. I only wish I had committed myself to this path sooner. But, sometimes it takes a serious injury to open your eyes wide.

At the age of 63, I continue to try to improve my running performance – speed for the mile run and endurance for the marathon. I love to workout at the track and run short, fast races – the mile, the 1500 meters and the 3000 meters. After my hamstring injury I put my plan to train for the 1500 and 3000 at the Dartmouth Relays in January 2014 on hold. About every two weeks during my rehabilitation, I emailed updates to Laura, Greg and Dave. Their feedback and encouragement played an important role in my recovery. It’s much more difficult to recover alone, without advice and reassurance. After six weeks of progress, I told Dave I thought I was ready to run the Half MerryThon in December. I reassured him I would not run under 7:00 mpm and there would be absolutely no sprinting at the finish. He gave me the green light and after its successful completion, I began to think that maybe I could run the 3000 at the Dartmouth Relays. I ran it by Dave and he agreed.

January 12, 2014: Rob and Geoff had run the 1500 and now stood by the finish line to watch their wives Cindy and Nancy and me run the 3000 and count laps. Rob held out fingers for laps remaining, 6…5…4…3… running round-and-round in the hypnotic swirl, I felt the exhilaration of speed afoot…2…1… around the far turn and down the back stretch – Mike and Betsy cheering – down the homestretch, no flailing this time, 12:19 on the clock, one year older and 6 seconds faster than last year. Yes, an injury can become a godsend.

By Jim Burnett

Practice Begins With The Stick

My practices each day begin with The Stick. For those of you who do not know about this simple yet effective tool, it is the 23″ tool with 12 spindles that I roll back and forth over the entire length of my muscle to increase circulation and range of motion. After The Stick I go into my blood flow exercises, then my Body Protection mobility movements and then I am ready for speed practice without worry of injury. I love the Stiff Stick version which is very rigid to allow me to deeply penetrate my muscle mass.

For the first time ever, I just found out that The Stick is offering free limited time shipping. Go to www.OneMileRunner.com, scroll down to the Sponsors page, and then just click on The Stick emblem to receive your free shipping. What a great addition to your sports bag!

Please write me back about your experiences with The Stick and have a wonderful holiday season…

A Great Massage Therapist – Priceless

I have had two wonderful massage therapists take care of my body over the 14 years of competition. The first was Stacie Nevelus for about 11 years and the second was Leah Macy for the last 3 years. Both therapists were invaluable. They worked with my strange work and training schedules (often saw me on Sundays), were available in emergencies, and were passionate about their professions. They were both part of the www.OneMileRunner.com Consultant’s panel, sought to expand their skills (Stacie – cupping and Leah – Thai massage), and both deeply cared that I was in the best possible shape to reach my aspirations.

Stacie is teaching her techniques around the region and Leah is on her way back home to Arizona after her 4 years at Wellness Concepts. Leah will continue her work around the Phoenix area, but she will be missed in Florida. Both Stacie and Leah exemplify why they both got into massage therapy. They wanted to help people feel better, learn the value of recovery and body work, and make an independent living for themselves. I feel they were both healers and made the right choice to seek a profession that suited their gifts.

So I have been recommended a couple of new names of massage therapists that I will meet in the upcoming weeks, but first I wanted to say thank you to Stacie and Leah for keeping my body together all these years with my intense training regime. I know I sometimes looked like Humpty Dumpty when I arrived on their massage tables, but they were able to put me back together after their sessions. Thank you.

If you are fortunate to find a great massage therapist, I hope you can appreciate the value that they bring to our active lifestyles. Priceless indeed as life is better on the move…

Vega – On The Road and Now In Your Kitchen

We had Vega with every step of the way during our 2013 Body Protection world tour. I started my day with Vega One and finished every workout with the Vega Sport Protein Bar.

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Now you can learn from famous chefs, Susan Feniger and Matthew Kenney along with Brendan Brazier in the new Thrive Kitchen as you learn new ideas on plant-based nutrition, preparation, and assimilation into your kitchen. Welcome to the Thrive Kitchen Edition:  http://bit.ly/134lsW5 and check out this video for more information: http://bit.ly/1d4vtqq

All the best with optimizing your nutritional intake by including Thrive Kitchen into your lives!

Body Protection Tour Concludes In The Middle East

The 2013 Body Protection Tour finished in Manama, Bahrain. After stops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we traveled to Manama to wrap up our two month tour. Here is a photo of the Manama skyline:

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We had a great tour sharing the Body Protection program and benefits. Athletes, doctors, physical therapists, and coaches were able to learn the various movements of www.BodyProtection.com.

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We will now be in Florida for a couple of months training and coaching. Hope you all had a great summer of training, racing, and competing!

What Physically Makes The Best Athletes?

When we watch professional sports, the ability of an athlete to rapidly accelerate and then quickly decelerate over and over is one of the elements that separates the best from the rest. The myth that the person with the largest muscles creates the best athlete is put to rest when observing a wide variety of sports. The person with the ability to have the strength, stability, and explosion to perform these movements at the world class level is physically the best athlete. The traditional “body building” training will actually diminish the accelerate/decelerate abilities. Strength/endurance foundations and proper speed/explosion movements will improve the skills of these professional athletes.

2013 Body Protection Tour will finish in the Middle East. There is a slight change (due to the Embassy closings around the world) as we reduced the four-city stop to three. We will be in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Manama until early September.

Body Protection Tour in Massachusetts and Maine

The 2013 Body Protection Tour is finishing its New England portion of the tour. We had a great week in MA training tennis and lacrosse players. This morning we attended the Beach to Beacon road race in Cape Elizabeth, ME as Kogo went on to win beating Kipruto by 4 seconds. The top four finishers were all from Kenya and Americans Keflezighi, Krause, Hall were 5th, 6th, and 10th respectively.

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Our 4-city tour of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Manama, and Muscat could be jeopardy later this month with the new travel warnings and Embassy closures due to possible terrorists threats. We will make a final decision about our travels to the Middle East in the week of the 19th.

Body Protection Training travels to NH and VT

The Body Protection Tour made its way to the northeast United States as I trained with Upper Valley Running Club and the Lebanon High School cross country team and then finished with a speaking presentation nearby Dartmouth College at the Howe Library in Hanover, NH.

It was great to work with many members of the Upper Valley Running Club on Tuesday night and then pacing the top Lebanon high school runner on Wednesday morning in a 2 mile tempo run (photo below).
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Wednesday night I gave a presentation to the public on the differences and benefits of Body Protection. Thanks so much to Mark and Kim Sheffield for their hospitality and to all the people in attendance for their interest, enthusiasm, and questions. The tour now moves to a 4-day clinic in Massachusetts…